A Modern Key Biscayne Home with Eclectic Interiors


Modern White Bathroom with Lucite Chair

The master bathroom keeps a quiet midcentury palette to let the foliage outside shine through Dedar’s ikat sheers. This is achieved through custom vanities, ceramic wall tiles by Ann Sacks and a 1960s Mazzega chandelier from Gary Rubinstein Antiques. A lucite chair from Palm Beach Antique & Design Center and a wooden grange chair offer seating.

Eclectic White Sitting Area with Colorful Accents

The sitting area in the master bedroom has a B&B Italia sofa from Luminaire, tables from Visiona and a rug from One Of A Kind. The desk from Mecox has a minimal frame that allows natural light to filter through Dedar sheers from Jerry Pair & Associates. The chair is by Cappellini.

Eclectic White Bedroom with Narrow Windows

The master bedroom balances masculine and feminine aesthetics. A gray bed by Emaf Progetti for Zanotta mixes with a colorful Moroso pouf; a pair of vintage 1960s Murano glass lamps sit atop midcentury tables from Karl Kemp Antiques in New York. The Indian patchwork rug is from Jalan Jalan Collection, and the Milo Baughman bench is from Visiona.

Modern Neutral Deck with Infinity Pool

Between B&B Italia’s Canasta sofa, Great Lakes chaises by Sutherland, and a bench from Judith Norman—paired with a dining table also by Sutherland—the family has plenty of spots for relaxation.

Modern White Deck with Tile Clad Pool

The living and family rooms open onto the pool deck, ideal either for entertaining or as a play area for the kids. The Ann Sacks tiles that clad the pool take their color cues from the blue sky, seen through the sculptural trellis beams.

Modern White Kitchen with Globe Pendants

A glossy white palette and stainless-steel surfaces allow the food to provide color in the kitchen. Intirium furnished the cabinetry, and the countertops—from fine surfaces and more. Reissued Alvar Aalto barstools from Hive line up beneath Glo-Ball pendants by Jasper Morrison for Flos, from Luminaire. Appliances are by Gaggenau.

Eclectic White Living Room with Colorful Rug

The family room is a comfy spot anchored by a Zanotta sofa, a colorful John Freeman rug, and a Karl Springer coffee table from Visiona. A sunburst sculpture from Joseph Anfuso 20th century design and a painting by Santiago Paulos overlook the space.

Eclectic White Dining Room with Shag Rug

In the dining room, a Holly Hunt table joins Flexform side chairs and Blackman Cruz head chairs on a rug from ABC Carpet & Home. Jean-François Rauzier’s artwork is from Waterhouse & Dodd via Pulse Miami Beach, and Manu’s acrylic dresses are from Ercole Home in New York.

Eclectic White Living Room with Artistic Chandelier

A David Weeks Studio chandelier, from Ralph Pucci in New York, hangs in the foyer, where custom millwork and shelving—designed by Robert Rionda and fabricated by Alfredo Custom Furniture—frame a view of the pool. In the living room, 1950s chairs by Peter Hvidt, purchased from Gary Rubinstein Antiques, hug a garden stool from John Rosselli & Associates.

Eclectic White Living Room with Blue Curved Sofa

Vintage Turkish prints from Kakar House of Design and Fortuny pillows from Monica James & Co. enliven a gray Zanotta sofa in the living room. Blown-glass lamps from Kerson 20th Century Design perch on Paul McCobb side tables from Lobel Modern, both in New York. A neutral carpet from Niba Rug Collections grounds a 1970s shag rug from Nihil Novi and a vintage François Monnet coffee table. Coraggio textiles fashion the sheers, fabricated by Oceanview Shades & Drapery.

Modern White Front Elevation with Trellis Beams

Architect and Builder Bruno Elias Ramos conceptually designed the modern house as a cube, carving out spaces to shape the interior rooms as well as the open pool deck and rooftop terrace. Trellis beams create shade from southern exposure.

Modern White Entry with Artwork

The home’s sense of color and style begins at the entry, where a 1970s Pop art piece by Beverly Waltner—purchased at Visiona—greets visitors along with a mosaic-and-bronze table from Dual, found through 1stdibs, and a vintage ’70s Danish shag rug from Nihil Novi.

Set against the lush backdrop of Key Biscayne, a sculptural house pops against the tropical surroundings—its interlocking white rectangular forms epitomizing Miami modern architecture. Resplendent with a diverse array of contemporary art and vintage furniture, the house has a sense of festivity that begins as soon as one enters its colorful fusion of indoor and outdoor spaces. “Living here is a dream come true,” says Maria Virginia Zambrano, the design-savvy owner who calls this place home along with her husband, Eddy Saade, and their children.

