This home's straight lines, expanses of white, subtle architectural detail, and sparingly dolloped pops of color are a far cry from what the designers saw on their first visit. When the team at DKOR Interiors first encountered the pseudo-Tuscan house, it needed a lot of vision and a lot of construction to adapt to their clients' minimalist tastes.
The main challenge was to meet six family members' needs within the minimalist design. This included personal spaces for each family member, offices, shared spaces for gathering and play. Here's how they did it.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: A Brazilian couple and their two daughters and two sons Location: A suburb of Miami, Florida Size: 6 bedrooms
"These are the kind of people who like open spaces and modern design," says Ivonne Ronderos, principal at DKOR. Knowing that the clients liked floating design elements, the team developed a concept of suspension, emphasized by dropped ceilings, LED-lit cutouts, and ethereal light fixtures.
The family and designers were working with a dark home full of dated fixtures and finishes with a pseudo-Tuscan theme: A lot of trompe l'oeil, superfluous moldings, earthen colors, dark wood, and limited natural light—in other words, the opposite of what one thinks of as fresh Miami style. But the clients "are very design savvy and saw the potential," Ronderos says. Also, the neighborhood is one where children play safely in the street, a rare find. Here, the dining room before.
In a minimalist home, continuity enhances the soothing feeling; there are no jarring transitions and details repeat from room to room. You'll see the metal-backed recessed lines around the doorways that transition down to the baseboards throughout the home. This reflective recess makes the walls seem subtly suspended.
A careful balance of contrasting materials is also key. Contrasting wood warms up the white.
Lots of concealed storage is the key to making minimalism work for a family with four kids, Ronderos says. The TV wall is packed with hidden storage including media cabinets and lots of room for toys and games.
Tip: "Make sure mirrors reflect something pretty," Ronderos advises. "We used them to make this space look bigger."
At first glance, you'd never know how much storage is hidden in here; behind the first three doors on the left is concealed storage; one door conceals a sink for washing hands before dinner. The mirror panel on the right is a door that leads to the pantry and kitchen.
"We dropped the ceiling with a reveal on the sides and put LED lights around it," Ronderos says. A cloud-like Logico Lamp floats in the space between the ceiling and the table.
"Part of the concept was to have a very off-white and white color palette with one pop of color," Ronderos explains. "It was important not to overdo color in order to be minimalist."
The team made the owners' existing bed minimalist by cutting off the legs and replacing them with a hidden platform that makes the bed appear to hover. Likewise, wall-mounted nightstands leave the floor space open underneath. A subtle wallpaper behind the headboard anchors the bed and nightstand area; a ceiling Logico lamp glows overhead.