4 Miami Interior Designers on How They Interpret the Meaning of High Style

By Jean Nayar | January 5, 2017 | Home & Real Estate Feature

Four Miami-based interior designers share their approaches to high style in a quartet of magnificent new projects, from a multi-million-dollar waterfront abode to an island apartment inspired by Brazil.


This model residence at Palazzo del Sol is defined with furniture, fixtures, flooring, millwork, rugs, and accents from Solesdi’s collection of brands. Henge provided special filter walls, elegant tables, chairs, armchairs, and the gorgeous lighting systems. Engineered wood floors from Listone Giordano fill the space with warm oak, and De Padova completes the ambiance with its sophisticated lamps and luxuriant rugs.

Modern Grandeur
Max Bonati of Solesdi crafts a waterfront jewel at Palazzo Del Sol on Fisher Island.

How did you get involved in this remarkable project?
Solesdi was a natural fit to design the first and largest of Palazzo del Sol’s three model residences, as Valeria Torriani and I partnered with PDS Development, led by veteran developer Heinrich von Hanau, to supply all 43 of the new development’s units with gorgeous Boffi kitchens and master bathrooms.

What is unique about the overall context of this project?
It is situated in the newest and most exclusive building on Fisher Island, where Biscayne Bay and Government Cut meet the Atlantic Ocean. Listed for sale at $19.7 million, the residence is located in the center stack of the Palazzo del Sol’s three “wings,” and its combination floor plan is the largest at 9,826 interior square feet. Located on the fifth of 10 floors, it is truly at the heart of the building and in an ideal location. An expansive central living space divides the west wing’s master suite and three bedrooms from the east wing’s three bedrooms, kitchen, and media room.

What was your design inspiration?
We focused on all the ingredients of the recipe: the developer’s request to provide something warm and respectful of Miami’s trends and colors, Kobi Karp’s architecture, and our brands’ inner powers, letting them melt together and happily coalesce in the serene space.

Describe the materials palette.
We used some majestic, solid Indian cappuccino-colored stone in the breakfast nook. Each bedroom has big walls covered with woods or cement rough finish. We also used special leather and Italian fabrics for seating and in bedrooms, and warm wood shelving made of custom eucalyptus to frame the pool area in part of the living room. Together they create a palpable symphony of luxury, making the residence pleasant for families of any nationality or background.

Luxe and Livable
An ultrachic scheme by Brazilian-born designer Karla Pohlmann of the Miami-based Kstudio brings warmth and versatility to a family home at the Oceana in Key Biscayne.


This apartment at the Oceana is entirely automated, with Lutron HomeWorks keypad panels in each room that control the lighting and roller shades for the whole unit, a horizontal ceiling-hinged lift for a 65-inch television in the master bedroom, a Séura custom TV mirror in the dining area, and a state-of-the-art surroundsound system throughout the apartment. The LED lighting is all commanded by the same system.

What is distinct about the location of this dwelling?
The Oceana in Key Biscayne is a fascinating and exclusive new condominium building with spectacular views, luxurious spaces, amenities, and the uniqueness of a low-density and discreet environment. This was a very exciting project for a young and vibrant family from Peru in a unit that is one of the most important in the building, or perhaps in town, for its excellent solar orientation and outstanding 6,140-square-foot floor plan.

What inspired the design?
The design process started from what I call a piece of art—the dining table from Giorgetti, a company founded in 1890 in Italy and represented by Internum in Miami. Called Mizar, it is an oval table resembling a museum piece, with the base in cast bronze and the top made of gold Calacatta marble. I thought it would be the perfect statement to set the tone for all the other elements.


Which other materials and furnishings did you use to shape the spaces?
The living room and master bedroom walls are wrapped with a coral stone from Spain, and the floors are topped with Listone Giordano white oak wood planks from Italy. The living room furnishings are from Minotti, including two sets of Freeman collection sofas, an unconventional and elegant set of marble coffee tables, and a very unique mobile chandelier designed by one of my favorite lighting designers, Michael Anastassiades.

