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This 1960s West Palm Beach Bungalow Boasts Bohemian Flair

Sep 18, 2023

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Designer Gillian Segal transformed the home into a playful place for a young family.

After purchasing a 1960s bungalow in West Palm Beach, Florida, as a temporary residence while developing a new build, one young family found themselves all too enamored with the home. Although it had the ideal location and good bones, the interiors needed an update. So the homeowner tapped designer Gillian Segal to give it a quirky spin on traditional Palm Beach style mixed with West Coast and bohemian influences. "The house reminded [the client] of an old Hollywood Hills bungalow with wind chimes everywhere and open windows, so we embraced that idea," Segal says.

Originally, the one-story home's interiors were "very neutral and bland, which is nothing like the homeowner," Segal says. Spanning 2,400 square feet, the three-bedroom, three-bathroom home required what the designer calls a "cosmetic renovation and furnishing." The kitchen received all new surfaces—including a custom island with millwork and a bar built-in made of onyx. The bathrooms were updated without major structural changes, and all of the rooms were fully furnished.

Throughout the home, the client's ever-growing vintage collection adds character—from horn coffee tables in the living room to a collection of 12 hand-carved wood and leather dining chairs from the 1960s. Segal brought in color through wall paint, like Faded Terracotta by Farrow & Ball in the office, and patterned wallpaper to liven up a kid's room.

"Even as the build happens down the road, it sounds like this house will be staying in the family," Segal says, noting the neighborhood's strong sense of community. "Neighbors are always popping in and out, which is great for a young family that loves to socialize. We wanted the home to add to that fun and welcoming feeling."

"We designed the living room as a neutral backdrop to allow all of those pieces to shine," Segal says of the vintage items in the living room, including a vintage sofa covered in an Italian boucle fabric from Mac Fabrics and horn tables from Show Pony Vintage.

Millwork paint: Sand by Farrow & Ball. Floor lamp: Hive Home, Gift, and Garden. Wall art (James Bond): Samuel Own Gallery. Wicker cabinet: Show Pony Vintage. Gold chair and table lamp: vintage.

Draperies: Mac Fabrics / Terry Lynn. Sculpture: Show Pony Vintage. Rug: custom. Game table and wall art: vintage.

"While the general layout of the kitchen didn't change, everything else did," Segal says of the kitchen, which features a custom kitchen island with millwork details as a focal point and a showstopping built-in onyx bar.

Island: custom, JB Millwork. Countertop: Noel's Marble. Dining table: Show Pony Vintage. Pendants, dining chairs, and light fixture over the dining table: vintage. Sheepskins: client's own.

"Every project the client and I do together has to have an epic, color-drenched office," Segal says. "In the last home, it was green. For this home, we dunked this room in Faded Terracotta by Farrow & Ball."

Rugs: RH. Draperies: custom, Mac Fabrics. Art, side tables, and table lamps: Hive Home, Gift, and Garden. Accent chairs: vintage, in Manuel Canovas and Kelly Wearstler fabrics. Coffee table: vintage with Kelly Wearstler cushion. Desk chairs: vintage, Knoll. Desk, light fixture, sofa, and sofa fabric: vintage.

"Using a quintessential Palm Beach shade, we continued our monochromatic style into the powder bathroom," Segal says.

Wall and vanity paint: Faded Terracotta by Farrow & Ball. Mirror: Show Pony Vintage. Sconces: vintage.

For the primary bedroom, Segal and the homeowner wanted to pack a punch without going bright. "We went moody and monochromatic," Segal says. "This allows for so many vintage treasures to pop in the space."

Bedding: Matteo. Bedside table: Show Pony Vintage. Bed, headboard, and fabric: custom vegetable-dyed linen from the client's own garment factory.

A delicate vintage sconce, placed between curved mirrors sourced from Mecox, adds romance to the primary bathroom.

"This Roller Rabbit wallpaper pattern was perfect for a child's bedroom," Segal says. "We decided to go big with it and use it in both the bedding and wallpaper."

Bed: RH. Bedding: Matteo. Bedside table and lamp: vintage.

"This children's bedroom was one of the few places we went more neutral in, but we couldn't resist a pop of graphic color in the lamp," Segal says.

Bed, fabric, and draperies: Mac Fabrics. Bedding: custom, Matteo. Draperies: Mac Fabrics. Rug: Anthropologie. Bedside table: Show Pony Vintage. Bedside lamp: Crate & Barrel.

House Beautiful : What are a few ways you achieved your vision?

Gillian Segal: We wanted to add personality and richness to the space without massive renovations so we integrated bold colors, special materials, and unique pieces to tell a story.

HB : Where did the majority of the budget go?

GS: A new kitchen and lots of fabulous vintage furnishings and art!

HB : How did you save money/DIY/get crafty?

GS: So many of the items throughout the house were sourced locally and were vintage. Not only is this better for the environment and helps to keep items out of landfills, but it can also be helpful on the budget. Working with local craftspeople who we and the client have existing relationships with also helped to keep the budget in check. Lastly, using items that were meaningful to the client as decor (i.e her existing collection of fabulous hats) was a great way to cut costs.

HB : Any other memorable details?

GS: Overall, I think it's really about the atmosphere of the space and the fact that each room has its own unique mood and vibe.

The client is special because we have now done so many homes together that we have an almost unspoken creative collaboration rhythm. I’m so grateful our working relationship has turned into an incredible friendship, and it really is a truly collaborative process. She often comes to me with a really strong idea of a vibe, and I work with her to flesh this out, elevate and edit ideas, and then detail it out in a way it can be executed, which she helps a lot with and constantly jokes that she is my "worker bee." She's a dream client!

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Millwork paint: Floor lamp: Wall art (James Bond): Wicker cabinet: Gold chair table lamp: Draperies: Sculpture: Rug: Game table wall art Island: Countertop: Dining table: Pendants, dining chairs, light fixture over the dining table Sheepskins: Rugs Draperies Art, side tables, and table lamps Accent chairs Coffee table Desk chairs Desk, light fixture, sofa, and sofa fabric Wall and vanity paint Mirror Sconces Bedding Bedside table Bed, headboard, and fabric Bed: Bedding Bedside table lamp Bed, fabric, draperies Bedding Draperies Rug Bedside table Bedside lamp House Beautiful : What are a few ways you achieved your vision? HB : Where did the majority of the budget go? HB : How did you save money/DIY/get crafty? HB : Any other memorable details?