Patterns and textures blanket the interiors of an indoor-outdoor home in Boca Raton where a light, cohesive color palette tempers their volume.
Romo draperies and a neutral area rug from Stark keep the palette light.
In the sitting area off the dining room, a beaded chandelier from Palecek is suspended over a coff ee table from Made Goods and one of two lounge chairs wearing Villa Nova’s leafy blue-and-green fabric.
It’s not every day interior designers start their creative process with sketches from the homeowner. But in the case of this Boca Raton residence, designer Betsy Wentz was happy to oblige. The husband, who has a background in architecture studies, first met Pennsylvania-based Wentz when he and his wife attended the 2020 Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach, where the designer had outfitted the primary bath and closet from head to toe in pleated draperies, wallcoverings and fabrics brimming with an unexpected mix of bold prints. The couple fell in love and invited Wentz to breathe new life into their once-beige home that hadn’t yet found its footing. “In every project, there always has to be some kind of inspiration, a discovery of what the clients love. I try to take my cues from them. If they love artwork, we start there. If they don’t have anything they want to incorporate into the new home, we figure it out. This woman is an amazing gardener. She has incredible rose bushes and loves to be outside, and is inspired by florals and greenery,” Wentz says. The husband’s request was a bit less abstract and more direct: “He said, ‘We love everything you do,” she remembers, “… but no wallpaper on the ceilings.”
An anything-but-neural Th ibaut wallcovering wraps the entry and backs a mirrored sideboard from Four Hands
In this vein, Wentz began with a palette of greens and blues as the base. A Florida beach house, she calls it, but punched up a bit. The owner wanted pattern, so there are many. But the severity of that pattern and its scale were kept under mindful watch, and the color palette remains a medium pastel throughout the house, expressed through unheavy cotton linen blends and lightweight cotton-viscose in lieu of heavy velvets. A leafy fabric, for example, dresses a pair of comfy club chairs off the dining room without overwhelming the open space. A hefty dining table seats 10 or 12 people around it, but thanks to its blonde finish keeps its statement more demure than overdramatic. Bold artwork complements a chunky stripe on the dining chairs, but then the designer took a step back: The owners didn’t want draperies in this room so as to let in natural light and not obstruct the views out to the pool.
Designer Betsy Wentz kept the existing vanity in the primary bathroom but added Villa Nova window treatments for a fresh pop of yellow. A new light fixture from Arteriors Home acts as jewelry for the space.
That’s because the goal—aside from incorporating quiet color and nature—was to fully embrace indoor-outdoor living, a lifestyle where the owners could come in and out of the pool with their dog in tow and not worry about the furnishings. “The Missoni rug underneath the dining table is suitable for the outdoors,” says Wentz. “But its subtle texture and pattern pulls everything together without screaming, ‘I’m a stripe!’ or ‘I’m an outdoor rug!’”
A whimsical yet sophisticated wallcovering from Villa Nova in the living room and study incorporates the owner’s love of nature and the outdoors.
This delicate dance of risk-taking and restraint actually begins right at the entrance in the foyer. To make sense of a long hallway and delineate it from the rest of the spaces without making it jarring, Wentz opted for a tone-on-tone modern palm print wallcovering with an extra-wide Scandinavian wool rug whose chunky texture makes it durable while creating an experience upon entry. And then the color gets kicked up a notch as you make your way into the living room and office: “I always saw something impactful there, something distinctive. I brought up the idea of this botanical mural and they went for it. They had a lot of faith in me and trusted me,” Wentz says. “That mural has all greens, blues and creams, but it also introduced orange and yellow and provided that fun pop like a bracelet on your wrist when you’re wearing all black or white. It gives it personality.” One of the successes of this project, she notes, is that you could pick up a cushion from anywhere in the home and move it to another room and it would still go. “It’s soft and pretty and just enough, like putting on khaki pants with a patterned top.”
Andreu World chairs surround an oval table from Tritter Feefer in the dining room while wearing Villa Nova fabric. Wentz replaced all the lighting in the house, including this fixture from Arteriors Home. The sideboard is from Vanguard Furniture and the Missoni Home outdoor carpet is from Stark.
But the changes made to the house weren’t only cosmetic. With the help of Jose A. Obeso of J.A.O. Architects & Planners and Brian Kuncman of Beach to Bay Custom Builders Corp., a renovation took place on the first level to better integrate the indoor and outdoor spaces. Navigating an oddly angled staircase, knocking down unexpected walls, elevation changes and structural issues presented challenges that were ultimately overcome. “It’s very much a relationship, a collaboration. There are 10 different ways you can do a room. Let’s find something you love and then let me push you a little further,” Wentz says. “Design is a feeling. It’s not a rule. It changes. If it feels good, it’s usually going to look good. You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t push the boundaries of ordinary.”
A heavy, dark ledgestone-clad wall in the primary bedroom was updated with crisp-white paneling that contrasts a bed wrapped in lilac Thibaut fabric and draperies from Laura Park Designs
Wentz didn’t quite convince the husband to let her wallpaper the ceilings in this home. But not to worry; the couple has already enlisted the designer to imbue another property of theirs with her interior magic. She’ll wear him down sooner or later.
The Villa Nova mural and draperies continue in the living room.
J.A.O. Architects & Planners
Lighting in entry and dining room, primary bath chandelier
Primary bedroom bench fabric
Primary bedroom chandelier
Primary bath accessories
RENNY & REED
RUG & KILIM
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICK SARGENT