Meet Leta Austin Foster, the interior designer who knows her way around a room and around Palm Beach, her hometown for 46 years. “I moved here with my husband, and I plan to leave here with him!” she quips. The decorating doyenne, known for her classically beautiful interiors, also has offices in New York spearheaded by her daughter Sallie Giordano. Her daughter India Foster works with Leta as a designer in Palm Beach.
The completed projects of Leta Austin Foster & Associates are too numerous to count, but some of the best are showcased in the firm’s book, Traditional Interiors (2015). Leta eschews trends, preferring pieces with history and staying power (see an example). Her rooms are layered, textured, colorful, and curated. She loves working with artisans to create one-of-a-kind wall treatments and furniture. She also loves Palm Beach and knows what’s unique about it, democratically favoring traditional standbys and of-the-moment hot spots. We began our tour with Leta and India at their shop in the historic Via Mizner.
Where to Stay
If you want to splurge, stay at the historic Breakers, which opened in 1896. It has some of that Old Palm Beach glitz, and it’s right on the beach. It’s also really great for families; they treat you like royalty; and their seafood restaurant is one of the best in town.
I love the location of The Colony Hotel, close to the beach and close to Worth Avenue. It has paddle boats and bicycles for touring and a very pretty pool area. It’s also a great spot for breakfast.
At the Brazilian Court, the backyard garden is delightful, and the world famous Daniel Boulud French restaurant is there. We love to have cocktails and dinner there on the terrace with all the palm trees.
Produced and written by Alice Welsh Doyle | Photography by Monica Buck