To complete the “earthy chic” composition, I also included two Haumea side tables from Gallotti&Radice featuring open-pore lacquered wooden bases and brass. The family room also includes stunning pieces from Minotti, the kitchen is completely custom-made by Poliform, and for the three bedrooms of the teenage girls, I chose young and timeless pieces from Herman Miller, including the Nelson bed in natural cane and walnut legs, first introduced in 1954.

Latin Beat
Designer Christina Hamoui celebrates the best of Miami and Brazilian style using designs from Artefacto in a stunning model apartment on the exclusive Fisher Island.


Designer Christina Hamoui furnished this model apartment with pieces from Artefacto. “We used a lot of light linens and jewel-toned statement pieces in the living room,” she says. Sculpted art accents reinforce the residence’s stylish theme and complement the natural palette.

What is the scope of this particular apartment?
It is a model residence with five large bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms spread out over 10,000 square feet in the new Palazzo del Sol development on Fisher Island. I love that the building has expanded terraces and oversize windows that deliver light throughout the space. It’s a bright and happy environment that’s currently on the market for $17.4 million.

What drove your design decisions?
This residence is in a secluded enclave just off of Miami Beach that is only accessible by ferry, boat, or air. The home is framed by gorgeous views. Cruise ships silently glide by at all times of the day. Our inspiration was to create a seamless balance between the home and these endless vistas with natural furnishings that connect all the elements and sights. Casual and contemporary, yet still very formal, like the island itself.


Which furnishings did you choose and why?
Several pieces are from Artefacto’s newest collection. We incorporated furniture with bold lines that feel warm and inviting. There’s the curved Argand sofa in a ruby tone in the living room by the windows, and the twin wooden Lucca coffee tables and the chunky knit merino throw displayed in the main bedroom. We selected seating arrangements that conform to the unique angles of the room. You feel a balance of two opposing elements within the residence: the traditional versus the contemporary. We have a modern apartment with classical finishes that nod to the Mediterranean Revival design of the community as a whole.

What was most rewarding about working on this project?
Having the opportunity to showcase the very best of Brazilian design in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Miami.

Alfresco Flavor
Known for her hands-on approach, Swedish-born interior designer Sofia Joelsson of the Miami-based Sojo Design creates modern yet classic, party-friendly outdoor spaces for a grand retreat in the Hamptons.


This $23 million estate in Sagaponack, New York, is situated on three acres immaculately designed for entertaining by Sofia Joelsson. The owner often hosts large, lavish parties and charity events, and he needed a space that could accommodate hundreds of guests. The one-of-a-kind pool is surrounded by double lounge chairs from Gandia Blasco, customized with a striped black-and-white fabric, while the pool house includes an outdoor kitchen and spacious areas for dining and entertaining.

Tell us about the setting for this project.
The home is a newly built property constructed by Jay Bialsky on over three acres, deep in the heart of Sagaponack, New York. It features about 8,000 square feet on the upper level and 5,000 square feet on the lower level, including eight bedrooms, eight full baths, three half baths, and four fireplaces. Though traditional in style, the house is contemporized by numerous modern touches. The finished lower level boasts a family room, bunk bedroom, gym, theater, and wine cellar with tasting room.

Describe the grounds.
Outside are a 1,100-square-foot bluestone patio, multiple covered porches, and a Har-Tru tennis court. The custom pool boasts both a wading area and a deep end, as well as a lap pool, while the pool house has a grand outdoor kitchen along with sizable entertaining and dining areas.

What was the client’s primary goal?
To be able to entertain an intimate group of people or host parties for more than 300 people.

What influenced your design of the outdoor space?
I wanted it to be masculine with clean lines, and I complemented it with lots of textures to draw people in and create a comfortable summer retreat.

Are there notable outdoor accents or works of art?
For the exterior, we have a Carol Bove sculpture as well as works by Angela Bulloch and Mariko Mori.

What kind of furnishings did you choose for the outdoor areas and why?
I used Clima and their brands for this Hamptons estate. I chose Gandia Blasco’s double lounge chairs around the pool and custom-upholstered them in a striped black-and-white fabric. For the lower level, I decided to use Dedon’s Dala lounge chairs and poufs for a playful design.

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