In This Palm Beach Home, Each Room Has Its Own Personality

Interior designer Gillian Segal experimented with a design tactic she calls “dunking,” and the result is magical.

In This Palm Beach Home, Each Room Has Its Own Personality
Photo: Courtesy of Nick Mele

“We call it dunking,” Vancouver-based interior designer Gillian Segal explains, referring to her tactic to douse an entire room in one color—drywall, ceilings, even molding—as if it were literally “dunked” in a paint can. Whether it’s an allover color-soak or a painted mural, Segal often pays attention to what she dubs the “fifth wall”—the rest of us call it a ceiling—as yet another vehicle for creative expression.

In a recent Palm Beach project, Segal outfitted a home office completely in Farrow & Ball’s Card Room Green. She then kept the furniture in that same scheme, selecting similar shades of green balanced with creamy whites and the occasional pop of mustard. In both the dining room and living room, Segal “dunked” entire rooms in black (Benjamin Moore’s Deep Caviar), neither of which feel like caves but rather moody dens. The dining room houses teal-hued art and a creamy white rug to offset the harsh walls. The living room is complete with wavy couches and mirrors rendered in juxtaposed warm shades of pink. Though this caviar case study of “dunking” may seem daunting for many homeowners, a subtle gray or blush pink could achieve the same result sans the shock factor. Luckily, the client was up for the challenge.

Originally a spec home, the space was in dire need of personality to match the homeowner’s vivacity (note the ostentatious hues). Aside from Segal’s eye-catching color work, she implemented elements like unique millwork to dress up the walls even further. “We added [what we call] lightning bolt moldings in the principal bedroom,” she says of a zigzag-like break in the typically clean lines. In the office, ‘70s-esque curvature adorns built-in cabinetry in a manner similar in eccentricity yet totally different in effect. “I love traditional design and traditional detailing, but we're always looking for ways to add a more contemporary spin,” Segal explains.

The final result achieves the desired modernity and pizazz without renouncing Palm Beach’s signature charm. Peppered throughout the home’s contemporary bulbous furniture and art fixtures, you’ll find nods to the locale in the form of rattan vintage finds and grasscloth wallpaper. “We [still] wanted there to be this element of glamour, which I think is so synonymous with Palm Beach,” Segal says. Discover more about how this project came together via Zoom during the height of the pandemic and get inspo for your own home, below.

Shop the Story:

Original Ultrafragola Mirror

Ettore Sottsass for Poltronova

The TK Stool

Thomas Hayes

Snake and Pomegranate Rug

Studio Shamshiri
$Upon Request

Zuma Dining Chair

Kelly Wearstler
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