Miami's Temples of Interior Design
by jordan Melnick
The Agadir sectional sofa, Columbus coffee table, and Rhea chandelier at Fendi Casa.
Owner Paulo Bacchi says his furniture brand encompasses “Asian minimalism and blends Italian design elements with French influence.” His consumers, Bacchi says, are “seeking bigger homes and more natural light and surroundings that reflect what makes Miami so incredible.” 17651 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura, 305-931-9484; 4440 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, 305-774-0004
Carie Smith, project manager of Baltus’s design department, observes that “Miamians look for modern lines, clean, crisp fabrics, smaller proportions, and a pop of color,” an aesthetic that’s evident in Baltus’s latest collection. “The inspiration and style of the new collection is art,” she says. 3925 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-575-2620
Circle Art at Home
Owner Jesse Brody says buyers are investing more in their furniture. “Now that the perception of the housing market has changed, they want to buy good [pieces].” Catering to the contemporary and Midcentury Modern collector, Brody stocks Herman Miller, Knoll, and Vitra. Currently attracting the most attention is Vitra’s Organic Chair, originally designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen in 1940. 1560 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach, 305-531-1859
This family-owned Pinecrest showroom pulls together an eclectic range of modern looks, from midcentury to mod to current sleek shapes. Mauricio Guaraciaba, one of the owners, says he puts more emphasis on customer service than on his store’s particular style. “It’s how we put things together that appeals to the client. That’s what we represent.” 8935 S. Dixie Hwy., Miami, 305-669-1840
The Italian design house combines sleek shapes with textured fabrics in its contemporary living room designs, and offers a modern outdoor collection in earth tones. Its quoted average sale of $600,000 means Fendi Casa deals with the wealthiest buyers in the world. In today’s Miami, that’s mostly Russians and Brazilians “purchasing the brand but also the lifestyle,” says a Fendi Casa rep. 90 NE 39th St., Miami, 305-438-1660
This Upper Eastside store is for buyers who are “not afraid to take a risk with color,” says in-house designer Mike Perez. Foreign clients still favor the classic white “Miami look,” but are now more than ever welcoming accent colors into their décor for a “tropical, modern feel.” 6101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 786-409-3148
Poltrona Frau Group Miami
In Miami since 2011, Poltrona Frau carries Italian design luminaries such as Cappellini, Cassina, and Nemo Cassina Lighting, resulting in a broad scope of eye-catching décor. That might mean a playful, jellyfish-like coffee table by Fabio Novembre, or a black leather sofa with a nod to midcentury lines but with adjustable panels that turn it into a luxurious bench. 3800 NE Miami Ct., Miami, 305-576-3636
Clients have “a lot of money left for furniture,” says general manager Julien Bigan of the recent real estate boom. Sectional sofas running up to $11,000 are his store’s hottest items, but Bigan says his standout piece is a $13,000 glass dining table with exposed gears that turn to expand the tabletop lengthwise when activated by remote control. 450 Biltmore Way, Coral Gables, 305-444-1017
CEO Jason Atkins describes Tui Lifestyle as “clean, not minimalistic, contemporary.” About 70 percent of his clients come from South America (Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina), and the most prominent trend he’s seeing is a move away from ceramic tile floors in favor of reclaimed wood. “We did seven or eight wood floors in the last month.” 3886 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-573-5411
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.