A West Palm Beach Home With “No White Walls”

May 15, 2024 | Press and Magazines

How designer Cece Bowman of Kemble Interiors made the palette cohesive, but not “matchy-matchy.”

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ne way to make designers pause? Tell them nothing should match. When a West Palm Beach family commissioned a new home, the clients were clear that a fresh start did not equal a blank slate. “We decided there would be almost no white in the house,” Cece Bowman of Kemble Interiors says. The designer quickly became accustomed to calls alerting her that monkey sconces were en route, that navy tile had been ordered for an otherwise teal-and-cream room, and other decorative leaps of faith. “It became a fun competition to see which of us could push the envelope the furthest,” Bowman says.

Admittedly, it was less serendipity and more coordination that brought the house together. “The paints and wallcoverings took three full workdays alone to plan,” the designer says, noting that all elements—from the ceilings to the air-conditioning registers—take the design to the next level. The resulting cohesive yet not matchy-matchy palette reinforces the tropical layout crafted by Austin DePree of Northworks.

We decided there would be almost no white in the house.

He designed the new build around a central courtyard, turning the house toward its center and minimizing transitional spaces in favor of an open sequence of rooms. Architecturally and thematically, the home flows from one area to another but is always oriented to the courtyard.

It’s all a twist on the South Florida standard, from positioning the home away from the street and opting for pale pink shutters over quotidian blue to putting a cricket table in the family room. “In the end,” Bowman says, “it all works.”


Building from the ground up let Northworks architects configure the home around a courtyard rather than face the street of this dense West Palm Beach neighborhood. Pineapple lights: Kemble Interiors.


“This is the first thing you see when you walk into the house, so there were James Bond maneuvers to hide the washer and dryer,” Bowman says. Paint: Blue Nose (trim), Benjamin MooreWallcovering: St. FrankFaucet: Newport BrassSink: Kohler.

Sitting Room

No surface was left plain: Schumacher chevron inlay covers the ceiling. Paint: Del Mar Blue, Benjamin Moore. Coffee table: Worlds AwayWallcovering: Peter FasanoChairs: Hickory Chair (armchairs). Creel and Gow (rattan). Sofa: Century Furniture in Perennials fabric.

Family Room

A continuation of the kitchen, this is the home’s main hub. Sofa and ottoman: custom. Cricket table: Mario Lopez Torres.

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TV: SamsungChair: Palecek, in Peter Fasano fabricLight: Shades from the Midnight SunWallcovering: Schumacher (foyer).


Every appliance is concealed by painted paneling. Counter stools: Artistic FramePendants: Weplight, with Radish Moon fabricBacksplash: Tiles of Ezra.

Breakfast nook

Bowman chose a seafoam green for the spot where the family enjoys casual meals. Wallcovering: Phillip JeffriesChandelier: Julie NeillChairs: Design Within Reach, in Pierre Frey fabricTable: custom.

Dining Room

Bunk Room

Bowman turned a tiny space into a spare bedroom for the children’s friends. Floor tile: Mirth StudioWallcovering: ThibautPaint: Cloud White (trim, bunks) and In Your Eyes (ceiling), Benjamin Moore.

Girl’s Room

The room was decorated so that (optimistically) it will last through her teen years. Paint: Sprout, Sherwin-WilliamsWallcovering: Pacific Designs International (ceiling). Nightstand: Chelsea TextilesSconces: PalecekCurtains: Lisa Fine TextilesBedding: MatoukBed: Coley Home.

Primary Bathroom


Painted cement tile by Sabine Hill and Perennials performance fabric can withstand post-pool hangouts. Paint: Marry Me (cabinets), Benjamin MooreWallcovering: Pacific Designs InternationalSofa: vintage.


Pool House

Shutters painted in Pink Cloud by Benjamin Moore are a subtle departure from the neighboring homes—yet still wholly Floridian.