A French Design with Southern Comforts

For the color palette, Foster drew inspiration from the ocean outside—and from her client. “She is a petite blond with blue eyes who wears a lot of pink and loves blue and red as well. She looks wonderful in these rooms,” says the designer. “Also, we are in Florida, and it gets hot, so blue in rooms gives the impression of coolness.” Most of the fabrics—checks, damasks, and florals—bring a liveliness without overwhelming the beautiful blues.

Special furniture and decorative details created exclusively for the home also influence the distinctive French attitude of the décor. “I think it is part of a decorator’s job to offer a closetful of great artisans to her clients to help them get exactly what they are dreaming about,” says Foster. “We also often save money with custom pieces rather than antiques.

The homeowner was interested in a $40,000 painted chest that was at auction. Instead, I had Toczek paint a good-quality secondhand one, and the result is stunning for much less.” A pair of beautiful custom-made black lacquered cabinets displays collections of porcelain, while a chandelier made of wood with gesso and imbedded with coral and shells dazzles in a living room. Foster also engaged a New York embroidery firm to add unique detailing to window treatments and bedding. Foster—not a fan of fads—promises these rooms will stand the test of time. “In decorating, we went from all beige-and-white rooms to
extremes of color,” she says. “I believe in the tried-and-true. You can move things around and add to if you feel the need for change. And always buy pieces that you love, not because something is in vogue.”

Text by Alice Welsh Doyle | Photography by Erik Kvalsvik

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