Inside a contemporary Miami home with furniture that doubles as art – Robb Report
The green artwork in the living room is a piece of glass painted by Kevin Harman.
When an active young New York family moved to a 7,838 square foot waterfront property in Miami, they said Design Allen Saunders with clear priorities for their newly built residence. They wanted comfort, functionality and “a timeless modern aesthetic” to pair with contemporary Balinese-inspired architecture, according to Saunders. It is therefore not surprising that the entrance hall, the main artery of the house both for those who live there and for visitors, is the manifestation of all these desires.
Creating an entryway with a mix of organic materials and muted tones was not without risk, says Saunders. “Combining multiple finishing materials in varying tones, textures and patterns in an entry area could prove disastrous,” he says. “The space could easily become extremely complicated, visually cluttered and overwhelming to the eyes,” he adds. “Our selections were methodical and placed with the intention of achieving the calm balance desired by our client and our design team.”
Entertainment areas were another priority. The whole house, which Saunders designed from scratch, has an indoor-outdoor feel, especially the living room, which has glass walls leading out to the terrace. Saunders brought sun loungers by Jorge Zalszupin in space to give it a more tropical feel. “There aren’t a lot of walls in the room because there’s a lot of glass,” he says. “So we had to make works of art that were real furniture. In addition to the Zalszupine chairs, other collector’s design pieces that add an artistic touch include a Rosanna brass coffee table by Erwan Boulloud—One of only eight in the world — and Lindsey Adelman Knotty appliques.
The dining room is in the same space and is separated by a glass-enclosed fireplace perched atop a piece of reclaimed wood from a former Seattle marine warehouse. “It’s not that you need a home in Florida, but they loved the idea of having that glow,” says Saunders. “If they’re having fun at night, they can turn it on. “
The kitchen was another important place. It’s a great place to prepare meals for a dinner party or family reunion with four ovens, three dishwashers, three sinks, and wine refrigerators. Saunders added warmth to the space by wrapping the exhaust hood in 10-inch oak planks – the same material used for the floors upstairs – and used petrified wood from India for the island.
It is a property that Saunders designed to grow with the family. While children are young now, they can move out of certain spaces in a few years. The games room, for example, located on the first level, can be transformed into an open bar on the lawn. There is room to add a sculpture garden outside as the kids get older and spend less time outdoors. Most importantly, the house had to be easy to maintain, and it looked warm and inviting. “They didn’t want something cold, ”adds the designer. “They didn’t want to feel like they were living in a museum.”
Check out more photos from the Miami digs below: