Designer Homes

Tour Kelly Klein’s Breezy Palm Beach Getaway

Tour Kelly Klein’s Breezy Palm Beach Getaway
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Perched on the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach, Kelly Klein’s compact stucco house gives her and her seven-year-old son, Lukas, unrestrained access to the outdoors they love—and demands very little in return. “I couldn’t be more happy with this house,” Kelly says. “It’s very simple and small. but architecturally it’s quite different. And it’s tiny, so it’s so easy to take care of.” Having worked in the worlds of art, design, and fashion for decades (Photographs by Kelly Klein, her first book of her own photographs, is due out in October from Rizzoli), Kelly is able to execute her vision with ease. “I love modernism,” she says, “but I also like the feeling of warmth.” Though the dwelling is impeccably clean-lined and modern, it’s also serene and welcoming.

A restrained palette and unfinished woods lend a serene, casual look; the dining table was commissioned from Lars Bolander.

A restrained palette and unfinished woods lend a serene, casual look; the dining table was commissioned from Lars Bolander.

Outdoorsy pieces—including deck chairs and a sisal rug—used indoors contribute to the house’s easy-breezy feel.

Outdoorsy pieces—including deck chairs and a sisal rug—used indoors contribute to the house’s easy-breezy feel.

A Solid Foundation

To ensure her winter home would feel calm but not austere, Klein paid special attention to its primary materials. “I make a really big deal about floors. They’re the first thing you encounter when you walk in, and I think they’re the soul of the house.” She opted for poured concrete in a pale parchment color and complemented this simplicity with plenty of organic materials, including unvarnished wood accents in pale, beachy tones. “Everything in the house is very natural—natural colors, natural woods. Nothing is shiny. It’s all in its natural state.”

A solitary poppy, captured by photographer Anita Calero, and an antique sand-colored sculpture from Mali share the same elegant simplicity of form.

A solitary poppy, captured by photographer Anita Calero, and an antique sand-colored sculpture from Mali share the same elegant simplicity of form.

Though the house has little color, it abounds in natural textures. A rugged bowl of shells and rocks shares shelf space with two African masks.

Though the house has little color, it abounds in natural textures. A rugged bowl of shells and rocks shares shelf space with two African masks.

The stools were crafted by Kelly’s friend Marsia Holzer, a designer known for working with recycled woods and other natural materials; she also made the wishbone sculpture featured on an end table in the living area.

The stools were crafted by Kelly’s friend Marsia Holzer, a designer known for working with recycled woods and other natural materials; she also made the wishbone sculpture featured on an end table in the living area.

Hold the Color

The house’s serenity is rooted in its calm palette of creams, beiges, and sands. “I don’t put color on the walls or on the fabrics or in the makeup of the house,” says Kelly, who has always favored neutrals. “I really admire people who can decorate with lots of color, and I know plenty of people who have beautiful colorful homes. I just prefer to live in what for me is a more calm space.” But the house isn’t completely devoid of hues: There are tiny splashes of color in the art on the walls, in the vintage Navajo blankets Kelly collects and displays, and in the orchids she grows in her backyard. “One of the wonderful things about Florida is the orchid farms. They have every species and every color you can imagine, and a plant that might be $125 in New York is $25 in Florida, so you can really fill up your house.”

The house’s airiness extends into the kitchen, where open shelving holds Kelly’s collection of dishes and serveware, all in the same low-key palette and natural materials as the rest of the home.

The house’s airiness extends into the kitchen, where open shelving holds Kelly’s collection of dishes and serveware, all in the same low-key palette and natural materials as the rest of the home.

This breezy hammock is a favorite spot for Kelly to lounge and read the newspapers while she watches her son play.

This breezy hammock is a favorite spot for Kelly to lounge and read the newspapers while she watches her son play.

Kelly is a low-key entertainer: She rarely has more than six people over at once, and most of her entertaining is done on the terrace, where a built-in fireplace keeps things cozy year-round.

