Bold Brazilian Influences Define a Miami Waterfront Condo


By Way of Brazil in Miami

A Sunny Isles Beach condo transforms into a colorful and chic vacation home that welcomes family from around the globe.

Blue and White Artful Living Room Vignette with Comfy Couch

The owners of this Sunny Isles Beach condo always dreamed of having a vacation home on the coast for their international family. “After searching and looking at many apartments, we chose this one because it’s so large and has magnificent views,” says the wife.

Reading Nook with Magenta Carpet, Wingback Chairs, and Ocean View

A quiet nook off the living room is perfect for reading or relaxing. Twin taupe suede lounge chairs and matching ottomans nestle up to 180-degree water views, and an overdyed rug from Amir Rug Gallery adds a pop of color to the cozy space.

Wooden Chair and Gallery Wall Living Room with Blue Touches

Like the homeowners themselves, the living room’s furniture—a white linen sofa, a pair of wood-and-leather Pilão chairs by Bruno Faucz and a custom wood-slab coffee table—hails from Brazil. These neutral pieces are the perfect foil to the room’s colorful gallery of mostly local artwork.

Wooden Table Console Bar with Ottomans and Artwork

Matching Missoni Home-patterned footstools from One of a Kind tuck beneath a sleek wood console table-turned-bar from Brazil in the living room, where interior designers Laila Colvin and Rafaela Simoes played with the width and depth of vertical slats to create the textured panel wall. The black-and-white artwork is also from One of a Kind.

LED Light Library Shelf Living Room Corner

The new panel wall that runs along the living and dining rooms ends at a custom white-lacquered bookshelf, which Colvin and Simoes designed as a premier place for the homeowners to display their cherished collection of objects and accessories.

Blue Green Mosaic Kitchen Backsplash with White Cabinets and Island

A green glass mosaic backsplash from Ceramic Matrix in the kitchen echoes the ocean’s greens and blues. “We kept it simple,” says Simoes of the space with its white quartz countertops and white-lacquered cabinets from Nolte Küchen.

Brown Chair Circular Dining Area with Plant and Artwork

Six leather chairs from Brazil encircle an Arabescato marble-topped Saarinen table from Addison House to form a chic dining area. Light pours in from floor-to-ceiling windows draped in white linen, and a rich brown light fixture from Farrey’s helps illuminate the space.

Soft Blue Guest Bedroom with Ocean Views and Plush Gray Carpet

The guest bedroom features pale oceanic tones and a luxe white bed from Sierra Furniture. An aqua-lacquered table from CB2 pulls double duty as a nightstand, while a West Elm bench invites guests to kick off their shoes and sink their toes into the plush gray rug from Amir Rug Gallery.

The owners of this Sunny Isles Beach condo always dreamed of having a vacation home on the coast for their international family. “After searching and looking at many apartments, we chose this one because it’s so large and has magnificent views,” says the wife, who primarily lives in Brazil with her husband.

Indeed, the condo’s size and location made it the ideal gathering spot for the couple, their two sons and their many grandchildren who live in Brazil, Canada and the U.S., but the interior layout left much to be desired. “The apartment was ugly and outdated,” the wife recalls. “It needed a major overhaul.” To remedy the situation, the homeowners turned to Laila Colvin and Rafaela Simoes, the Brazilian design duo behind Miami’s 2id Interiors. Over a 6-month time frame, Colvin and Simoes fluently translated the family’s varied design requests—fun and colorful, beachy and tropical, organic and earthy—in a stylish, cohesive way. 

The spectacular Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway views that first attracted the owners became a natural starting place for the new design. “On Sunny Isles, the water changes from green to blue to teal, and we wanted to embrace that,” says Simoes, who together with Colvin turned floor-to-ceiling windows into focal points of the decor. The glass panes and sliding doors are dressed in sheer white linens for unobstructed views, while artwork, textiles, tiling and accessories in blues and greens echo the ombré water vistas. A backdrop of soft white walls and crema marble flooring paired with wood accents and natural textures ensures the home feels cozy rather than cold. 

However, Colvin and Simoes did much more than just dress the space. In the condo’s original layout, a formal dining room assumed a large central space with beautiful east and west views, and an office area sat off the kitchen—neither type of room encouraged relaxed family vacations. The designers devised a new floor plan better suited to their clients’ needs, converting the formal dining area into a welcoming family room and tucking a casual breakfast nook against a corner window. They also transformed the office into a family-friendly dining room that comfortably seats six. “We flipped the use of the layout, and they loved it,” Simoes says. “Now they have living and family rooms in the main area with the best views.” 

Though the vistas outside certainly command attention, the scenery inside is no less striking. The living room’s colorful gallery wall grew around two small black-and-white photographs from the owners’ personal collection. Colvin and Simoes framed the special prints and centered them within an eclectic mix of found artwork. A heavy carved peroba coffee table adds an organic element to the room and is one of several signature Brazilian pieces showcased throughout the Sunny Isles Beach condo. Others include the twin Bruno Faucz chairs flanking the coffee table, as well as a large abstract artwork in the family room that was custom-painted by Miami-based Brazilian artist Margot Jannes.

Two taupe egg chairs sit atop a plush purple rug in a windowed corner just off the living room—an invitation to relax and enjoy unobstructed views. Directly behind is a lighted bookshelf the 2id Interiors team designed to hold the homeowners’ books and beloved accessories. The bookshelf connects to a new textured panel wall fabricated by KEJ Installation Furniture that runs along the living and dining rooms, adding visual interest in the condo’s public space and concealing doorways to more private areas. 

Colvin and Simoes sourced furniture, textiles and other decorative items from showrooms in Brazil and from local shops in the Miami Design District. When they couldn’t find the perfect piece, they designed it themselves, such as a modern wall unit in the family room crafted from walnut and accented by white lacquer shelving. Larger items such as the sofas and dining chairs were shipped from Brazil, allowing the homeowners to test them first for comfort before committing. 

The bedrooms reflect the clients’ differing personalities: one room’s shades of white, tan, green and blue feel effortlessly beachy, while another room’s ambience is a more literal interpretation of the request for an organic feel with khaki-hued leaf-patterned wallpaper and pops of green from the bed and accent rug. “Rafaela and Laila were able to decipher our personalities to create a vacation home that truly reflects our family,” the wife says. “The decor is cheerful and practical, and we love being together here.” 

–Erin Marvin