Rich Colors Set Off a Treasure Trove of Antiques in This Waterfront Condo
Sometimes the good life gets even better. Just ask Rusty Glenn. The longtime floral designer had an enviable business and home in Dallas. But when a private club in sunny Palm Beach, Florida, enticed him with an offer to become their party designer, Rusty started packing.
Now the Texas transplant is thriving in his new digs—thanks to a little help from a friend. Interior designer Josh Pickering directed a renovation of Rusty's waterfront condo, updating both the interior architecture and interior design. "I wanted to make sure he had a lovely place to be as he began his next chapter," Pickering says.
Step one: Introduce character—and serious wow factor—to the living room. Pickering installed classic plaster crown moldings and friezes, then slathered the ceiling with high-gloss white paint that reflects 11th-floor views of palm trees and Palm Beach Island beyond. "It makes the room look like it's two stories tall," Rusty says. "It's amazing."
Florida sunshine streams into Rusty's renovated condo, reflecting off the glossy ceiling to illuminate comfortable new furniture and enchanting antiques, including a Chinese export Coromandel screen and Italian and Biedermeier side tables. Amenities include a balcony with views of Palm Beach Island.
Luxury on a Texas scale also unfurls underfoot. "Josh had to talk me into the huge cowhide rug," Rusty says with a laugh. "After all, I was the one paying for it. But I'm so glad I agreed to it—it's super cool. I'm a traditionalist at heart, but I like things that bring in a little bit of an edge."
Another surprise comes in the form of a vintage Asian lacquer screen, which acts as large-scale art behind the living room sofa. "I love the contrast between the big dark screen and the cream-color room," Pickering says. "It's such a fun, graphic moment."
The screen, one of the first things Rusty and Pickering purchased for the condo, also served as inspiration. "Its greens and copper colors were the jumping-off point for the home's color scheme," Pickering says.
Pickering layered the condo with classic interior architecture including moldings and a marble fireplace surround, which he framed with a pair of wall niches. Velvet-covered slipper chairs cozy up to the brick hearth.
Green and copper hues pop on pillows and chairs in the neutral living room and dazzle in the jewel-box dining space, a former bedroom that Pickering opened to the main gathering area. Green lacquered walls cocoon cane-back chairs and a wood-topped Saarinen table while green-and-white floral draperies frame outdoor views.
Walls coated in Sherwin-Williams "Green Sprout" set a botanical tone that's complemented by draperies crafted from Kravet's "Indage" fabric in Aloe.
A built-in china cabinet showcases a treasured trove of Flora Danica dinnerware. "I fell in love with those spectacular hand-painted botanicals the first time I laid eyes on them years ago in a client's house," Rusty says. "When I saw the light in my new dining room, I said, 'I know what I'm going to collect now. I'm finally getting my Flora Danica.'"
Built-ins showcase Rusty's beloved books and Flora Danica dinnerware in the hall.
"Rusty is a true collector—never just one of anything," Pickering says. "He had antiques and art—a mix of Impressionist, Cubist, and old oil landscapes—that we expanded. We also added a few fun modern lithographs. I love the blend of different styles and periods."
The thoughtful mix continues in furnishings. Timeless burl-wood chests and gilt-frame mirrors comfortably cohabit with a clean-lined sofa and light natural-wood floors. "It's a very traditional design but feels appropriate to the home's setting on the water," Pickering says.
Vintage bamboo chairs carry the home's thread of wood into the kitchen, a hardworking galley setup with a soothing gray palette. Marble floors add a dash of pattern. "It's a happy, cheerful space," Pickering says.
Benjamin Moore "Bunny Gray" paint on cabinets and walls sets a calm mood as it meshes with deeper gray tones in countertops.
When it comes to sunny attitude, though, it's hard to outshine the primary bedroom. Yellow draperies infuse warmth while a custom pineapple-finialed bed that Pickering designed and a gold-tooled leather headboard recline in an island paradise of black-and-white mural wallpaper. "The tropical flora and fauna really create a magical setting," Pickering says.
Scenic wallpaper from Iksel makes Rusty's sanctuary feel like a tropical paradise.
In this environment, it's no wonder Rusty's mood remains in a constant sunshine state. "This is a new lease on life for him," Pickering says, "in a home filled with optimism."