World-famous window dresser, quick-witted fashion commentator, best-selling writer and saucy bon-vivant Simon Doonan — the former Creative Ambassador-at-Large of the fabled (and shuttered) luxury retailer Barneys did up the White House holiday decorations for the Obamas in 2009, and celebrated ceramicist, design icon, retail magnate and hotel visionary Jonathan Adler — he’s famously responsible for the fabulously funky décor at The Parker Palm Springs, have splashed out close to $4.18 million for an elegant Colonial home at the northern end of Florida’s perennially swank Palm Beach.
Designed by important Palm Beach architect Maurice Fatio in the late 1930s, and obscured behind a fastidiously clipped hedgerow at the head of a horseshoe drive with a grandiose double-height portico, the handsome abode showcases what marketing materials describe as “Fatio’s knack for creating homes noted for their beautiful entrances, high ceilings, symmetry and balanced proportions.” Comprehensively updated and upgraded about a decade ago, the not-quite-2,700-square-foot home features cypress-clad ceilings in some rooms — a hallmark of Fatio-designed homes, a delicately carved stone fireplace in the living room, and a mix of rustic stone and pickled white oak floorboards.
The front door opens informally into the living room that flows into both the dining room and an adjacent loggia lined with fifteen-pane French doors. The main floor powder room is secreted away in a cozy library off the living room, while the spacious if unconventionally configured eat-in kitchen sports high-end appliances and marble countertops with a dreamy cloud-like pattern.
Two guest bedrooms, each with an updated private bath, are joined on the second floor by the primary bedroom, which offers two walk-in closets, one about twice the size of the other, and plenty of room for primping and preening in the oversized marble bathroom that spills out to a small sun deck
Given that the house is pushed towards the back of the one-fifth-acre lot, with most of the precisely tailored gardens being at the front of the house, outdoor living spaces are limited to a petite patio outside the loggia and a sliver of cobblestoned terracing enshrouded in lush tropical plantings that runs along the back of the house.
The property, which will no doubt get a eye-popping Technicolor makeover by the color, texture and kitch loving couple, was listed with Steve Simpson at William Raveis South Florida, while Doonan and Adler, not to mention their pampered, impossibly cute pooch Foxylady, were handled by Burt Minkoff at Douglas Elliman.
The fashion and design world royals are no strangers to the clannish and high-nosed Palm Beach scene; they previously owned an almost 1,900-square-foot ocean-view condo in a boutique building they sold a bit more than four years ago for a smidgen above $900,000.
Back up north, the couple maintain a couple of fashionably appointed (and frequently published) homes, though one of them is now for sale. They have long maintained an eclectic waterfront getaway on Shelter Island that they scooped up in 2008 for $1.9 million, and their eccentrically done-up two-unit combination apartment in New York City’s Greenwich Village, which they’ve occupied for more than 20 years, popped up for sale earlier this year with a $5.25 million price tag.