From Sunrise to Sunset

From Sunrise to Sunset, Florida Design, Volume 24#3.

One executive couple embraces their love for tradition in a waterfront condominium with panoramic views fo the sea and sky….

The homeowners knew exactly what they wanted for their Fort Lauderdale, Fla., condominium that has glorious wraparound water views. The Chairman and CEO of Auto Nation, the largest retailer of vehicles in the United States, and his wife, Senior Vice President of the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, imagined a traditional look with an updated twist. The home, which is their primary residence, needed to accommodate their busy lifestyle rich with work, philanthropy and entertaining.

The six-month collaboration between the executive couple and their interior designer Dianne Davant was as sparkling and smooth as their 6,677-square-foot homes spectacular water views. “Mike and Alice are quick decision makers,” says Davant, who had worked with them before on another Fort Lauderdale project. “We were all on the same page from the beginning,” she says.

The couple, who are philanthropists involved with numerous charitable organizations, as well as patrons of the arts, frequently hosts large gatherings, so it was most important for the designer to create a grand living space that was conducive to entertaining.

To begin, Davant designed the spacious apartment in a warm palette of soft gold, terracotta, silver and aqua hues that mix well with the owners’ collection of antiques — one of their passions. “Mike and Alice like tranquil colors … after a long day at work they need that contrast,” Davant says.

The open living area provides views of the sea and downtown Fort Lauderdale. The designer arranged this elegant space into both a formal and casual sitting area with soft apricot and gold tones throughout that connect by Thassos marble flooring. In the casual space, fashioned with comfortable furnishings that include armchairs from Tomlinson upholstered in a velvet on linen, dot fabric from Jane Churchill, the Jacksons can lounge and admire their antiques while they take in stunning sunsets. Davant purposely kept the theme low-key. “I didn’t want the furnishings to overwhelm,” the designer says. “We placed two small antiques, a pair of Etruscan and Hellenistic statue heads, on an occasional table,” she says. “They add texture but do not disturb the view.”

In the crisp white kitchen, Eurocraft cabinetry, a simple backsplash, new tiles and updated appliances convey a space that is light, airy and modern. “The former kitchen was dated so we totally transformed it to create a new, uncluttered look,” the designer says. A separate breakfast area also takes advantage of the homes picturesque water views.

The master bedroom suite is the busy couple’s sanctuary. Softened with pale silver and aqua tones, the room’s closet is outfitted with an elegant sitting area that features a mirrored vanity and a chair from Century clad in a pale-aqua-paisley fabric from Beacon Hill. Floor-to-ceiling windows covered in Kravet’s blue, sheer scroll draperies, provide a view of the Intracoastal Waterway from another sitting area that engages the eye with armchairs clad in an animal print and an ottoman patterned with a silvery leaf design. Davant recalls the day the interiors were completed. The Jacksons had been away on a trip. When they returned, she purchased fresh flowers, arranged new plants and chilled champagne to celebrate. “Mike and Alice were thrilled when they opened the door, “she says. “They were so glad I was able to create everything they wanted.”