Veronica Solorzano paints a colorful picture of the Venezuela-based family for whom she designed the interiors of a luxury condominium on Key Biscayne. “They’re always on the move, traveling to their second home in Aruba or skiing in Colorado,” she says. “When they come to Florida on holiday, they play golf and entertain and frequent trendy, cosmopolitan places.”
With that in mind, the wife’s vision of an all-white beachfront space came as both a surprise and a challenge. “Their home in Venezuela is very traditional, and the one in Aruba is minimalist,” Solorzano explains. “I understood that they were looking for a change, but a lot of Miami Beach residences have a white palette, and I wanted to give them a design that was unique.”
The solution came from Solorzano’s obsession with texture, which she applied to everything from wall finishes to throw pillows to accent pieces made from fun, unexpected materials. “Sometimes, when you have a very clean and contemporary look, you can make it feel more organic and earthy when you focus on adding some texture to it,” she says. “It warms things up.”
Solorzano warmed things up even more by incorporating some subtle gray tones into the mix as well—for example, the oak flooring in the bedrooms and wood veneer wallpaper in the powder room. In the end, the neutral color scheme had inherent advantages, including drawing attention to the sparkling blue ocean views and serving to showcase the owners’ significant collection of modern art.
An open floor plan makes all of these attributes readily apparent. In the main living areas, texture comes into play on walls finished with a Venetian plaster treatment. Against that backdrop, the living room furnishings, including a sofa and elongated chaise, are both casual and sophisticated. Fabrics, such as light gray linen, Thai silk and mohair, are soft to the touch. A basket-weave wood-frame armchair is reminiscent of driftwood. “It’s a nice connection to the beach,” Solorzano says.
Extending off one end of the living room is the dining room, which, in turn, opens to an ample terrace and an even more generous ocean view. Off the opposite end, the wood-paneled family room, which also serves as the media lounge, features a low sectional sofa and ottoman duo that may be reconfigured as needed, as well as a threaded wool ottoman and an overhead light fixture that Solorzano says looks as if it zoomed down from outer space.
The master suite is especially tranquil, with its walls treated with a linen-like finish and doors opening to an ocean-view terrace. It too has some playful touches—in particular, a pair of bedside lamps with driftwood and chrome-plated glass shades and an off-kilter diamond-shaped wall mirror. Although such details add personality to the rooms, they’re what Solorzano typically sources last on shopping trips to New York City. “I have my favorite design stores in Miami,” she says, “but New York is a different world for fashion, design, art, everything. When I’m close to finishing a project, I always go there for three or four days to look for things like pillows, accessories and rugs to give it the final touch.”
With the owners out of town for most of the planning process (the wife came over for a few days to help select key pieces, such as sofas and the master bed, while images of other furnishings and finishes were shared long-distance), Solorzano was given free rein. “They were the easiest clients,” she says. “I was told, ‘Go ahead with it. Whatever you think is right, let’s do it.’ When a project comes out right, like this one, it’s because a client trusts you and lets you guide them.”