Once in a blue moon, I experience a house that makes me weak in the knees. It is the kind of emotional response that one has to a great work of art or experiencing a heavenly moment in nature. I was fortunate enough to visit this beauty last winter on an architectural tour in Palm Beach. What started as a non-descript ranch was transformed into an exotic compound in a tropical garden by architectural genius Peter Marino. I had first read about this property in the book Palm Beach Chic by Jennifer Ash Rudick. I was instantly enchanted by the home of Kathy and the late Billy Rayner. Images do not do this magical oasis justice…Enjoy the tour!
We entered the property through the pool pavilion inspired by Billy Rayner’s sketches of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. The Rayners had been friends with Peter Marino since the 1970s before he had designed Andy Warhol’s townhouse. “Peter can do anything. He has a phenomenal eye for detail. He visualizes most things in his head. He just hooks on to one fact about a client and goes from there.” says Rayner. Marino focussed on the couple’s wanderlust to drive the design of the project describing it as a “reflection of their appreciation of Ottoman-inspired and Moroccan-crafted architecture.”
The entrance is highlighted by typical Persian elements including a tile floor, deep orange walls stenciled in blue, symmetrical plantings, and intricate stonework. The other side of the Pavillion features a blue reflecting pool, potted roses, coquina fountains, silver date palms, and Chinese evergreens. Landscape architect Michael Peasley won the prestigious Lesley S. Smith Landscape Award from the The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach for this masterpiece.
A plethora of patterns on the banquettes lining the walls of the pavillion fit in perfectly with the maximalist decor.
Intricate wooden doorways open onto the Persian Garden.
Carved wooden furniture, exotic textiles, and objects collected from a lifetime of travel adorn every inch of the interior.
A multi-colored floral patterned tile fireplace surround provides a focal point for one wall of the interior.
Guest rooms on either side of the house ensure privacy and no surface has been neglected. The riot of pattern in pink, blue, gold and orange overlooks the reflecting pool under the elaborate domed ceiling.
Whimsical details delight at every turn…from the fountains to the beautifically executed stonework.
Stay tuned for more to come on the main house and exceptional gardens. All excepts and quotes taken from Palm Beach Chic by Jennifer Ash Rudick.
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