A designer unleashes her love of color in her family's summer home
The Palm Beach vacation home that interior designer Robin Weiss shares with her husband, Bill, might be pink, but sissy it’s not. The Bermuda-style exterior is bathed with a barely-there pastel of the girly hue. Inside, however, Robin concocted a decorative scheme that mimics the kind of tropical drink you might order at a swim-up bar—one charged with a high level of intensity not often replicated at home.
After all, the house—built and designed by Florida architect William Wietsma—is not the primary Weiss residence. Originally from Long Island, the couple headed west in 1976 when Bill’s job required moving his family to Wyoming. Becoming accustomed to scenic mountain views and long winters, Robin (who continues to operate a design business in Jackson Hole) veered toward warm, subdued colors and antique textures as a backdrop with Western flair. But once the Weisses decided to live part-time in Florida, she pulled out bold, bright tones for their vacation home and never looked back.
“I asked myself if I could get away with a palette that was so bright,” Robin explains. “I felt the rooms carried enough stature and grace to balance such drama. Each room was open on one side, so you were never bombarded by the color on all four walls.”
The vibrant look begins in the living room. Robin splashed the room with vivid color, but the bones of the structure and appointments of furniture are quite traditional. Classic moldings, windows, and a fireplace were painted white as a contrast to the mottled, hot pink finish on the walls. A sofa and a pair of club chairs upholstered in an orange-and-pink toile fabric were brought from the Palm Beach townhouse where the Weisses lived before their new home was built. A lattice-patterned ottoman placed between the two club chairs adds to the spirit of the space. To avoid having everything match, a white camelback sofa in front of the center French doors and a lacquered Asian-style coffee table lighten and diversify the room.
Traditional sensibilities pervade the dining room, too. A round bamboo table stained dark anchors the room under a gold-leafed crystal chandelier.
“I bought the chairs for my daughter, who lives in New York. But she no longer had room for them in her apartment,” Robin says, “so I sent them to Palm Beach. Then I combed the area to find additional ones until I had a set.”
The den tempers the shocking pink palette of the living and dining rooms but offers its own colorful statement with bright accents enlivening a neutral background of brown. Primarily used by Bill as an office, the room is handsomely attired. Enclosed by wood-paneled walls, the sofa and comfortable armchairs are covered in gray cotton fabric with rich red accents that imitate the color ratio of a quiet suit with a bright pocket square. To increase the room’s tropical feel—established by the botanical print that upholsters the furniture—ferns adorn a pair of black lamps, the sisal rug, and artwork.
In the breakfast room, where the kitchen’s green marble countertops inspired the green checks on cushions, toss pillows, and shades, a banquette on one side of the glass-and-iron table promotes easy traffic flow. The soft green of the tray ceiling adds a soothing ambience.
Femininity reigns in the master bedroom because Robin found a fabric that incorporated pink without being “too much” for her husband. The cotton-linen material features large graphic flowers instead of daintier versions that would have been too small for the scale of the room. To create cohesiveness, she upholstered all of the furniture pieces and the window panels in the same overscaled pattern.
Now that the house glows with colorful pizzazz, Robin doesn’t second-guess her bold choices. “I wouldn’t be able to get away with using bright pink in Jackson Hole,” says Robin. “This house allowed me to do whatever my imagination told me to. Florida homes are fun, bright, and cheerful. There is a certain freedom and a different protocol with a second home. I took advantage of it!”
Photography: Robert Brantley
Architect: William Wietsma, Wietsma Lippolis Construction, 1030 Basin Drive, Delray Beach, FL 33483; 561/274-4863, wietsmalippolisconstruction.com.
Interior Design: Robin Weiss, Cabin Fever, P.O. Box 14270, Jackson, WY 83002; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classic Florida Exterior
The Weisses completed their Palm Beach home in nine months.
Designer Robin Weiss made sure that every element coordinated with pink, including a bicycle that greets visitors at the gate.
Colorful Living Room
The sofa and chairs show off orange-and-pink toile, and the ottoman wears a coordinating trellis fabric, all from Brunschwig & Fils. Pink pillows made of Manuel Canovas cotton top the white love seat.
See details on the following slide.
The home’s carefree aesthetic is exemplified in the living room’s fabrics, an oh-so-Florida blend of vibrant colors and crisp whites.
Homeowner and designer Robin Weiss.
The signature raspberry pink of the Weiss home is the springboard for a lively mix of antiques and flea-market finds in the dining room.
See details on the following slide.
Bamboo trims a credenza and white-painted chair.
Sage and White Kitchen Palette
The green of the kitchen walls and granite countertops offsets the white painted cabinetry in the spacious kitchen. The tray ceiling above is painted a soft green to tie the room’s palette together.
See more of the kitchen on the following slides.
Airy Bar Stools
Cushions on kitchen stools from Williams Sonoma coordinate with pillows tossed on the banquette in the breakfast area.
Bright Breakfast Area
A striking antique chandelier hangs above an iron-and-glass table from Lane Venture. The table fronts a curving banquette where boldly patterned fabric from Manuel Canovas covers the cushions.
Pink paint—this time in a light pastel—was splashed over the outside walls of the house.
Pretty Path to the Pool
A path of large stepping stones leads from the house to the swimming pool.
Palm-framed Pool House
The pretty pink pool house is open on two sides, inviting fresh breezes and enhancing the area’s tropical feel.
Cerulean Guest Room
Wrapped in a dreamy cerulean paint, this guest bedroom amps up the classic blue-and-white color scheme with a punch of color from the painting above.
Walls lined in wood paneling imbue the study with a masculine sensibility.
Pink, White and Green Bedroom Scheme
Pink flowers bathe the master bedroom in feminine delight. The ivory-painted Lewis Mittman four-poster sports linens from Matouk, while a geometric rug by Stark Carpet hints at garden trellises.
See details on the following slide.
Cheerful Checked Vanity
Cheerful pink-and-white checks by Clarence House are shirred around the vanity.
Sweet Sitting Area
Robin wanted to incorporate comforting and soothing fabrics into the master bedroom without the fuss of multiple patterns. The same Manuel Canovas botanical print was used for the draperies and for the sofa and armchair upholstery.
Eye-Catching Bath Chandelier
The master bath carries a colorful yet restful palette, echoing the master bedroom. An eye-catching chandelier from MacKenzie-Childs hangs above the oval tub for a touch of colorful character.
Tranquil Guest Bedroom
Quiet pink coats the guest bedroom walls with tranquility, echoing the home’s pastel exterior. The painted Summer Hill bed promotes relaxation with embroidered Yves Delorme linens and a bed cover by Matouk.