A Modern Miami Home Integrates With Its Subtropical Environs


exposed-concrete entry with oak floors,...

The entry’s exposed concrete counters French oak floors from Storia Flooring, accented with The Rug Company’s Gesture rug. Ayan Farah artwork hangs above Riva 1920’s Curve bench. Complementing Baker’s Wrap console are Meridiani’s Birk mirror, L’Aviva Home’s Piedra sconce and custom ottomans.

dining area with black-and-white artwork,...

Artwork by Aldo Chaparro—above a vintage console—and Donald Baechler decorate the dining room, home to Meridiani’s Kita chairs and Plinto table. Marsh Industries fashioned the draperies using Westbury Textiles linen. A Bocci chandelier and Articolo Studio’s Float sconce provide light.

living area with cream-colored armchairs,...

In the living area, &Tradition chairs face B&B Italia’s Richard sectional atop Stark’s Danford rug. A Caste side table from Holly Hunt pairs with Meridiani accent tables. Vintage rope stools and custom coffee tables and ottomans complete the scene.

kitchen with Belgian bluestone countertops...

The kitchen’s Belgian bluestone countertops and backsplash dramatically contrast white oak accents by D-Coded International US. Vibia’s Wireflow pendant from Lumens radiates above Federicia’s Spine counter stools. The Thermador appliances are from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.

breakfast area with exposed-concrete wall,...

Cassina’s Capitol Complex chairs from Luminaire encircle Molteni&C’s Arc table in the sunny breakfast area, offering views of the pool. Against the exposed concrete wall, D-Coded International US fabricated the bar, outfitted with California Faucets’ Corsano model.

neutral-toned primary bedroom with four-poster...

FBC London’s Georgiana bed from Carlyle Collective anchors the primary bedroom. A lamp from Monica James & Co. joins Porta Romana’s Jordan sconce. Schumacher’s Linen Gesso wallcovering, a Stark rug and the custom nightstand and bench continue the muted scheme.

primary bathroom with oak cabinetry,...

In the serene primary bathroom, Salvatori’s Crema d’Orcia stone in Rain adds a ribbed surrounding texture. Dornbracht’s wall-mounted Tara faucet adorns the vanity, featuring white oak cabinetry by D-Coded International US.

back exterior with pool, loggia,...

Landscape architect Simone Stark focused the back grounds on the existing weeping fig tree, rounding out the specimen with low-maintenance shade-tolerant plants and tall palm clusters for privacy. The pool cabana houses a summer kitchen, dining space and game area outfitted with furnishings such as Dedon’s Mbrace rocking chairs from Clima Home.

Flushed with meandering foliage and heritage trees, an immense ficus presides over a serene enclave, its vast canopy and sculptural branches claiming the sky. The property and its venerable tree enthralled one couple who dreamed of building a home that would lean contemporary while preserving South Florida’s subtropical wild.

Inspired by the Pinecrest landscape, “They wanted to respect nature, creating a seamless connection between the inside and outside,” interior designer Deborah Wecselman shares. Tapped to complete this vision, she joined architect Elizabeth Starr, landscape architect Simone Stark and general contractor Chad Stark to thoughtfully embed the home within the environment. Together, they created a reserved yet modern architectural statement “that embraces the site and climate and highlights Florida living,” the architect says.

Their first priority “was to position the home so that the existing trees could thrive and become focal points from the interior,” Starr adds. As such, the entrance is nestled behind a thicket of native gumbo-limbos surrounded with ferns and carissa shrubs, keeping to the project’s “elegant green palette and highlighting the variety of plant textures and leaf shapes,” Simone explains.

Once inside, the ancient ficus flourishing over the pool terrace commands views from the central great room, seen from every vantage point through vast sliding glass panels. The open layout combining living, dining and entertaining areas ensures the tree remains the visual centerpiece of the owners’ daily lives. More glass continues into private spaces, channeling sunlight and abundant greenery into every corner.

With its elongated horizontal profile and rectilinear form, the one-story structure never overwhelms the tree line. “There’s an elegance in the simplicity of the design,” Starr says, “and our material selection was restrained but purposeful to continue that simplicity.” Fresh white paint lines the exterior and interior alongside graphic black metal- framed openings. This pristine scheme is tempered with accent walls of exposed concrete and wooden vertical louvers that cast dramatic shadows. “We found adding a bit of rawness complements the sleek, clean spaces nicely,” the architect observes.

Taking the baton, Wecselman delved deeper into the juxtaposition of materials, playing organic textures against polished finishes. Buttery oak wood infuses a palatable warmth into the floors and millwork, from bathroom vanities to the living area’s entertainment unit. More custom oak outlines the showpiece kitchen, with seamless doors concealing appliances and reeded details on the expansive island. “With the kitchen being open to the rest of the great room, I didn’t want it to feel utilitarian but more of a sophisticated space,” the interior designer explains. The signature wood tone repeats in pieces large and small, from an undulating hallway bench to the living area’s dainty vintage French stools with coiled rope accents. “It was important to carry that wood throughout, whether in a chair or little accessory,” Wecselman adds.

Cutting through the plethora of wood, the team chose black to establish a clear contrast, accentuating the window frames. Belgian bluestone composes the vast kitchen island’s waterfall countertop, covered in an invisible film “that preserves the look of the delicate material but also offers protection,” Chad notes. In the adjacent living area, black metal sharply outlines built-in shelving, alongside furniture pieces like the adjustable wrought-iron-and-glass coffee tables that slide over a pair of ottomans.

Wecselman then introduced woven details, such as the living area’s jute rug and the cane armchairs gathered by the mirrored bar. A blanket of upholstery in linen, chenille, suede and leather infuses softness. This layered tactility converges in the soothing primary bedroom, enveloped in linen wallpaper and a plush rug anchored by a leather-and-oak four-poster bed. Like the rest of the home, “Everything follows a soft, muted palette—we wanted to play with texture, rather than color,” she explains. Outside, the interior designer imagined something clipped from classic Slim Aarons pool photographs but with a contemporary bent. Sleek vertical oak slats frame the cabana, alongside a textured limestone wall tile. Deep-seated sofas and wicker rocking chairs provide cozy seating around the fire pit, while a generous dining space and billiard table offer more excuses to gather.

But the family never needs a special reason to wander outdoors, not when the landscape beckons from every angle and the trees they fell in love with are thriving in their grandeur. “It’s really all about appreciating that view,” Wecselman observes. “This home brings the outside in and makes it comfortable in a modern way.”