Project Miami | The Reveal

04.12.17

This post has been a long time coming, guys! There have been hints dropped on Instagram about a project we have recently rounded off in Miami, Florida. It’s been a year and a half in the making and it brings me so much joy to be able to share with you the results that we captured while on location a few weeks ago for the final install. Today we’ll walk you through the process, including the before shots we know you love so much, some of our designs and the finished results! Let’s jump straight in. 

I (Holly) took this project on a year and a half ago – before my merge with Hedda though she was a huge support throughout the process because an international interior design project is no easy feat, I can tell you! The project was a full tear-out, renovation and redesign of a two bed, three bath penthouse apartment. And we did it all from the other side of the world. With many logistical challenges along the way, you can only imagine how satisfying it is to finally be able to share the completed spaces with you today.

The briefing was to create a cohesive but contemporary home for our client, who sold her previous home after having lived in it for over 30 years to upgrade to penthouse living. She needed all new furniture, design and lay-out advice, as well as in-person materials selection to kick start the renovation (floors, tiling, fixtures, fittings, paint, hardware). I went over to Miami twice – once at the start of the project to meet the contractor and walk through the plans (which we had already completed in the Netherlands prior to the first visit) and to select materials; and a second time to round everything off and put the finishing touches in place, which was last month. All furniture advice and selection as well as client support was done from abroad. 

With a penchant for clean, unfussy spaces, our client was looking to replace her existing outdated furniture for contemporary pieces that came together as a cohesive whole. 

Here are some shots of what the place was like before we got started, taken very quickly on my phone:

As you can see we had mostly cosmetic changes to make, but I also felt that we needed to open up the spaces even further to allow for more light and a general flow. The living and dining area was large and spacious but the kitchen was small and the ceiling was low. We pulled out a wall or two, raised the ceilings in various places and then got started selecting all the finishes that would lay the groundwork for the renovated space, and overall the results are much fresher and lighter.

To tackle our clients’ request for plenty of storage, we designed a wall to wall built-in cabinet flanking the dining table to house her dinnerware and glassware, linens as well as provide an interesting backdrop to her dining space. Here’s another ‘before’ view of the dining area followed by one of the final working designs for the wall unit (although we ended up adding to it to create more storage space):

The goal with this design was to integrate it with the wall, as opposed to being a separate entity of its own and be ‘busy’ in the space. We wanted it to be streamlined and as flush as possible, and therefore opted to paint the whole unit the same colour as the walls (Origami White by Sherwin Williams) which turned out whiter than expected due to the finish applied to it. That said, it is fresh and clean and allows the accessories, and beautiful oak pulls from our friends at Design Studio NU, to pop off it while the large wooden table and sculptural Lambert et Fils pendant can stand out against a calm yet interesting backdrop.

The style direction for this Miami abode was fresh, contemporary and clean with a classic twist. We wanted to breathe new life into the space as a whole, open it up but at the same time ensure our client was left with a liveable, functional interior. 

Here’s another view of the living space in it’s before state:

We wanted the living area to be a central part of the room, without being ‘heavy’ . The goal here aesthetically was calm, inviting, organic. We brought in many different materials including walnut and other woods, marble, wool and leather to provide interest and contrast. While we used many beautiful pieces that are noteworthy in the living room, the splurge piece of furniture was the walnut sideboard by German furniture label Zeitraum. We also had a large piece of art commissioned especially for our client by Marlene Lewis for above it, but it didn’t make it back from the framers in time for the shoot and the piece really required me to hand select the frame, so for the shoot we went minimal but we love it nonetheless.

Here’s a quick view of the before situation in the kitchen before we ripped everything out, raised the ceilings and designed custom cabinetry:

For our function savvy client we designed an all-American kitchen, featuring custom cabinetry, tons of storage, a breakfast bar and lots of light and flow. I worked with Aukje Schukken on the designs and sketches here in the studio, and after selecting the materials in person in Miami and ironing out the details, Dan’s Carpentry expertly carried out the designs locally. Here’s are some of the impressions of the finished design:

For the countertops our client wanted practical but didn’t want to skip out on looks. And why should she? We hand selected a beautiful piece of Macuava Calacutta quartzite that has the most gorgeous soft green-blue vein through it, much the way calcutta marble would. We looked at whiter marbles but couldn’t get past how pretty this one was in person so after our arduous and thorough search inside the stone supplier in 38 degree Miami heat, it was a done deal. The colour we used on the cabinetry is City Loft by Sherwin-Williams.

In the below image you can see we removed the wall adjacent to the front door and created a breakfast bar there. We also raised the ceilings throughout the entry, kitchen, halls and bathrooms (which you’ll see later):

The master bathroom was one of 3 bathrooms we designed, though due to time constraints we only shot the one. It was all cosmetic changes for the master suite as the existing layout worked well. As you can see from the below before shots it was a bit of a circus in there, or a zoo to be more specific. The previous owners had some fun with the walls and while we think a lot of creativity went into the monkey forest scene, we couldn’t wait to clean the space up and give it a fresh injection using quality materials, custom cabinetry and warm wood tones.

We continued the wood tile that we used throughout since it was so practical but still added such warmth to the space (which has no natural light). Seeing it in the bathroom I am still so pleased with the choice of wood tile we made. It was a tough task because most of them look manufactured but the movement, grain and colour of this one is so natural and in the bathroom is looks fabulous. We used a large polished stone tile on the walls around the bath tub, shower walls and baseboard, plus a beautiful striped matte tile on the wall between the bath tub and shower (that doesn’t show up as nicely in the image as it does in person – the texture is so beautiful in the space), polished quartz cararra  counter top, custom walnut door and drawer pulls, and custom cabinetry painted in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove in the same ‘contemporary shaker’ style as the kitchen cabinetry featuring a walnut divider with integrated back and front storage.

And that’s the Miami project! What do you guys think? We would love to read your thoughts. What were your favourite elements? Please ask any questions about the design or the products used in the comments section below, we are only too happy to answer them.

Holly

// Interior Design, Styling & Photography: Avenue Design Studio

// Design assistance and technical drawings: Aukje Schukken for Avenue Design Studio, with special thanks 

10 Responses to “Project Miami | The Reveal”

  1. Sara says:

    Pls more pictures – also of the other rooms. And where is the coffee table from? Thanks so much!
    Also: Great job!!! I love your style and aesthetics.

  2. Kathryn says:

    I got to see this process develop from close up, and it was a phenomenal transition, and a labor of love. Holly, you are a creative genius, and you put your heart and soul into your projects. You are a gem!!

  3. Gaby Knittel says:

    This place is stunning. What a wonderful job! Would you mind sharing the brand of the floor tile as well as the color? I live in south florida as well :)Thank you so much,

    Gaby

    • Holly says:

      Hi Gaby, thank you! Yes, we used Idea Ceramica ‘Manhattan’ floor tiles in the colour Soft Brown. We purchased them from Tile Options on 13200 SW 87th Ave. This was by far the nicest, most realistic wood tile I could find, and I looked at a LOT. All the very best, Holly

  4. Lori says:

    Holly,

    What an awesome job you did! The space looks amazing! I love it!
    Your blog posts and photos are beautiful. The before and after shots are great! You are so talented. Thank you so much!

    Lori

  5. Bry says:

    The space looks very calm! What a lovely job! Would you mind sharing where the dining room table is from?

  6. Marianna says:

    Amazing! You have worked miracles with this place girls. Congrats!
    I love that despite this is clearly an American space (large furniture/ wall-to-wall cabinets everywhere/ super big spaces) you have managed to put a European air to it that balances everything nicely. Beautiful work!

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