Kelly is a low-key entertainer: She rarely has more than six people over at once, and most of her entertaining is done on the terrace, where a built-in fireplace keeps things cozy year-round.

No-Door Policy

An open kitchen-dining-living space is perfectly suited to Kelly’s casual entertaining style and brings Kelly, Lukas, and their guests a special feeling of togetherness. “It’s a great way of remaining connected to your family,” she says. A set of teak doors can be rolled open to grant access to the covered outdoor terrace area, erasing the line between indoors and out, and an outdoor fireplace (indispensable during Florida’s cold snaps) makes it possible to eat outside whenever they choose. “Florida is about outdoor life,” says Klein.

Bleached oak floors, pale walls, and matching linens make for a serene retreat. The horse photographs throughout the house, testament to Kelly’s love of horses and years of competitive riding, are by Steven Klein.

Bleached oak floors, pale walls, and matching linens make for a serene retreat. The horse photographs throughout the house, testament to Kelly’s love of horses and years of competitive riding, are by Steven Klein.

Color photographs by Slim Aarons and a basket of towels—set out to make them easy for guests to grab before hitting the pool—provide striking pops of color in an otherwise subdued home.

Color photographs by Slim Aarons and a basket of towels—set out to make them easy for guests to grab before hitting the pool—provide striking pops of color in an otherwise subdued home.

The minimalist sconces are from Workstead. “I prefer sconces to lamps because they disappear,” says Kelly. “They make less of a statement in the room, and they don’t take up space on a side table where you already have your iPad and phone and computer.”

The minimalist sconces are from Workstead. “I prefer sconces to lamps because they disappear,” says Kelly. “They make less of a statement in the room, and they don’t take up space on a side table where you already have your iPad and phone and computer.”

Kelly likes this Hans Wegner circle chair for its shape, color, comfort, and classic Danish style.

Kelly likes this Hans Wegner circle chair for its shape, color, comfort, and classic Danish style.

A plump pale-gray sectional is the perfect lounging spot for an evening in. “I’m an older mom,” says Kelly. “So by the time Lukas is in bed, I’m done.”

A plump pale-gray sectional is the perfect lounging spot for an evening in. “I’m an older mom,” says Kelly. “So by the time Lukas is in bed, I’m done.”

Jewelry is casually stashed in a handcrafted Ecuadoran bowl. “I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but I do periodically throw on some organic things like turquoise or coral beads or pearls with summer dresses.”

Jewelry is casually stashed in a handcrafted Ecuadoran bowl. “I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but I do periodically throw on some organic things like turquoise or coral beads or pearls with summer dresses.”

A Bed Grown in Brooklyn

Years ago Kelly found a stash of reclaimed pine in Brooklyn and used it as a wall in one of her New York studios. Though she eventually had to give up the studio, she wasn’t ready to give up the wood, so she tucked it away in storage. Years later, when the Palm Beach house was being built and Lukas was ready to graduate from crib to bed, she had an inspiration. “I remembered I had this beautiful reclaimed wood, and I thought, I’m going to make a car-shape bed, because my son loves cars.” With the help of her architects, she did just that, using the handsome slabs to create a full-size bed—guaranteeing it will be big enough for him for years to come. “It just fits perfectly in the space, it works in the house, and he loves it.”

Natural light floods the one-level home during the days; at night, an industrial chandelier from Workstead lights the dining area.

Natural light floods the one-level home during the days; at night, an industrial chandelier from Workstead lights the dining area.

Many cultivated orchids are epiphytes, plants that don’t need to root in soil and can grow on another plant without harming it. Kelly buys them at the farms that abound in Florida and installs them on the trees in her backyard.

Many cultivated orchids are epiphytes, plants that don’t need to root in soil and can grow on another plant without harming it. Kelly buys them at the farms that abound in Florida and installs them on the trees in her backyard.

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One Response to “Tour Kelly Klein’s Breezy Palm Beach Getaway”

  1. Zane says:

    I love this house so much! What a dream!

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