A Transitional Miami Home with Mediterranean Touches


Mediterranean Neutral Exterior with Ebonized Window Frames

Limited colors and a lack of ornamentation make a traditional Mediterranean villa-style structure decidedly more modern. Ebonized frames on the Marvin windows balance the light façade, which features textured stucco by Duenas & Gutierrez Plaster.

Mediterranean Neutral Exterior with Ebonized Window Frames

Limited colors and a lack of ornamentation make a traditional Mediterranean villa-style structure decidedly more modern. Ebonized frames on the Marvin windows balance the light façade, which features textured stucco by Duenas & Gutierrez Plaster.

Transitional White Exterior with Blue Mediterranean Accents

French doors that open to a covered terrace; when weather permits, the doors are left open, connecting the interiors to the lush outdoor spaces, practically doubling the living space.

Transitional White Living Room with Blush Ottoman

Chairs by Caracole and CR Laine get cozy beside the fireplace in the living room; an Ironies chandelier from Jerry Pair offers glamour overhead. Minimal wall space prompted the designer to add color and pattern through the Jaipur rug underfoot. The ottoman is by B.A. Upholstery, and the table is by Artistica.

Transitional White Entry with Brazilian Walnut Flooring

A Theodore Alexander console and stools from Emissary welcome the homeowners and their guests in the entry, where custom doors by Signature Door were stained to match the rich Brazilian walnut flooring.

Transitional Neutral Dining Room with Graphic Wallpaper

The curves of the Caracole table and chairs lend a subtle softness to the dining room, while a C.R. Currin sideboard adds contemporary flair. A single wall of graphic wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries introduces texture and pattern. Shades on the Fine Art Lamps chandelier help maintain the warmth of the space.

Transitional White Kitchen with Metal-Framed Chairs

Caracole’s oversize, metal-framed chairs circle a wood-and-glass breakfast table by Noir in the kitchen. The custom-colored floor tiles from Casa Cielo tile & Mosaic were also used for the outdoor kitchen backsplash. The chandelier is by Visual Comfort & Co.

Transitional White Kitchen with Custom Hood Cover

In the classic white kitchen, cabinetry by Viking Kabinets incorporates a custom hood cover and appliance paneling. Natural quartzite countertops, fabricated by Reyes Granite & Marble, are a cool counterpoint to the dark wood island illuminated by Visual Comfort & Co. pendants.

Transitional Neutral Family Room with Striped Chairs

The family room was designed to complement the adjacent kitchen; together they serve as one large entertaining space. Bamboo-framed chairs by Noir sport a cheery Robert Allen stripe. The sofa is by Eilersen; the coffee table is by Vanguard Furniture. A side table by Global Views has cutouts that keep the vantage point flowing to the kitchen.

Transitional Neutral Family Room with Dog

Interior designer Bea Pila married natural textures with durable textiles to create comfortable pet- and family-friendly spaces. Chloe, the owners’ beloved Bichon Frise, rests on an area rug by Jaipur. Behind her is a Campinas console by Environment.

Transitional Family Room with Bar

The owners chose the same dark blue matte labradorite marble for the countertops on the family room bar and in the outdoor kitchen. The designer likens the iridescent stone to a deep pool of water.

Transitional White Terrace with Pool Overlook

Terraces on the main and second levels overlook the pool, spa and garden, which are surrounded by lush tropical foliage that offers privacy as well as natural beauty. The pool, by Pool Tech of Miami, features a Jewelscapes interior finish and glass waterline tile.

Transitional Neutral Gazebo with Built-In Banquette

A Mediterranean-inspired gazebo features the same tile found on the interior kitchen floor, visually connecting the inside and outdoors. A built-in banquette has a low profile so the sight line to the garden remains unobstructed; it is joined by a Summer Classics wicker chair. The barstools are by Tommy Bahama through Lexington Home Brands.

Transitional Dining Area with Buddha Head Statue

Pila designed the exterior spaces, such as this dining area, in the same casually elegant way she approached the interiors. Referencing the owners’ affinity for entertaining outdoors, she jokes that it feels as if she used more furniture outside than inside. The dining table, chairs and bench are by Summer Classics.

Transitional White Bedroom with Oversized Headboard

A generously sized bedside table by Caracole balances the grand scale of the 10-foot-high headboard, designed by Pila and fabricated by Craft Master Custom Cabinets. Four Hands pendants gracefully dangle from the ceiling; a striking glass chandelier by Cyan Design can be seen in the foreground.

Transitional White Bathroom with Gold Marble

A freestanding tub by Victoria + Albert tucks into a niche in the master bathroom, featuring ample amounts of natural light and views of the garden through a shade from Curtain Call. An upholstered stool by Worlds Away provides a warm contrast to the Calacatta gold marble used throughout the space.

