Palm Beach Pop

With a cheerful palette and stylish rooms, a second home in sunny South Florida welcomes everyone to come and linger for as long as they like
palm beach living room by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors
A painting by Eleni Pratsi is a focal point of the living/dining room decorated by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors. (See a list of sources for this home.)

The two-story white stucco house, with periwinkle shutters and limestone columns behind a scrim of lush greenery, offers a special welcome. Built in 1985, the traditional Floridian home, located on an ocean-connecting street in the north end of Palm Beach, appears along a curving pale-brick driveway embraced by palm and guava trees that feel like nature’s hug.

Inside, it presents a cheerful personality, which is evident after a single step across the threshold. Cherished by New York–area owners Meg and Kevin O’Callaghan, the house was decorated by Ellen Kavanaugh of Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors with Madison Way of her Palm Beach design team.

“We love having our children and grandchildren here at the same time, and the house works perfectly for everybody.” — Meg O’Callaghan

green serving console
A custom double-shelf serving console with raffia and rattan accessories by Amanda Lindroth

writing desk, interiors by Ellen Kavanaugh
A ‘Regency Bamboo’ writing table from Hickory Chair in the primary suite

“This is a family house, pure and simple,” says Meg, who explains that they wanted to replicate the memories they have of vacationing with Kevin’s parents in Hobe Sound when their three children were young.

“Now that they are grown, and one has a child, we wanted our place to be convenient to the airport and to function well for the entire group to come at the same time. We live 10 minutes from the Westchester airport and 10 from Palm Beach International, so it’s ideal. But I never expected that we would love being here as much as we do.”

green and white Palm Beach foyer by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors
The octagonal entry hall table is covered in Christopher Farr Cloth’s ‘Palma’ pattern. A wall of soft botanicals represents the work of local artist Sarah Elizabeth Davis.

Way credits this love affair with a house to Meg. “There is no question that Meg’s personality steered and influenced the project, and the word we always use to describe this house is happy,” she says. “Accordingly, we underscored this feeling in public areas that literally pop with color, like the bright ultramarine-blue, green, and white scheme that distinguishes the ground floor.”

As a result, these sun-splashed spaces are filled with chairs upholstered in lively fabrics and comfy white sofas. Dominating one long wall is a custom lacquered green sideboard that Kavanaugh calls “the room’s sensible anchor.” The O’Callaghans use it all the time for casual buffet dinners. Steps away, on the pool side, a long custom table expands to seat 12–14 people comfortably.

Palm Beach-style family room by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors
The dining area features a custom Tritter Feefer table, cane chairs from Selamat, Norbar linen draperies, and a bar cart from Worlds Away.

“We chose lots of green in this area because Meg adores the vibrancy of Palm Beach’s palm fronds and border plantings, so it was our mantra to bring the piquancy of that shade right into the house,” Kavanaugh explains.

Beyond this central room, the team’s creativity orchestrated more surprises in a smallish nook that was formerly used as an office. “We didn’t know what to do with this dark space, but Ellen remembered that our children have a wonderful relationship with Kevin’s father, who taught each of them to play backgammon, so she suggested we do a brightly tented game room with a backgammon table. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the most popular rooms in the house,” says Meg.

“The house is so special because it radiates the joy of the owners who never anticipated they would love it so much. They can’t stay away.” — Ellen Kavanaugh

Palm Beach pool
Two stately coconut palms wrapped with bougainvillea dominate the pool area. Brown Jordan chaise longues and vintage stools complete the scene.

tented ceiling
The game room’s tented, blue-and-white striped ceiling

Upstairs, bedrooms are all about serenity and peace. The pale blue primary suite consists of a large uncluttered bedroom, an inviting sitting room, a marble bathroom, and walk-in closets. In addition, four guest bedrooms accommodate visiting family and friends, while an overflow bedroom called the Attic Room is up a short stairway off the kitchen/family room. “It’s wonderful, because we never have to tell anyone they can’t come,” Meg says.

“I truly love this house,” she adds. “I love its location in the quiet North End, where we can walk to the beach as well as be totally active, playing tennis and golf, and riding our bikes. But it is even more special because we can all be together here as a family. For us, it is perfect.”

Continue the Home Tour

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master suite sitting area by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors
The primary suite is all about serenity, beginning in the sitting room with its porthole window, Ferrick Mason wallpaper, and Hickory Chair club chair and ottoman in Holland & Sherry fabric.
The headboard is upholstered in Cowtan & Tout fabric.
seating area by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors

Hickory Chair swivel chairs are paired with a LEE Industries ottoman in Schumacher fabric.

Palm Beach-style guest room
The guest room was designed around the coral-and-yellow scroll-patterned fabric from Raoul Textiles. The ikat print used as trim is by Seema Krish.
The game room, with two emerald green Hickory Chair velvet chairs and a lion photograph that reminds the homeowners of a recent safari, is a striped nest where epic backgammon is enjoyed by all. Oomph table, Selamat cane chairs, Dash & Albert rug, Circa Lighting lantern
Family room decorated by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors
The family room/kitchen carries through the green, blue, and white easy-living scheme with palm frond prints and vintage rattan buri chairs. Hickory Chair sofa, side tables, and swivel chairs (in Christopher Farr Cloth fabric); lamps from Circa Lighting.
sunny kitchen window

A roman shade in the kitchen features Kari Fisher fabric with Samuel & Sons trim.

green-and-white powder room by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors

In the powder room, the wallpaper is from Waterhouse Wallhangings. The mirror is vintage.

bar cart

In the dining room, a bar cart from Worlds Away

green serving console
A custom double-shelf serving console in the living area holds raffia and rattan accessories by Amanda Lindroth (


Interior design

Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors,

Landscape Design

George Brittain Land Designs,

All trims and cording

Samuel & Sons,

All bedding

Custom and to the trade, The Linen Ladies,

Living Room

palm beach living room by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors


green and white Palm Beach foyer by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors

Dining Room

Palm Beach-style family room by Ellen Kavanaugh Interiors

Game Room

blue-and-white game room


Palm Beach pool

Family Room

Powder Bath

powder room


kitchen roman shade

Master Sitting Room

master suite sitting area

writing desk, interiors by Ellen Kavanaugh

Master Bedroom

pale blue master bedroom

Guest Room

guest bedroom decor

By Marion Laffey Fox | Photography by Carmel Brantley

See Flower magazine’s Sources section for more design details from this Palm Beach home.