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Beyond the Walls

Marc-Michaels Featured in Interiors Magazine

Marc-Michaels Interior Design received the honor of being featured on the cover of the August/September 2023 issue of Interiors Magazine! Please enjoy the full text of the article below.


Labor of Love

Interior Design: Marc-Michaels
Text: Erika Heet
Photography: Jessica Glynn


With just a whisper more than 400 year-round residents, Manalapan, Florida, is a serene coastal enclave in Palm Beach County, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Marc-Michaels Interior Design knows the area well, having built and designed among the most notable contemporary projects in Boca Raton, Palm Beach, and the entire Gold Coast. As such, when it came to designing and building a repeat client’s ground-up primary residence situated on the waterway, principal Marc Thee, senior project manager Michael Cohen, and senior designer, interior detailing Lauren Alspaugh were well prepared to create something exceptional.

“This project gave our clients a chance to be involved in the design process with us from start to finish,” Alspaugh says. “There were a few specific requests, but we were given a great amount of design freedom to ‘go for it’ in virtually every space.” That spirit is indeed infused into the rooms, especially the living and dining areas, punctuated and organized by strong stone-clad columns whose surface texture is reminiscent of smooth lines left by water rising and receding on the sandy shore. Wood accents on the columns, walls and ceilings add a modern element of surprise and bring warmth to the inside, tempering the home’s strong exterior materials – cast stone, stucco and porcelain faux wood.

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The living room palette is neutral, save for a hint of what’s to come throughout the house. The sofa, from A. Rudin, is covered in Maharam leather and Holly Hunt fabric in tones of cool blue – the client’s favorite color. “Muted blues, grays, and neutrals set a tranquil mood in the living and dining spaces,” Alspaugh notes. “The color intensifies into the bar and club rooms, where there are pops of orange and deeper shades of blue.”

The living room is also where the home’s extraordinary lighting selections are established, starting with custom Oracle pendants by Christopher Boots. “We wanted something dramatic and contemporary,” Cohen says. “We like to have our lighting be somewhat of a showstopper.” That approach continues in the dining room, with two 17-light Vail chandeliers from Fuse Lighting that dangle from the ceiling like a pair of earrings. Scale was “a big factor” in this choice, Cohen says. With the custom, 14-foot-long dining table made by Mark Jupiter, “We needed something that would fill the space. We used two chandeliers to really amp up the drama. The mix of metal with smoked glass gives it a modern look.” The smoky hue is offset by the high shine of the room’s sculptural stainless steel, mirror-finish Nella Vetrina console and low tables.

A sense of play unfolds in the club room, where the owner’s beloved blue is found on the surface of the 11 Ravens pool table, the Flexform sofa with Weitzner fabric and the water views just outside. Blue carries through to the lounge, with its glossy dark cobalt ceiling panels, and the custom backlit bar, beyond which is the wine cellar, with Shakuff pendants and A. Rudin barstools.

As for the primary bedroom, “We wanted to go with a moodier scheme, and we were able to do so because of all the natural light,” Cohen says. The reflectivity of the Roche Bobois nightstands pulls in the changing hues from morning to evening, diffused through the delicate sheers. But the room’s true “moment” is found in the custom Bloom hide wall – a collaboration between Thee and Kyle Bunting – which reaches up and continues along the ceiling. “No other artwork is needed in the space,” Cohen asserts. “The neutral color palette and organic pattern have a softness to it that balances the drama of the piece. It’s graphic and surprising without being too wild. Bringing it up and over and connecting it to the fireplace was the final detail that pulled it all together.”

Though it meanders and flows over many rooms and several stories, the house has a way of enveloping its inhabitants and visitors. “I think the main thing about this home is that it is meant to be shared,” Alspaugh says. “It is the perfect home for entertaining, yet it also feels soft and cozy.”