Transitional White Terrace with Custom Turquoise Table

A second-floor terrace off the master bedroom, which overlooks the verdant backyard and pool, can be used year-round and offers the owners their own private outdoor oasis. Still, it’s a popular hangout spot for the whole family. A custom tabletop rests on a turquoise base from Seasonal Living.

For interior designer Bea Pila, whose philosophy centers on creating spaces that align with her clients’ lifestyles and inspire use, joining forces with a couple who wanted to build a family-friendly house for entertaining was a dream job. “It was a very fun collaboration,” she says. “The owners envisioned a usable, relaxed home with an emphasis on outdoor spaces. They wanted to enjoy every single room, and that’s the way it should be.”

Clients Amparo and Octavio Bravo came across Pila’s work at an open house, and when they met in person, the chemistry was instant. “I love her style, and she really listens,” says Amparo. “Bea is all about making sure the project is more about you than her.” Both remarried with college-age children, the Bravos needed a home that would accommodate their newly combined households and allow them to easily entertain extended family and friends. When they couldn’t find what they were looking for, they decided to build their desired home on a verdant lot they discovered in the exclusive Ponce Davis neighborhood of Miami.

“The owners requested a Mediterranean-inspired house without arches or ornamentation,” recalls architect Antonio E. Rodriguez, who devised the plan carried out by builder Jose Garcia. “The lot was narrow, but it lent itself to their vision: a clean and classic two-story, villa-style structure. The result is an elegant and timeless house that looks like it could have been built 200 years ago.”

A simple yet stately entry leads to a gallery lined with French doors that open to a covered terrace; when weather permits, the doors are left open, connecting the interiors to the lush outdoor spaces, practically doubling the living space. The public rooms on the first floor and the private quarters upstairs overlook an alfresco oasis, complete with a gazebo, outdoor kitchen, separate dining and seating areas, and a pool, all nestled within a landscape designed by Rossembel Gonzalez.

Inside and out, Pila worked with the transitional style and neutral palette preferred by the Bravos: shades of blue and green enliven the white walls and echo the tropical surroundings, while dark-stained interior doors and Brazilian wood floors balance the light envelope and provide richness and warmth. A thoughtful blend of textures, matte finishes, linens and other forgiving fabrics results in rooms that purposely encourage kicking back and relaxing, with much of the furnishings being obtained through Pila’s Coconut Grove shop, Artistic Lifestyle. “We wanted practical and functional because we want the children to feel as comfortable entertaining their friends as we feel entertaining ours,” says Amparo.

The Bravos’ casual style and love of entertaining were the joint inspiration behind the lounge-like living room, where club chairs convene around a fireplace and an antique-mirror-and-glass-enclosed wine cellar is carved out beneath the stairs. “It would have been so easy for this room to have gone in the direction of ‘look but don’t touch,’ ” says Pila, “but I believe if you give a space an activity, people will come.”

These days, Bravo family activities often take place in the combined kitchen, breakfast and family room area, where a classic white kitchen mingles with Mediterranean details: dark wood doors and kitchen island, as well as vibrant blue tile inset in the Crema Marfil marble floor to mimic an area rug (the same tile serves as the outdoor barbecue backsplash). To accommodate her clients’ request for no countertop clutter, Pila designed a wall of built-in kitchen storage, which wraps into the family room to include a floor-to-ceiling wine refrigerator. French doors lead directly to the outdoor kitchen and bar, where the interior color palette, furnishings and finishes continue, creating seamless transitions from inside to outside.

The combination of soft whites, dark woods and shades of blue continues upstairs, where the master bedroom spans the entire space above the kitchen and family room. The Bravos originally planned for even larger sleeping quarters, but at Pila’s suggestion, they reduced the size in order to make room for a separate morning kitchen, built-in storage and a dressing area; a foyer leads to a pair of closets and master bathroom. A custom wood-framed headboard extends almost 10 feet high, drawing the eye up to the sky blue ceiling and glamorous glass chandelier. Tone-on-tone patterned wallpaper adds subtle texture, while a silk patchwork rug offers color and softness underfoot. Another outdoor terrace overlooks the leafy backyard, and it’s Amparo’s favorite spot in the house. “Even on the second floor, the outside feels like our own little piece of paradise,” she says. “When my husband and
I are outside, the kids will come home, sit down, talk and stay. It becomes special family time without us even trying.”

And effortless entertaining is exactly what Pila intended. “When I visit, I see all the spaces I created being used and enjoyed in the way I envisioned,” she says. “I can’t tell you how fulfilling and satisfying that is. You know you’ve done something right when people don’t want to leave.”

— Terri Sapienza