While droves of design enthusiasts have flocked to sunny Miami this week for Design Miami and Art Basel, a hidden design gem lies just one hour north on A1A highway. Palm Beach, Florida, a tiny island long heralded as a bastion of both the luxurious and the sophisticated, has become a recent hot spot for young interior designers.
With the Kips Bay Designer Show House opening up a satellite operation in town this January, and countless new stores popping up on every Via off of Worth Avenue, the land of Addison Mizner architecture, Kennedy mythology, and Pulitzer pink is getting an updated look with chic housewares, not-to-miss vintage, and a bevy of buzzy restaurants.
Below, a guide to hitting the best in up-and-coming art and design while paying homage to the town’s rich and unique history.
Where to Stay
The Breakers is an iconic and historic resort located smack on the ocean in the middle of town, walking distance from both famed shopping on Worth Avenue and the recently revitalized Royal Poinciana Plaza. Dripping with quintessential Palm Beach charm, the rooms are outfitted with bamboo beds and bountiful botanical prints. Incredibly family friendly, the resort offers beach service, tennis, golf, a kid’s club, and more. But the real reason design aficionados will flock come winter is its history: after fires ravaged the original property in both 1903 and 1925, Breakers founder Henry M. Flagler (of Standard Oil fame) reopened the property in 1926 with help from New York architects Schultze and Weaver—the same creative minds who brought to life iconic hotels such as the Pierre, Sherry-Netherland and Park Avenue’s Waldorf Astoria. Recently renovated, the hotel maintains much of its original integrity (the ceilings in the lobby entrance are not to be missed; nor are the legendary Christmas decorations) but with an updated twist: HMF, a recent addition, is the place to be seen for drinks before (or after) dinner.
The Colony, another beloved locale, was also recently revamped: Vogue alum, author, and artist Kate Schelter helped the historic hotel freshen up with a beautiful new logo and a charming rendering of Palm Beach’s favorite mascot—Johnnie Brown, architect Addison Mizner’s famous pet monkey from the 1920s. (He’s actually buried in the courtyard outside of local favorite pizzeria, Pizza Al Fresco; Mizner’s apartment overlooked the restaurant.) For over seventy years, The Colony has welcomed U.S. presidents, European royalty, and winter season snowbirds. With banana leaf print and vintage pink and green murano chandeliers galore, a five-year, $18 million top-to-bottom renovation energized its 90 guest rooms, suites, villas, and penthouses, reiterating “Palm Beach chic” with a modern lens.