Designer Barry Goralnick nods to New York’s lofty aesthetic for his first commission in Palm Beach.
The foyer sets the tone for the look of the home and introduces designer Barry Goralnick’s layered approach
When embarking on unknown territory, most design professionals tend to rely on the familiar. But Barry Goralnick is not most designers. So when it came time to tackle his first project in Palm Beach County, the New York-based multihyphenate (architect, interior decorator and product designer) was up for a challenge.
The dining room showcases the homeowners’ collection of Salvador Dalí drawings, which were arranged together to create a focal point
Said task came in the form of a 2,800-square-foot house on Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach owned by two friends, former advertising and publishing executives who recently relocated to South Florida. Although ideally located, the residence’s charms stopped at the front door.
“It was dated, had an overly complicated flow and needed a complete makeover,” says Goralnick. “The goal was to deliver the indoor-outdoor Florida living they wanted.”
The issues Goralnick and his team set out to address were multiple. The structure felt old and had too many 45-degree angles, soffits that stopped midair, outdated beige carpeting, unnecessary walls and arched openings, and random architectural gestures that made no sense. Goralnick suggested a total overhaul.
Designer Barry Goralnick.
“I recommended the feeling of contemporary loft living—open, clean and serene,” he says. “By opening up the house and removing several walls, the result is that of an airy loft , much like luxury apartments in New York City.”
Goralnick’s approach is evident from the get-go. In the foyer, the space was squared off and traditional entry doors were replaced with modern ones to accentuate the generous height of the home. Here, a gilded mirror pairs effortlessly with more contemporary pieces that include a deco console and a velvet bench, as well as a chest and lantern from Goralnick’s collection for Vanguard Furniture. “This is one of the most important spaces,” says the designer. “It makes the first and last impression to anyone visiting the house.”
Shades of blue in the master bedroom were employed to denote tranquility
Lasting impressions are not hard to come by. In the cocktail room, a selection of dog paintings, collected by the homeowners over the years, solidify the room’s cozy intent. Eye-catchers include an Orion light fixture (co-designed by Goralnick with former partner Michael Buchanan) and a midcentury modern sofa upholstered in bright yellow. Even more whimsical in tone is the powder room. Enveloped in John Rosselli plaid wallpaper, the room is a study in astute style with a cobalt blue floating vanity, an asymmetrical sconce and other unexpected touches. “I always feel like the powder room is fair game and the place to go wild a bit,” says Goralnick. “This room coordinates with the rest of the house with the blue hues, but the stone, wallpaper and vintage art make it a fun surprise for guests.”
The revelations continue throughout the rest of the residence. In the dining room, 13 Salvador Dalí drawings arranged together offer a focal point of interest. In the bedrooms, porcelain tile in various shades of blue give the soft effect of walking on water. And in the home office, a horn chandelier speaks to the homeowners’ eye for the unusual.
“This house is a ‘next chapter’ story,” says Goralnick. “The clients were over the moon with the end result, and all their friends were knocked out by the loftlike transformation we achieved.”
One of the most often-used rooms in the house, the cocktail room houses dog paintings and drawings collected by the homeowners for many years.
West Palm Beach
INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
Flooring in foyer and kitchen
Flooring in bedrooms and tile in master bath
Wallpaper in powder room
Vance lantern in foyer and Sutton fixture in kitchen
Bench in foyer
Chest in foyer; table, side chair and console in dining room; and club chairs, bench and sofa in living room
Choros chandeliers in dining room
Mirror in powder room
Photography by: From top: Nick Sargent; Jason Zeren/Nick Sargent; Jason Zeren/Nick Sargent; Nick Sargent; Nick Sargent