There was one important rule: All of the walls had to be white. That was the directive given to designers Diana Uribe and David Miranda by their clients, a beach-loving Cuban-American couple who bought a home in the island town of Key Biscayne. “They like open spaces and a lot of light, and they wanted to make it modern and elegant,” Uribe says. One look at the sundrenched home and the way the geometric furnishings and vibrant art pop make it clear the design mandate was well worth it.
The contemporary house boasts generous windows and glass walls that allow sunshine to flood the living areas. The design duo’s goals were to maximize this effect and to pull the clean lines of the architecture—designed by Pepe Oleas of Oleas + Associates—into the interior design. Luckily, they were already quite familiar with the architecture, as the house was originally built by Uribe’s father, Alberto Uribe, of Seahorse Construction.
Inspired by the home’s linear appeal—the house is a series of connected squares—the designers playfully skewed the contours of the furnishings and accessories. “We used different elements that all speak the same language of angles and diagonal lines,” Miranda explains. New items, mostly Italian brands, mix with customized pieces, such as a geometric entry console and modular media cabinetry, meeting specific functional needs while offering an artfully unique edge. “We used a lot of organic materials like wood, leathers, stone, and glass,” Uribe says of the pair’s organic-modern style. “We worked with the owners for a year to curate everything, piece by piece.”
Furnishings are mainly seen in shades of gray and taupe, with the upholstery and pillows in various fabrics—linens, satins and leathers—to add rich texture. But despite these neutralities and the essential white walls and flooring, the home is hardly devoid of color, with various shades of blue playing a central role in the design. “The organic-modern style is translated inside the house, where we brought in the color of the sky by using pillows and sculpture as blue accents,” Miranda says.
The gallery-like house is well suited to display the homeowners’ newly acquired abstract art. With the designers as their guides, the couple visited several auxiliary shows during Art Basel Miami Beach, including Art Miami, Scope and Design Miami/, and made several acquisitions. “The owners enjoyed spending time with us and learning about art,” Miranda says. “Together, we selected all of the pieces for this home, and now they’ve become collectors.”
Uribe and Miranda also created their own artwork for the home, in the form of a dark wood accent wall in the dining room emblazoned with mirrored strips (the owners agreed to break their all-white-walls rule, just this once). “We like to do a signature piece in all of our projects,” Uribe says. “The house is surrounded by foliage and there’s glass everywhere, so we wanted to capture the green from the outside, which is why we incorporated mirrors as a reflective surface. When you enter the house, that wall is so important.”
Because the couple spend a lot of time outside—often with family and friends, barbecuing and swimming in the pool—just as much thought went into the exterior living spaces. The designers continued the same palette that they used for the interiors, incorporating mainly grays and whites with pops of blue while keeping the furnishings sleek and modern. “They wanted the outdoors to be very comfortable, like the indoors,” Miranda says. “There’s a sitting area on the deck with an oversized umbrella and a large floor lamp for nighttime use that makes the setting feel very homey. The idea was to feel enveloped by the greenery and have the shade from the umbrella to protect against the sun during the day.”
At night, an unexpected shot of blue comes from a neon light within the swimming pool. As Uribe says, “When you are outside at night and everything is illuminated, it’s amazing,” almost as if there were a final art installation specially curated for this home and its owners.