One Great Room

By Carol Tisch Photography by Gene Pollux April 1, 2010

Every table is a power table at Sean Murphy’s new dining establish-ment, The Bistro at The Concession, the result of a creative collaboration between powerhouse designers Adrienne Vittadini of AV Casa and Pamela Hughes of Hughes Design Associates. Murphy’s award-winning cuisine will be served in the elegant new restaurant, an extension of his Zagat-rated Beach Bistro brand.

Creative director for design and architecture of the entire Concession golf clubhouse, Vittadini is the driving force behind the Palladian style of the building and its interiors. "The Concession was designed to push the envelope in golf club design, to take it a notch higher, a bit more chic and cosmopolitan," says Vittadini, who envisioned a contemporary interpretation of the work of 15th-century architect Andrea Palladio.

Hughes, who maintains design offices in McLean, Va., and Sarasota, and who was responsible for the redesign of the famed Cloister at Sea Island, Georgia, also embraced the classical symmetry of Palladian style. "We wanted this to be something unique, light and airy, celebrating the magnificent golf course views," she explains. Shopping the finest sources in America and abroad, the designers created a refined European sensibility in a world-class Sarasota setting.

The extraordinary antique Baccarat crystal chandelier 1 was discovered at Paul Ferrante’s L.A. studio, where Vittadini and Hughes designed every light fixture in the clubhouse, including dining room sconces. Inspired by the Palladian architecture of the clubhouse exterior, the dining room is replete with 24-foot coffered ceiling 2 and luxurious panel moldings gleaming in Benjamin Moore’s Super White satin finish. Grounding the airy space are the same rich hickory wide-plank floors Vittadini has in her own homes, and custom mahogany consoles 3 crafted by Decca Hospitality Furnishings to Hughes’ specifications. Reflecting quiet opulence, custom-designed mirrors 4 with frames of gilt and gesso on wood were hand carved by Friedman Brothers, the Miami source whose work adorns The Vatican and the White House. Chesney’s, the U.K.’s most prestigious source for bespoke fireplaces, hand carved the elegant mantel 5 in the style of Italy’s Palladian palaces using limestone from the Hartham Park quarries near Bath, England. A palette of soft aqua and green extends from seating fabrics 6 by Barbara Barry for Kravet to couturier cuffed drapery panels 7 in striated silk by Cowtan & Tout, which subtly frame pastoral golf course views. The designers added jolts of contemporary art 8 in juxtaposition to the classic décor, commissioning David Steiner of State of the Arts Gallery to create abstract paintings color-matched to fabric swatches.

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