In 1998 designer Polly Fawcett and her former husband sold their home. The seven-bedroom 13,077-square-feet La Loma, one of the great historic mansions in Palm Beach, was designed in 1929 by John Volk and Gustav Maass. The Mediterranean-style house boasted a double staircase with wrought-iron railings, seven bedrooms, arched windows with leaded glass, a regal fireplace in the living room, a coffered ceiling, and Cuban floor tiles. It was grand, but tempered with comfort.
Since then, after a series of downsizing moves, Fawcett has happily landed in a pint-sized 300-square-feet studio in Brooklyn Heights, where she’s near her daughter’s growing family. Fawcett grew up around women who designed: her mother, Claire Ellingwood Osborn, started her own design firm in 1953, and Fawcett joined in 1989. “My sisters and I grew up surrounded by beautiful things and loving parents,” Fawcett says. “My mother created beauty wherever she lived.” Fawcett has the same talent as her epic downsizing illustrates.