By Jean Nayar | February 16, 2017 | Home & Real Estate
As he continues to expand his family's furniture empire in the US, Artefacto's design impresario, Paulo Nacchi, settles into a new life in a stunning penthouse overlooking the crystalline waters of Biscayne Bay.
Furnishings made exclusively for Artefacto by Jader Almeida and Alejandro Estrada, such as the Wed side table, fill Paulo Bacchi’s stylish Grove at Grand Bay home, along with Artefacto’s own pieces, like the Pure bench.
With his coveted modern furnishings—distinguished by an earthy South American sensibility—Brazilian-born Paulo Bacchi has been putting his stamp on some of the most luxurious dwellings in South Florida for almost 15 years. Since launching the US branch of Artefacto, the company his father founded in São Paolo in 1976, Bacchi’s next-generation take on the retailer’s stylish eco-friendly furnishings has captured the attention of American design lovers hungry for a warmer, more comfortable approach to contemporary living. We met Bacchi at his own extraordinary penthouse in the Grove at Grand Bay, the spectacular new torquing towers in Coconut Grove, where the furnishings virtuoso enlightened us about his views on design—and how it shapes his laid-back and luxurious lifestyle.
What appeals to you about the Grove at Grand Bay and Coconut Grove as a place to live?
Coconut Grove is actually the oldest neighborhood in Miami. It has a colorful past that’s now being rediscovered. There are new parks, restaurants, and retail. I love the idea of something old becoming new again. The architect on Grove at Grand Bay is an incredible talent named Bjarke Ingels. His contemporary vision respects the neighborhood’s history yet beautifully channels a new energy and style. He integrates and connects nature, greenery, and waterfront throughout, which resonates well with my personal style.
Tell me a little about the apartment.
Grove at Grand Bay has two towers that look like they’re twisting. It’s a very interesting configuration, like a work of art. This residence is in the North tower and directly faces the water and endless green space from almost every angle. It is a multi-storied penthouse spread out over 5,000 square feet with five bedrooms and six bathrooms. The rooftop deck has a plunge pool and great spaces to entertain—all connected with nature. We used a lot of mirrors to reflect light and views. It’s incredible.
How about the outdoor areas?
The terraces are incredible. They face Biscayne Bay, which is always populated with sailboats. There are more than 100 species of greenery in the grounds, selected by Raymond Jungles, the landscape designer. It looks like Central Park from certain angles because there are so many treetops creating a canvas of green everywhere you look. Truly beautiful.
Tell me about your lifestyle in the home.
This home is grand but feels warm and intimate. I can imagine a large family enjoying this lifestyle with a lot of entertaining and dinner parties. The living and dining areas are designed for this. We used calm, natural palettes that welcome you in with a comfortable sense of formality. It’s extremely impressive because wide-open spaces and glass walls overlooking endless views surround you. This is a floating residence in the sky that reflects warmth, beauty, and nature.
Is there a philosophy that informs your point of view on interior design?
Warm contemporary is what defines Artefacto. The surrounding environments influence us. The water, views, and energy inform our entire design approach.
Providing spectacular views of the bay, the glass walls in the master bedroom and kitchen, as well as a palette of off-white and light gray, create an airy, welcoming atmosphere.
Which specific Artefacto furnishings were used here?
Many pieces are from Artefacto, along with exclusive pieces from Jader Almeida and Alejandro Estrada. From Jader, there are the Wed side tables, the Mirah armchairs, and the Jardim side tables. From Alejandro, there are the Pipo lounge chairs in a gray-whitewashed color. From Artefacto, we incorporated the Pure bench and the Vulcan coffee table in the living spaces and many pieces from our new collection, such as the Trevi tables, the Foster coffee tables, and more. On the outdoor terrace, there are the Venetian chaise lounges that line the pool area and the Natura coffee table. We like functional pieces that act as a platform for customization through time.
What are your thoughts on bringing pattern or texture into the mix?
We selected wallpaper that introduces unexpected subtle textures. Light grays, synthetic stingray, and fibers cover the walls. An off-white marble flooring from Greece adds to the floating feeling and provides a gorgeous surface for Artefacto furnishings with plush linens, steel, and wood. Everything is natural. We installed a stunning Baccarat chandelier over the dining room. It punctuates the room, and at night it’s magical.
The rooftop deck has a plunge pool, greenery, and plenty of space for entertaining.
What drives your attitude toward art? What do you collect?
I’ve been attending Art Basel for many years and have purchased many pieces, with some blue-chip artworks by Koons, Hirst, and Botero, as well as some more contemporary pieces, largely from South America. Art is an important aspect for Artefacto. In this residence, there’s a nature-centered work by a Cuban artist named Jorge Mayet entitled Mi Tierra. The artist created it with the mind-set of bringing along a part from his homeland that hangs on the walls. It’s almost as if art functions as an extension of the residence.
Are there architects or designers in Brazil—or other parts of the world—whose ideas inspire your approach to design?
I love the Modernist masters, such as Oscar Niemeyer and Lina Bo Bardi, who really showcase the best of design coming from South America. In recent years, their pieces command high prices and are coveted by collectors of mid-century design.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRAN PARENTE