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Livingston Builders, West Palm Beach


With their thick walls and smallish windows, traditional Mediterranean-style houses in Palm Beach often get a bad rap for seeming dark and stuffy. But Leni and Peter W. May’s new home is anything but. That’s what architect Mark Ferguson explained to those gathered Thursday for the presentation of the 13th annual Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler Award, which recognizes excellence in new architecture on the island.

Ferguson, a partner in Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, accepted the award during a luncheon ceremony at the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. The New York City-based architect repeatedly mentioned “air” and “light” as he described the three-building compound he designed for the Mays at 310, 320 and 330 Dunbar Road. The estate comprises the south side of the lake block between the Lake Trail and Bradley Place.

"Shular Award Honor Unusual Three-Building Compound on Dunbar Road."  Palm Beach Daily News, April 2018

Sally and Bob Gilbane have longstanding ties to Palm Beach. Having resided for many years in an Edward Durell Stone apartment building, they decided in 2014 that they were ready for a home with more space to enjoy time with their growing family. The waterfront home they selected had tremendous potential, with its bedroom suites, charming garden, and large dock, but they quickly realized the interior would need more than just a "coat of paint" to give them the coastal home they desired. The Gilbanes wanted a comfortable beach house, and the decision was made to demolish the existing interiors and start anew. They called upon their daughter, Sara Gilbane, of Sara Gilbane Interiors, but an architect and builder would also be needed to realize their dream of a family home in paradise.

As a design aficionado, Bob would rather study plans than sleep. As CEO of the Gilbane Development Company, he keenly understood the need to bring together the perfect builder-architect team to work with Sara. Local experience was a must, including an architect with impeccable track record with town hall. This combination came together after an initial meeting attended by Jim Remez, of Livingston Builders, Inc., and Gerard Beekman, of Gramatan Corporation.

"Personal Touches Make a Palm Beach Home."  Quest Magazine, January 2018

Livingston Builders, West Palm Beach
Livingston Builders, West Palm Beach

"Its all part of the vintage-Everglades theme"

After 35 years in Rhode Island, Sara Gilbane's parents make the move to Palm Beach, entrusting their designer daughter with creating a colorfully welcoming home that blends their New England heritage with a newfound Floridian whimsy.

Dining Room. Designer Sara Gilbane enlivened the dining room her parents house in Palm Beach with a "vintage Everglades" theme. Decorative artist Brian Leaver hand-painted palm trees and flamingos on a grass cloth from Meg Braff Designs. Table and chairs, Hickory Chair. Abaca rug, Stark. Antique Murano chandelier, 1stdibs.

"You Have to See the Hand-Painted Flamingo Walls in This Florida Home." House Beautiful, August 2017

Luxury apartments in New York City are a dime a dozen. But one found in an Upper East Side building by architect Rosario Candela had a definitive amount of pedigree to make it stand out from the rest. So when interior designer Christina Murphy’s clients asked her to consult on the 1930 duplex, she knew that decorating the 5,000-square-foot historic space would be a creative mix of high style and architectural preservation. Because this was the fourth home Murphy devised for the couple and their two children, she had carte blanche to create a space that would reflect the homeowners’ creative interests—their love of art and entertaining—as well as their family-focused lifestyle, “This project was more sophisticated than the others,” says Murphy, who has had her own interior design firm since 2006. “I’ve done a colorful beach house for them, but this home required a stricter approach. It needed to feel inviting but not too casual since it’s in the city.” Working with architect Sam Mitchell of Mitchell Studios and Livingston Builders, Murphy sought to not only update but also restore the interiors, as the previous owners had removed many of the original Candela architectural features.

"A Historic NYC Apartment Gets a Glamorous Update from Designer Christina Murphy."  Architetural Digest Online, January 2016

Livingston Builders, West Palm Beach
Livingston Builders, West Palm Beach

The architects at Gramatan Corporation start most of their projects from the outside, with location and historical context in mind, and then, as concepts transform into realities, move all the way down to the most specific of details: for instance, the custom height of a closet that will hang car racing suits. The firm, a sister company of Livingston Builders, Inc. is two years old, and is headed by architect Gerard J. Beekman. Currently, Gramatan - a full-service company with architects, builders, and interior designers - is making the leap from a budding Livingston offspring to an established team of cross-disciplined individuals known for proposing innovative living ideas. 

(Right before this story went to print, Beekman wanted to express his gratitude to Livingston and wrote in an e-mail: "Gramatan would not be possible without Jim Remez and David Palmer [Livingston's founding partners]. They have an extraordinary rolodex of clients they've collected over the last 20 years. The generosity they have shown with sharing these clients, as well as the encouragement and financial support, is simply unheard of in our industry.")

"Dream Homes Come to Life."  Quest Magazine, January 2016

When Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch find just the right Palm Beach penthouse, they encourage their longtime designers, Timothy Haynes and Kevin Roberts, to go all-out mod.

Anyone who knows Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch—Manhattan A-listers with a daring eye for design—could have predicted that their new pied-à-terre in Palm Beach would be a place of high style. But surely this 5,900-square-foot penthouse, in a midcentury building luxuriously renovated in the early 2000s, surpasses all expectations? For this is a place of such edgy chic and sizzling color that even Jon himself seems amazed: "If you told me that I'd be living with a hot pink living room…" he begins. He needn't finish the sentence. In the living room of Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch's Palm Beach apartment, which was designed by Timothy Haynes and Kevin Roberts, a pair of silk-screened prints by Andy Warhol hang above a 1960s Edward Wormley sofa upholstered in a Scalamandré velvet. 

"House Tour - Inside an Artfully Daring Florida Home." Elle Decor, February 2015

Livingston Builders, West Palm Beach
Livingston Builders, West Palm Beach

When Didi Shields revived a forgotten pool house at the urging of her children, it's little surprise she chose to pay homage to Morocco. Shields, the longtime owner of Johnnie Browns, scoured the globe for objects to sell in her Worth Avenue store. During her travels, Morocco became a beloved destination. Shields called on Jim Remez and the team at Livingston Builders of Palm Beach to create her own garden mini Marrakesh.

Today, inside the 10-foot divan that faces the pool, the old toy closet is a wet-bar and towels are stored in a custom wood console made from reclaimed stair balusters. Livingston Builders raised the roof a foot and a half and added a new stained wood tray ceiling. Palm Beach Pecky Cypress was chosen by their in-house architect as the companion wood for the ceiling, doors and cabinets to complement the Moroccan finishes. Traditional Moroccan shapes form the entry portal and niches, while carved-wood privacy screens called Moucharabieh custom-made in Marrakesh are placed in openings above the bar and bath windows.

"ROCK THE CASBAH." Quest Magazine, January 2012

Back in 1991, James Remez, a native New Yorker, and David Palmer, who hails from California, were both working on the same commercial construction job in Palm Beach. The two men found they shared a business philosophy and decided to merge their independent construction companies. Today, that same philosophy is at the heart of Livingston Builders, Inc: integrity, quality, trustworthiness, and thoroughness.


“Jim and David make a terrific partnership,” says client Rand Araskog. Their honesty and thoroughness are qualities where they excel. Their estimates are always quite accurate and their attention to work on the project is hourly.” Their twenty-year old company has completed over four hundred detailed and intricate projects, making them a favorite in the design world’s most elite circles, including Brian McCarthy, Christina Murphy, and Scott Snyder. But it is their successful merger of their ideals that creates the “Livingston Lifestyle.”

"IN THE DETAILS - The Difference Between Good and Great." Quest Magazine, April 2011

Livingston Builders, West Palm Beach
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