Wake up Palm Beach to new season, fresh style

Wake up Palm Beach to new season, fresh style
By Carleton Varney

Special to the Daily News

It’s wake-up time again in Palm Beach. Season 2010-11 is practically upon us, and just last weekend, I was reading my Shiny Sheet to discover events planned for the coming months. Those of you who are not on island this week will surely want to catch up with the events on the season’s roster.

For those who are on the island, one of the ways you know that Palm Beach is in wake-up mode is that you see shops opening up or being freshened for fall.

There are other signs, as well. This week, I was working on a couple of get-ready residences for clients, and I saw that the parking areas at the buildings were filled with small vehicles and trucks with their sides serving as billboards for their businesses — paint contractors, carpet layers, electricians. All of the trucks were empty of their drivers, because, I assume, they were all inside getting the interiors ready.

It was the same story at La Coquille Club in Manalapan, which had all of its parking spaces filled, as workers strive to complete everything by the Oct. 1 deadline.

The street enhancement project on Worth Avenue is expected to be finished in mid-November, so it will be ready for the season as well. And seeing contractors working again on the former Heart of Palm Beach hotel on Royal Palm Way warmed my heart. I always loved that hotel and I am anxious to see the new interior under its present owners. Friends have told me that the interior design of the renamed Palm House luxury hotel/condominium will be somewhat Balinese in flavor, and if that proves to be the case, it will be appropriate for Palm Beach, assuredly.

I have visited the South Pacific on a few occasions. Bali, Bora Bora and Moorea are three of the spots that love the look of bamboo patterns, happy colors, Siam prints, batiks — the classic look of the South Pacific in the Mary Martin manner. Hopefully, you’ll also remember that Miss Martin and Enzio Pinza starred in the original Broadway version of South Pacific. I hope I’m not showing my age, although I never saw the original 1949 stage version. I waited for the 1958 movie version starring Mitzi Gaynor.

If you have a mind to create a Balinese look for your bedroom, remember that rattan should be the choice for your furniture sections — and draping your bed in fine cotton gauze is also appropriate.

Bali sings of tile floors covered with Tatami-style rugs, maybe bordered in black. At the windows — on bamboo poles — hang panels in a cotton printed fabric, perhaps a design in pink, chartreuse, copper, bronze and citrus green. For the walls, consider crisp white or clay terracotta. Or if budget and climate conditions permit, your walls could be covered in a natural rattan material, either a wall vinyl or a textured wallcovering.

Bali-style rooms feature ceiling fans such as those seen in the old Charlie Chan movies. And for end tables beside the bed, either black or terracotta-red Chinese chests would be a good choice.

For a handsome bedroom chair, select a planter’s-style chaise and accent it with throw cushions in those exotically colored silks you can find throughout Indonesia.

And if you can find one or two of those fascinating — and well-dressed — traditional Balinese rod puppets to display in your room, so much the better!

Your tranquil Bali-inspired bedroom certainly would be a nice place to awake to. Meanwhile, Palm Beach is getting a wake-up call. Happily, there is still a bit of time to get ready for what promises to be a super season.


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