Stay Awhile

Designer Sara McCann brings dégagé style to a fabulous waterfront estate.

The blue-and-white-clad loggia opens onto teak decking, which hosts a waterfront conversation area, as well as the requisite pool and hot tub. 

The family room boasts overflow seating via stools, poufs and a tufted ottoman-cum-coffee table.  

The open-concept dining area is crowned by a Visual Comfort chandelier.

A view of the property from above reveals discreet landscaping and a private dock.  

A whitewashed palette and soaking tub set the tone for relaxation in a guest bathroom. 

Cowtan & Tout’s blue Melbury print carries through to the adjacent bedroom, unifying the “VIP” guest suite.  

The master’s bed frame, pillows and window treatments feature an AERIN for Lee Jofa textile.

The neutral sitting room off the master bedroom enjoys sweeping Intracoastal views.

The built-in wet bar awaits entertaining. 

Walnut furnishings in the dining room are by Hickory Chair Furniture Co.  

In the mudroom, lantern pendants accentuate the vaulted ceiling. 

The ocean-facing office features furniture by Verellen, Hickory Chair Furniture Co. and Lee Industries, with a sisal rug by Fibreworks.  

How do you design a home for a family when you have little idea who that family will be? You appeal to where you are, of course, and, for Sara McCann, lead designer and president of McCann Design Group and owner of HIVE Home, Gift & Garden, this particular spot was rather extraordinary. The site of McCann’s next design challenge was a new construction home with gracious proportions, exquisite detailing and postcard views of the inlet and Intracoastal Waterway. Her mission was to craft a transitional decor scheme that would appeal to any Palm Beach enthusiast and leave them with little more to worry about than buying a toothbrush.

Having spent the past 15 years outfitting homes on the island, McCann had unique insight to aid in articulating this vision. “Palm Beach has changed even in the years I’ve been here,” she recalls. “It’s more informal. Our clients aren’t making dinner reservations every night. Instead, they’re cooking in or maybe hiring a caterer. People are really using their homes and designing them for the enjoyment of friends, family and houseguests.” Drawing on her tenure working with young families and the hostessing-inclined, McCann chose features like stalwart woven linen and cotton upholstery, and forgiving sisal rugs throughout.

When it came to decorative flourishes, sense of place framed each decision. In the great room and family rooms, maritime blue-and-white fabrics by Schumacher, Lee and Jane Churchill draw in the soft waves lapping at the dock, while polished nickel lighting by Visual Comfort brings to mind the cleats and bollards of the yachts that routinely glide past the windows en route to the marinas of Palm Beach. In the bedrooms, subtle botanical textiles echo the garden’s lush landscaping, and strategically placed natural fiber accents and sandy-toned textiles recall the island’s shoreline while also providing a neutral canvas for buyers to superimpose their own tastes, should they please.

Indeed, the true artistry of this home lies in its editing: “A lot of people abide by the philosophy that more is more with patterns and so forth,” muses McCann. “But there’s something very serene about the flow of our designs. You don’t walk in and wonder, where should my eye go?” In such a setting, without question, the answer is out to sea.