SOUTH FLORIDA INTERIOR DESIGNER Annie Santulli seems to have a lucky connection with numbers, specifically the number 1401. She’s now transformed several homes with that unit number and even lived in an apartment number 1401 in New York. So, when she recently received a call to reimagine a condo on Singer Island, her first question was about the unit number. “I said, ‘Don’t tell me it’s the 14th floor?’ And, of course, the condo was number 1401. This is my third apartment with that number,” says Santulli, owner of Annie Santulli Designs in Palm Beach Gardens. “I think that’s a sign of good karma. I like to help people and pay it forward.”
Armed with good karma and instant chemistry with the client, Santulli teamed up with Puzzitiello Builders to gut the oceanfront, three-bedroom home perched above the beautiful beaches of Singer Island and the turquoise Atlantic Ocean. The owners, who live in Atlanta, purchased the condo as an escape from work and cold winters. Their vision: A beachfront retreat that felt organic in nature.
“This condo should feel like it is part of the ocean, but the interior was dark and depressing. There were walls everywhere,” says Santulli of the 3,500-square-foot corner condo. “We went in and totally opened it up, adding expansive porcelain tile floors from Spain and creating different vignettes throughout.”
Santulli and the team expanded on the client’s desire for an organic feeling by evading loud colors. Instead, she focused on soothing color palettes, soft, rich fabrics, and textured wall coverings and accessories that mimicked ocean materials for a sophisticated space that evokes instant relaxation. “This was not an easy undertaking,” she says, “but we were able to find a balance of informality and elegance.”
That coastal calmness begins as soon as you enter the foyer, which is swathed in Jeffrey Michaels grasscloth wallpaper that features the colors of the ocean, along with an agate table and a vase encased in shells. From there, Santulli created different vignettes that work together, including a living room and her signature “chat room.”
“This is just another sitting area that’s highly usable, where guests can start with a drink and conversation, then flow into the living room as the day or evening progresses,” she says of the space that’s fitted with Weiman embossed chenille chairs from Judith Norman, which strategically face one another for easy conversation. A hair-on-hide rug in a herringbone pattern, coffee table from Swaim and more ocean-inspired accessories from Creative Collections in Boca Raton round out the space.
The living room, where the family spends the most time, offers more comfort, with a dreamy Ralph Lauren velour sectional couch that beckons you to sink into it, a credenza with handblown glass handles and a mirrored coffee table wrapped in grasscloth. “When using a muted color palette, the more texture, the better,” says Santulli. “And the table reflects the turquoise ocean outside the windows.”
While the kitchen basks in white Shaker-style cabinets and white and blue quartzite countertops, Santulli added pops of the ocean without taking over the space—a blue glass backsplash from Floor & Decor, light pendants with dangling coral from Lumens, and Costantini Pietro barstools and coordinating dining chairs from Judith Norman with rich fabric that has movement. “The devil’s in the details. It’s important to layer each room with fabrics, the accessories, the artwork—those are the finishing touches,” says Santulli.
To the right of the kitchen, a dining space with a glass table extends a light and airy feeling. “It’s just as important not to overfill the space,” she adds.
The soothing beach vibes spread to all three bedrooms. In the master bedroom, Santulli added a chic shag rug for warmth, a king bed with a dramatically tall upholstered headboard and eye-catching Judith Norman lamps. “The owner was blown away when she saw these lamps made of branches. They made the room,” says Santulli, adding that framed coral artwork and bedside tables made of wood continue that wow-factor in the other two bedrooms.
The owners have a big extended family that visits often, so they wanted each of the three bedrooms to have a distinctive bathroom that felt like an en suite. “We went over the top with the bathrooms,” says Santulli. “We wanted each to have its own personality that coordinated with its bedroom.”
The master bath is fitted with dark-finished cabinets, textured gray grasscloth wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries, white quartz countertops and Thassos marble in the shower for added depth. A second guest bathroom stands out with a wet floor with rocks, linear porcelain tiles reminiscent of the sand, and tan ostrich vinyl wallpaper. The third bathroom shines with glass tiles in the shower and patterned walls.
To truly embrace the Palm Beach lifestyle, the owners also scooped up one of the luxe poolside cabanas. Once again, Santulli gutted and brightened up the previously dark space, making it come alive with contemporary lighting, porcelain wood flooring from Floor & Decor, beachscape artwork, a deep blue pullout couch made of American leather, and a bathroom with bright orange-beaded wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries, as well as blue subway tile and blue quartz countertops. “This is what I call beachy,” says Santulli, “and it was so fun, because I rarely get to use such bold, whimsical styling.”
For the couple hailing from Atlanta, their condo is a respite that always calls them back for more. “Every month I get an email from the owner saying how much they love it there,” says Santulli. “It’s a labor of love and an extension of them and myself. You just want to plop down and put your feet up.”
Angela Caraway-Carlton is a Miami-based freelance writer, travel and lifestyle expert, and television producer. Her works have appeared in Indulge Magazine, Time Out, Elysian, Aventura, South Florida Luxury Guide and Modern Luxury Weddings South Florida & the Caribbean. Caraway-Carlton has covered lifestyle trends in South Florida and beyond for more than a decade.