Home Work Environments

This should not come as a surprise. Dan Ponton, owner of Club Colette, has four building projects underway simultaneously. “I create backdrops for celebrations for people and we are constantly transforming Club Colette,” he explains. “So my work, which I really love, continues into my private life.”

Current ventures include his new condo at Trump Plaza, a whaling captain’s house in Cape Cod, a mid-century renovation in the Caribbean and a green building project in Rwanda. And in the past 20 years, he’s transformed seven properties in the area. “When I finish a project, I just need to keep recreating,” he says.

This means that his two-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment, No. 2-B in the Dunster House at 360 S. Ocean, with 3,200 square feet inside and out and designed by Geoffrey Bradfield, is currently up for sale through Barrett Wells Property Group for $3.49 million.

“After an illness five years ago, I created a bucket list, and the No. 1 thing on it was to simplify, so I wanted to move from my big house on Golfview to an apartment and I wanted to have Jeffrey Bradfield, a dear friend, design a fanciful, luxurious and intimate environment that was a conglomeration of different cultures centered around the Middle East,” Ponton says.

The end result was a design inspired by Morocco, a multicultural oasis known as the “Land of a Thousand Kasbahs.”

The condo, which he bought in 2007, with its high ceilings and white-with-blue color palette, could be a Kasbah. However, far from being a traditional “citadel” or “stronghold,” this gorgeous condominium with its many windows offers pleasant views and ocean breezes.

“The fun thing about this apartment is that everything was created for it,” Ponton says, referring to, well, everything – the Venetian plaster walls, the custom moldings, hand-painted tile, Stark carpeting, lighting, window coverings and furnishings.

Even the ceiling in the entry is an experience – it’s white gold leaf. And over the white Caesarstone floor is a decorative area rug shaped like a palm of a hand holding fish and eye motifs – it welcomes visitors in, while setting the overall design tone. A contemporary painting of a face is almost entirely blue and appears to blend in with the wall. Opposite is a mirrored alcove.

Door openings to the living room and bedroom wing are ogee-archways.

The ceiling in the living room is edged with a custom molding that mimics the design in the carpet as well as the blue edging on the white chenille chairs.

In the seating area are those chairs, with two white couches and Lucite tables. Artwork includes a reverse image of the entry painting. Glass doors, draped with cream curtains edged in blue, open to the terrace that overlooks the pool.

On the north wall are two mirrors framed in ogee arches that echo openings with blue lattice doors to the dining and media rooms. “The doors are an interlocking lattice in French blue,” Ponton points out, “and the white Caesarstone floors will not scratch.”

The media room, fashioned as a Moroccan salon, features tufted wall panels, a bar in a mirrored alcove and banquettes with ottomans in creamy leather.

“The walls are all acoustically done,” Ponton says. “Behind the leather panels are soundproofing and speakers, so it’s all surround sound and then some.”

In addition to the banquette there are two blue-and-white swivel armchairs and antique Moroccan tables and a table stand holding a large Moroccan tray. Covering the windows are wood sliders with open fretwork. “I don’t like curtains,” Ponton explains. “The sliders diffuse the light, but don’t obscure views.”

The rug is in cream with shades of blue in interlocking-pattern repeats.

The dining room features hand-painted tiles designed by Bradfield as wainscot and frames for mirror insets. Again, at the windows are lattice-like sliding screens. The table and chairs are Lucite, a Bradfield trademark, Ponton says.

The white lacquer cabinets in the kitchen were imported from Venice. Other details here include blue Caesarstone countertops, white tile backsplash and white patent leather walls. The appliances include SubZero refrigerator and freezer drawers, Miele range, Gagganeau stainless oven and two Fisher Paykal dishwashing drawers. The laundry and pantry are off the kitchen.

To the north of the foyer are the powder room and bedroom suite. The sitting room has two built-ins, lattice screens covering the windows, and a blue rug with white trim covered with moon and star motifs. It’s furnished with a sofa and Indian chest of drawers. There are also built-in storage-and-display units and a desk behind closet doors.

The bedroom features a white rug with a central blue moon and star motifs. Decorative columns delineate the sleeping area. Integrated into the bed unit are two side tables and a blue mirror above the headboard adds color and depth.

One of the master closets is lined in cedar and in one bathroom, there’s a steam shower with blue-and-white-striped mosaic tiles. The other bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub.

For information, call John Pickett at 301-5266 or KC Pickett at 676-2874.