“I was immediately struck by her passion and excitement,” recalls designer Robert Rionda, who worked in close collaboration with Maria to outfit the interiors. “She came to our first dinner together with an inspiration book like I’ve never seen before. It was overflowing with ideas ranging from pictures of pop stars to jewelry, colors and furniture—it was eclectic in the best way.”

To begin, architect Bruno Elias Ramos made the more uncommon decision to place the swimming pool in the front of the house, behind a tree-lined garden wall by landscape designer Michael Thiel, as opposed to the back. This allowed the entire ground floor—be it the living and dining rooms at the home’s entrance or the open kitchen and family room in back—to wrap around the pool, making it a focal point. The family often congregates around its infinity edge and an adjacent barbecue area. “There are sliding glass doors all around the pool, so you can see it from each of the public rooms,” says Ramos, who specified the interior layouts and served as the home’s builder. Equally striking is a rooftop deck with even more picturesque vistas. “Outside, the downstairs areas are the more active spaces, while the upstairs is more passive,” Ramos says. “On the rooftop terrace, you can watch the sunset with a cocktail and enjoy views of Key Biscayne’s treetops, Biscayne Bay and the downtown skyline.”  

Because the house has wide-open spaces and an abundance of windows looking out onto nature, Rionda wanted to infuse the interiors with a wealth of color. “The use of rich and vibrant tones, as opposed to a neutral palette, allows the eye to focus on the art and furnishings that we curated while still appreciating the architecture and views of the landscape,” Rionda says.

But there was also an extra challenge: The two homeowners didn’t see eye to eye stylistically. Maria liked modern furnishings while her husband preferred traditional. “I’d say, ‘I love this chair,’” she remembers, “and he’d say, ‘Are you crazy?’ It was a long journey, but he trusted me and he trusted Robert. Then, after we moved in, my husband said, ‘This is my taste now, too.’”

In the double-height living room, the focal point is a large 10-by-7-foot photograph the couple had commissioned before the home was completed. It depicts the mountainous Venezuelan capital of Caracas, from which they emigrated. The photo, titled Blue Caracas by Vicente Diez, is broken down into a multi-square grid; its pattern is picked up in a Don Harvey Bones screen, found at John Salibello, separating the living and dining rooms. The tones of the sky in the photo also inspired the selection of Clarence House’s blue velvet to reupholster the living room’s classic midcentury Vladimir Kagan Floating Curve sofa.

The nearby dining room was designed to accommodate formal dinner parties without feeling too formal. Thus, it elegantly pairs vintage Italian Venini chandeliers with clean-lined and classic furniture. Yet the conversation piece among guests invariably becomes a bronze sculpture that Maria received as a gift and then covered entirely in colorful balloons. Originally it was located in a play area for the kids, but Rionda—appreciating its blend of old-world tradition and Pop art fun—suggested a prominent place beside the dining table. Around the corner is the family room, a more casual area with a large sofa where the entire family can gather, yet the space still seems grown-up because it’s filled with eye-catching art and worldly objects, such as a chrome coffee table and a vintage English rug in bold reds and blues.

If most of the house is stocked with colorful and stylish furniture and art, then the kitchen exhibits a simpler, more functional elegance with high-gloss white cabinets, white quartzite countertops and an island topped in stainless steel. “Not many of my clients ask for stainless steel, but Maria is a classically trained chef, so for her it was important for the kitchen to be not only beautiful but also functional,” recalls Jorge Rodriguez, who, along with business partner Juan Carlos Quijano, worked with Maria to bring to life her dream kitchen that suits the family’s needs and lifestyle.

Upstairs ck, the master bedroom serves as a respite from vivacious family life, with room for a chic sofa and a globe-shaped ottoman for watching television, as well as a small floating desk. Mitch McGee’s Pop art piece of a woman’s face overlooks the space, along with artwork Maria made, titled My Heart is Yours (Handle with Care), using wood, paint and stickers that read “fragile.”

Indeed, although the house is full of signature furniture and art, it’s the passions of both clients and designers that make the house sing. “For me, creating this home was amazing,” Maria says. “I loved showing my kids that there are so many ways to be creative. But it also comes down to Robert and the rest of the team: They knew what we wanted even better than we did.”

—Brian Libby