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Owner took great pleasure in renovating 1930s house on Banyan Road

Posted On: 10-16-2014

By Christine Davis Special to the Daily News

When Carol Simmons decided to move to Palm Beach from Jupiter Island in 2002, she had picked out five homes as possibilities. But the 1930 classic at 201 Banyan Road was her favorite.

“I loved it the best. It has wonderful sunlight and the look and feel of a great old home, but with very large rooms and big bathrooms ensuite,” she said.

During the next three years, she, with architect Roger Janssen, returned the layout to its original orientation and flow. Working with designer Michael Perry, she renovated and updated the house completely, taking it down to the studs, expanding the home to the north, and adding a new loggia with a fireplace and cypress ceiling. She also replaced the old pool with a new pool and whirlpool spa.

In all, the house has 8,026 square feet of living space, inside and out. And with its six bedrooms and seven-and-a-half bathrooms, the house is precisely the way she envisioned it, she said.

Even so, Simmons — an avid golfer — has traded life in Palm Beach for a house on the sixth fairway of Lost Tree Village near North Palm Beach.

“But every time I go back to my Palm Beach house, I feel so happy. I had so many wonderful memories there,” she said.

She has listed the house for sale with agent Cathy Casella and broker John O. Pickett III of Barrett Welles Property Group. It’s priced at $9.449 million. The property will be sold with deeded beach access.

The house was built by J.S. Willson, according to records held by the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach.

Along with the renovations and reinstating the home’s original orientation, which Simmons liked, she added fine antique features.

For example, in the foyer, she placed a Renaissance-era arched door surround that she found in England.

At that point, we had already started renovating, and I called Matthew Perry. I asked him the size of the opening to the living room, and he gave me the dimensions,” she recalled. “‘Too bad,’ I said, ‘You’ll have to remake it.’ It weighs 2,000 pounds, and we had to put steel bars under the floor to support it.

”She also brought two artisans from Italy to hand-paint strie and trompe l’oeil throughout.

“Every wall is faux-finished,” she says. “Some looks like wallpaper, it’s so well done. There’s a mural on the ceiling of the foyer, and wonderful scenes in the downstairs powder room. One of the painters was a countess, and she painted her little village to one side.

”Simmons added detailed crown moldings throughout, and she found notable antique mantels for the three fireplaces. Other features include hardwood floors in the living and dining rooms, a bay window in the office and new staff quarters, laundry area and a 1,200-bottle wine room downstairs.

The house also has a second laundry room upstairs. There’s also a full-house generator.

The center-island kitchen, with a breakfast room nearby, has granite countertops, custom cabinetry painted ivory, a built-in china cabinet, a Viking range and a SubZero refrigerator integrated into the cabinetry. Floors are covered in octagonal Cuban tile.

Upstairs, Simmons expanded the master bedroom, installing two walk-in closets along with a pair of marble-appointed bathrooms. French doors from the bedroom lead to a balcony, where she added a wrought iron circular stairway. It allowed her to conveniently access the pool for her morning swim without having to walk through the house.One of the master bathrooms has a soaking tub, cypress built-in cabinets with laundry drawers and a small built-in refrigerator unit; the second bathroom is detailed in cypress with beige marble and is equipped with a walk-in shower.

She renovated the other bathrooms and replaced most of the floors upstairs with old white pine.

“It’s a wonderful house for entertaining,” she says, noting that there’s parking for 10 cars, plus a two-car garage.

“For parties, I do all the cooking, and the kitchen is well-organized,” she said. “I can put three tables for 12 on the patio, and if the weather changes, they can be moved to the loggia. And over the holidays, to have a fire there is very welcoming.”

 

Source: Christine Davis, October 16, 2014, Palm Beach Daily News

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