Monday, January 25, 2016

Book Review: Palm Beach Panache

Palm Beach Panache by Carolina Fernandez; Photos by Alissa Dragun
Published by Decorativa Press
Carolina Fernandez is a fascinating woman. Successful author, mother of 4, visual and performing artist, arts advocate, and avid house renovator (currently gearing up to take on house number 12), Carolina started her career on Wall Street as a private wealth manager. Her ballet through the world of municipal bonds and motherhood, books on parenting, finance, and interior design is captivating, and so is her third book Palm Beach Panache: Infusing Island Style With Serendipitous And Re-Imagined Finds!
As you may already know, Palm Beach, Florida has a unique and sometimes extravagant style all its own. Defined by the sun, sea, and air, and made possible by the wealth of those who call it home, the colors, patterns, palettes, and textures of Palm Beach are mesmerizing. Palm Beach Panache walks us through twenty-two homes, fifteen local shops, gardens, and art galleries in an effort to help those of us who don't live in the luxurious locale bring a bit of the fresh island lifestyle into our own humble abodes.

Stunning photos captured by West Palm Beach photographer, Alissa Dragun, South Moon Photography fill the 170+ pages of the book, and Carolina gives those of us who have an ability to shop in and around Palm Beach, a resource sheet of amazing stores (some photographed in the book) where you can find wares from mid-century to European antique, silver and crystal to fabrics, galleries of art to trusted shipping and delivery services to those of us who may need to send our finds a little further north. Truly a book to inspire, engage, and reference Palm Beach Panache is a must-have to any well appointed interior design book library.

Photocredit: South Moon Photography, from Palm Beach Panache 
"The Living Room is immediately inside the front entrance of this post-war ranch home. Modern arm chairs, acquired at a Palm Beach tag sale, possess chrome bases; the stained, waxed concrete fireplace surround was added by Goldstein, owner of Cashmere Buffalo. Note stainless steel and tempered glass fire screen; animal rug atop the Oriental rug; and tall floor lamp with white glass shade. Floors are terrazzo."

Anyone can put together a book of beautiful photos. Well, almost anyone. But to author a book on style, you have to clearly define it, and Carolina does a wonderful job. Indeed, Palm Beach Panache is mostly about a state of mind, an openness to being one with your surroundings and embracing a colorful, beautiful home. Bright pinks and greens, turquoise, orange, and the motifs represented in Lily Pulitzer fabrics all epitomize the Palm Beach Panache color palette. Furniture in the mid-century modern style and French antiques build a decorative foundation of the Palm Beach Panache style. Infuse those with a modern and worldly collection or two, and you, my friend, are well on your way to embracing glorious island design.

 Photocredit: South Moon Photography, from Palm Beach Panache 
"White sectional upholstered sofas; black Hans Wegner chairs; and a Paolo Piva coffee table set on a Romero Britto rug. 1960-1970's floor lamp is by acclaimed German industrial designer Ingo Maurer; abstract painting is by a local artist; the mobile imitates floor tiles; "Nana Wall" trimmed in black; black-and-white geometric-detailed ceiling fans; and collection of African masks and sculputures in built-in niches."

 Photocredit: South Moon Photography, from Palm Beach Panache 

"An oversized bust; round dining table; French salon chairs updated in Palm Beach blue; and blue-and-white porcelains top terracotta tiles. At MeCox Gardens."

Another wonderful asset to the Palm Beach Panache book is Carolina's references on where you can go in and around Palm Beach to shop for the things needed to build your own degree of Palm Beach Panache. Shops from high-quality antiques on prominent Worth Avenue, to thrift stores in nearby Jupiter, Carolina takes you step-by-step, neighborhood-by-neighborhood with tips and tricks for shopping like a local, and scoring the best deal!

 Photocredit: South Moon Photography, from Palm Beach Panache 

"A vast assortment of French antiques, garden furniture and ornaments, lighting fixtures, baskets and accessories. At Authentic Provence."

Photocredit: South Moon Photography, from Palm Beach Panache 

"Vintage Painting of Mama Cas by Verna Feke; Karl Spring fire screen; white vintage Roche Bobois white sofa; vintage Paul Evans coffee table; Jansen chairs in tiger stripe fabric; an early 1960's Robert Cook sculpture fill the living room."

This room-by-room guide to decorating with island exuberance is a joy to peruse from cover to cover. Carolina's zest and panache for interiors and for the Palm Beach locale is evident in every word, and her creativity is inspiring. I highly recommend you take a look at the book for yourself, and pick up your very own copy, (maybe a few for friends) at the amazon link below:


  1. Thank you, Artie, for this thoughtful review! It's heartening to see you spreading the word on the joy...the panache...found in Palm Beach {and beyond!}

  2. Looking impressive and feeling glad . So a lot of thanks .