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Clarke Avenue home 'great' for entertaining -- and privacy

Posted On: 11-14-2014

By Christine Davis Special to the Daily News

Vicki Halmos, who founded the Entr’acte Theatrix production company, uses an apt theatrical comparison when she describes the layout of her 1928 house in Midtown, where elegance in the public spaces gives way to a more relaxed feel in the family’s rooms.

“You open the curtains or draw them closed,” Halmos says by way of analogy. “It’s a great house for entertaining, but it has private family areas. It can be grand and stately in some rooms, but you walk down the hall and have a laid-back experience.

”When she and husband Peter were house-hunting in 1984, their sons, Nic and Greg, were little.

“With little boys, I needed to have adult rooms and family rooms,” she said. “When I was looking at properties, I’d walk into a home and think, ‘This is going to look like a bomb went off. I can’t have people walk in the front door!’

 ”But when she saw a Mediterranean-style house designed by noted society architect John Volk at 315 Clarke Ave., she knew its configuration would provide the family with plenty of options.

While she hasn’t changed its style and left historical elements intact, she has added an expansive media room between the main house and a two-story out building-and-garage on the back of the lot. The room — with an open-beamed ceiling, a fireplace and a stone floor — has large glass sliding-glass doors with fanlights above them. They open to the landscaped back yard, swimming pool, whirlpool spa and patios.

She also ordered some renovations, which included redoing the bathrooms and the kitchen, and combining smaller rooms to make larger ones, explains Halmos, whose theater company just closed a production of The Rocky Horror Show at the Crest Theatre in Delray Beach.

“It’s a nice traditional house with high ceilings, good-sized bedrooms and bathrooms, and plenty of room. It sits on a 180-foot-wide lot, and we put in the swimming pool. It looks like a pond. We have enjoyed the yard, and it has lots of rare trees and native Florida plants. The yard is large, and new owners would have room to expand; they could even build tennis courts.

”Today, with the boys in their 30s and her husband spending more time in Key West, where he keeps his boats, the Halmoses are ready to downsize. They’ve listed their five-bedroom, seven-bath, two-half-bath house with 9,918 square feet of living space, inside and out, with Sabra Kirkpatrick, an agent with Brown Harris Stevens, for $11.9 million.

The front door opens into a foyer, which leads to a stair hall. To the east are the living room and library. The living room features a fireplace with a wood mantel, crown moldings and French doors that open to a small patio and side garden.

Directly west of the entry and foyer is a formal dining room, which, like the living room and library, has hardwood floors. Just north — and behind the dining room — a gallery connects the public areas to the family room, the kitchen and an informal dining room. These rooms have stone floors and French doors with fanlights, all opening to the pool patio.

“We remodeled the kitchen three years ago,” says Halmos. It has a center island, wood cabinetry, granite countertops and appliances integrated into the cabinetry.

“The kitchen opens up to the family room and dining room, and some people like to entertain that way. Sometimes, I like to close the doors up for catered parties; at other times, it’s open and more casual.

”The stair hall connects to a second hallway that leads past a staff room, a bathroom and the laundry area on the way to the media room, which offers access to the exercise room, the two-car garage and the wine cellar.

On the second floor are three guest-bedroom suites. Two open to second-floor terraces, while the master suite accesses the west terrace overlooking the pool. These bedrooms all have hardwood floors, and the master bathroom is appointed in marble, with a whirlpool tub and a shower.

“The house has a nice Old Florida feeling. There aren’t any great dramatic elements; I am not Lilly Pulitzer. I wanted to get crazy with colors, but I couldn’t do that,” she says. “My husband is quiet and understated, so the house is more traditional. It certainly is comfortable and could be as dramatic as others may want. They can paint their own picture. The house is a good canvas, has good bones, is solid and well kept.”

 

Source: Christine Davis, November 14, 2014, Palm Beach Daily News

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Zimmerman Douglas Elliman

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Palm Beach, FL 33480

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