Discover Local Artists: Melinda Moore

Melinda Moore

“Creative Focus,” an exhibit of Melinda Moore’s work, runs through June 15 at the Elsa Kimbell Environmental and Research Center,  Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Hobe Sound.

Viewing art in all its forms has been a major influence on Melinda Moore’s  work, but, by far, exposure to nature trumps all.

“My creative expression begins through the lens, but with access to the digital world and knowledge of new techniques of texturing and blending photos, I enjoy experimenting with new alternative methods,” said Moore of Palm Beach Gardens.

“The Bride,” 26×32 canvas gallery wrap, float frame,  Medium : Photograph, $800
“Sunset on Loxahatchee Preserve,” 38X26 canvas gallery wrap  float frame, Medium : Photograph $800
“Loggerhead Reef,” 25×32 canvas gallery wrap float frame, Photo Collage and digital painting, $800
“Friends Forever”  (Asian elephants), 36×24 canvas gallery wrap black float frame, Medium: Photomontage /digital painting, $800

With or without added elements of manipulation, unadorned photos are the main building blocks and not all of her images are altered.

“Each image speaks to me, sometimes becoming a montage or part of a larger collage or photo-painting.”

“Creative Focus” has grown into a fifty-piece body of work that features birds, animals and landscapes that she sees here in South Florida,  plus creatures that she observes in aviaries, preserves and zoos.

“By capturing creatures communicating with each other or having eye contact with the viewer, I hope to raise awareness and  instill a spiritual feeling of connectedness to the natural world,” she said.

A portion of the gallery proceeds will benefit The Friends of Jonathan Dickinson State Park. All images can be shipped. They are available in different sizes and printed on various mediums. Contact Moore at Melepix@yahoo.com or call  561 301-9227.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park is at 16450 SE Federal Highway, Hobe Sound. Hours at the center are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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George Hamilton’s Palm Beach Pad

Actor George Hamilton’s condo, #1504 at 400 N Flagler Drive in the Waterview Towers, comprises two bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,797 square feet of interior space. And, for him, it’s the perfect size and in the perfect location.

Bigger is not always better, he says. “I owned Douglas Fairbanks’ and Charlie Chaplin’s homes.”

At one time, Grayhall, a 22,000-square-foot home built in 1909, had been rented by Fairbanks and Chaplin’s 1922-era home comprises 11,000-square feet.

“One house had 39 rooms. If I lost my wallet, it took three days to find it,” he says.

In recent years, he prefers smaller, simpler and less complicated. His other pieds a terre include a condo in the Wilshire Corridor and a hotel suite in Manhattan. The streamlined condo has been called “tony,” he says. “What does that mean? It’s beige-on-beige with chocolate accents and animal skins – a very Art Deco thing.”

And he’s got slipcovers to throw over the hotel furniture. Each is stocked and set up for easy living, as is his West Palm Beach condo.

“I like the unpredictability of my life. Everyplace I‘ve lived has had a sense of freedom,” he says. “I don’t want to fix things and I don’t want to have things. I’ve made ease for my life. You have to, if you’re a bachelor.”

And now his life is especially hectic. He’s on the road playing Georges in La Cage aux Folles, with (at the time of this writing), 19 cities down and 48 more to go by December 2012.

Also, he’s thinking about what his fiancé, Dr. Barbara Sturm, may want in the way of a home, so his condo is offered for sale through Fite Shavell for $925,000, furnished.

“You may not be thinking about it, but the lady you are going with – she’s thinking about it. Every woman wants her own family. I don’t know why my fiancé wants another child, but women think about that.  It’s that whole theory that you are only as healthy as you produce and your sexual vitality is measured by that. And it makes a lot of sense that nature is formed that way. With women, ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it,’ and, for men, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose them.”

So, he says, where a single-family home may not make sense to him, “if I was married, and if that’s what she wanted …”

… he hopes she might choose Palm Beach, a house in the north end, perhaps, but it’s up to her. “I’d consider that, as long as she’s content there. But she looks at Palm Beach as it is. I look at it as it was. When another person is involved, you have to consider what would make her happy.”

In 2008, he bought his West Palm Beach unit to be close to his son, George Thomas, while he was in school at St Ann’s (he’s now at Admiral Farragut Academy).

“I was at a luncheon sitting next to Ivana the day before her wedding and the guy next to me said he lived right across in West Palm Beach.

“My mother said if you lived two blocks from the ocean, you might as well be in Georgia. I laughed.

