A Contemporary Coral Gables Residence with Mediterranean Inspiration


Contemporary White Bathroom with Tile Flooring

Thassos tile from Waterworks was chosen for flooring in the master bathroom. A Julia Gray Venetian mirror hangs above a custom vanity by Madeline Stuart, which is paired with a custom acrylic bench from Plexi-Craft in New York. The table lamp is by Vaughan from Nessen Showroom and the hanging pendant is by Boyd Lighting.

Contemporary Gray Bedroom with Cotton Velvet Chaise

In the master bedroom, the bed, chaise and sofa, all designed by Baron Design Studio, were upholstered by Le Jeune in a soft cotton velvet. Sateen-stitched percale linens are by Muse Group from ThreadCount. Madeline Stuart mahogany chests support natural- mineral lamps by Jan Showers.

Contemporary White Family Room with Striped Armchairs

Four Dessin Fournir armchairs covered in a Glant stripe are paired with a custom A. Rudin sofa from J. Batchelor in the family room. A custom Niba rug with a black-and-gray Greek key border references the continued dark-and-light stone flooring throughout. Drapery fabric from Jim Thompson.

Covered Dining

Outside near the pool is a dining area with a Janus et Cie table and chairs; the umbrellas are by Tuuci from Casual Environs. In the loggia is another dining area with Janus et Cie chairs pulled up to a long Sutherland table.

Contemporary Cream Dining Room with Barrel Vault Ceiling

A Dessin Fournir chandelier from David Sutherland hangs in the dining room over a custom Dessin Fournir table found at Jerry Pair. Dark walnut chairs from Holly Hunt are covered in a Donghia fabric, and draperies are by Bergamo. The sconces are by Porta Romana from Niba Home.

Contemporary Cream Kitchen with Geometric Pendants

The kitchen’s green granite island countertops offset the counters near the sink and the Walker Zanger backsplash, while adding contrast to the dark cabinetry by Hector & Hector. In the corner, chairs by Jorge Pensi from Knoll nestle around a Harris Rubin table.

Contemporary Gray Living Room with Red Accents

A custom carpet by Niba Rugs is centered on the living room’s two-tone flooring from Piedras International. Two custom Formations chests are covered in faux leather from Architex International in Northbrook, Illinois; mirrors above are by Kerry Joyce for Dessin Fournir.

Contemporary White Living Room with Double-Height Ceiling

In the double-height entry, a Holly Hunt sofa and chairs create intimate seating before the fireplace. A custom Kevin Reilly chandelier hangs above a Formations coffee table. Kidney pillows with a Jane Churchill floral print reference the red Rogers and Goffigon silk-sateen draperies.

Contemporary White Front Elevation with Trellises

Borrowing elements from the Mediterranean style as well as English country houses, architect Jorge L. Hernandez gave this home it's own contemporary yet elegant look.

With a design and architecture team that’s worked together on a handful of other projects, this seven-bedroom residence in Coral Gables saw a high level of trust and collaboration among the professionals involved. In fact, according to architect Jorge L. Hernandez, there was almost an “encouragement of friendly trespassing in terms of each other’s boundaries.”

Like a family themselves, Hernandez would weigh in on fabric choices by interior designer Nikki Baron; Baron would review Hernandez’s floor plans; and even builder Oscar Hidalgo imparted his own training as an architect. Together with landscape designers Jorge A. Sanchez and Phil Maddux, the five worked together with the young husband and wife who asked their “Dream Team,” as they called them, to create a spacious yet intimate home that would also be safe and friendly for their little ones.

The house sits on a large, wooded lake-facing lot. Borrowing elements from the Mediterranean style as well as from English country houses by Edwin Lutyens, the early 20th-century British architect known for landscape connectedness, Hernandez designed a more contemporary house with the kind of layered interplay with nature typical of classic garden design.

From the drive, the house unfolds in stages. Beyond several fruit trees, a pergola breaks at the drive and transitions to a deeper area, a courtyard with four Canary Island date palms, emphasizing movement past distinct areas toward the front door. The exterior is made of striated layers of black lava stone and light coral stone, which Hernandez says is “the native geological substrate. It’s porous, so it catches the light and creates pockets of chiaroscuro.” Lutyens-like touches, such as walking through orchestrated space, can be felt throughout the house. The entry area’s stuccoed living area, for example, is double-height, whereas the dining room features a low-barrel ceiling to create intimacy.

Layout and functionality were especially important factors: “We constructed the house for the family first,” says the husband, who appreciates architecture and minored in art history in college. “We wanted a big kitchen, and rooms where we could relax and play.” Consequently, spaces are laid out “like a string of pearls,” explains Hernandez, so that main rooms have views of the lake.

As for the interiors, “The couple wanted it to be streamlined and contemporary,” says Baron. The sophisticated entry has a small seating area dressed in a serene palette of taupes with a splash of red; a billiards room is tucked away off one end. And following the lead of the two-tone exteriors, the flooring here, and in several rooms, is a light limestone with a 30-inch black lava stone border. That width—the same throughout the house—determined by the exact depth of the two leather-covered chests near the billiards room. “The whole composition of indoors and outdoors works together,” says the designer.

Baron repeated the dark and light themes in the dining room, too, where a black wrought-iron chandelier hangs over a rich mahogany table and walnut chairs; the walls and upholstery are tones of beige; and the floor is, again, black and white. In the spacious family room, a black Greek key-bordered rug hints at classical architecture while playing off the durably upholstered gray-and-neutral striped armchairs in the plush seating area. The family lounges here and in the spacious kitchen, where pretty, polished green granite countertops on the islands warm up the stainless-steel backsplash and dark cabinetry by Hector & Hector.

It’s no surprise that these popular spaces offer views of the lake, as well as the pool. Landscape architect Sanchez surrounded the patio with plantings, including a Podocarpus hedge and Solanum trees. “They give a sense of semi-enclosure, with some openness,” he says, referencing some of the principles of Lutyens’ work.

“My wife and I love the feel of the place,” says the husband. “With the oak trees, the lake, and the varied vegetation, the property doesn’t feel like it’s in Florida, but rather like the suburbs and vacation homes of the Northeast, where we’re originally from.” Says Hernandez, “One doesn’t think of Miami as pastoral, but we like to keep certain secrets.”