“But I took a look at a unit in the Waterview Towers, and I thought it had the best view I had ever seen – a view of Palm Beach, The Breakers, the Intracoastal and the ocean, and I thought, that’s interesting. And I was always coming and going and it was ten minutes from the airport. It made sense to me, so I moved in.”

He completely redid the apartment. “I asked Allene Simmons, who has just passed away, for something very Italian modern. She had helped me with other homes.

“It’s a big mistake in any resort to use very heavy decoration. It gets to be a sense of responsibility and I wanted to keep it light with the exterior coming into the interior. The color of the walls is like that of a slightly overcast day.

“It took a year to do and was an enormous undertaking. (With condos) there were rules you have to live by and I thought I was planning the Great Escape, removing one handful of dirt a day.”

The living room is furnished simply with a modern white sofa, upholstered armchair and a deco-style console.

The dining room, with a glass and metal table, is separated from the kitchen by a bar with pull up seating.

Covering the floor are glass tiles. “I didn’t want marble,” he says.

In the kitchen, “I started to realize that all the modern conveniences I like were German or Italian – the coffee maker, the washer an dryer – They’ve put together some interesting stuff. My refrigerator has an area for cooling wine as well,” he adds.

The master bedroom, with an upholstered bed in cocoa with white linens, has glass doors that open to a balcony and offer views of West Palm Beach. The master bathroom has custom tile, a shower with multiple showerheads, an oversized soaking tub and double vanities.

No matter where his next move will be, he’ll always return to Palm Beach, he says. “All my family memories are there. I told somebody recently that while sunbathing on the beach, I woke up and I thought I was 17 years old because things haven’t changed.”

For information, call Doreta Barrett at (561) 632-2621.


Discover Local Artists at Art Rock at the Armory

The Armory Art Center Partners with Art Rock for a One Day Art Show + Indie Marketplace Event

Art Rock, a cash-and-carry art show + indie marketplace will feature pop-surrealist, outsider, lowbrow, and street art alongside D.I.Y fashion, funky jewelry and home deco items located at the Armory Art Center.

This will be art you will want to buy made by accomplished and up-and-coming South Florida artists.

The event will showcase over 60 artist’s booths packed full of affordable art you can hang on your walls, wear, eat, admire or even sip your coffee from. Showcasing art in all mediums including painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, photography, fabric, edible art and more! Live artist demonstrations, complimentary swag bags are available for the first 100 people. Armory faculty will be doing demonstrations in wheel throwing, drawing and painting and will be conducting a free kids activity. Door prizes, food and drinks will add to the excitement of the day.

Here are some examples:


Fused glass bowl by Camille Perrin


Fused glass by Camille Perrin


Camille Perrin has been a multi-media artist for over 35 years and began working with kiln formed glass in 1989. She holds a BA from the University of South Carolina, and attended the Appalachian School of Craft for advanced kiln formed work. She has had numerous private exhibitions and her work has been acquired for private and corporate collections in the US, the UK and in Europe. Perrin is currently the fused glass instructor at The Armory Art Center.


David Berns is a Cartoonist, Illustrator and Art Director whose latest creative endeavors in Rock Poster Art (hotdamnarts.com) and Sketchbooking (sketchhunter.com). Hot Damn Arts his art publishing imprint, focusing on Gig Posters, Pin-Up Art, Comics and other creative vulgarities. Sketch Hunter is a creative exploration featuring live drawings of people in-the-act of living their lives.

Art Rock Creator, Amanda Linton’s reason for bringing the event to the Armory was inspired by the Armory’s strong connection to the art community. “We wanted to create a venue for artists to sell their work, network and meet other artists, galleries and collectors face to face.” Amanda said. “My husband and I are artists and with the success of our sister show STITCH ROCK, we thought a similar marketplace with a focus on fine art was needed. There are plenty of annual art shows with the same art year after year, but we wanted a place to showcase art we would be happy to hang on our own walls.”

Art Rock is on Saturday, May 12, from 12 to 6 p.m. The cost is $5 and free for children 12 and under, accompanied with and adult). Visit http://www.artrockrocks.com for a complete list of participating artists. The Armory Art Center is at 1700 Parker Avenue, West Palm Beach.

The Armory’s mission is to provide high-quality visual art school and art gallery services that stimulate personal self-discovery and generate knowledge and awareness of art as part of life. For more information on the Armory Art Center, or to sign up for classes, visit http://www.ArmoryArt.org or call (561) 832-1776.