Call It Perfect Harmony: Feng Shui Informs The Design Of A Miami Beach Condo


neutral-colored living area with white...

Vintage armchairs in Holly Hunt’s Breathe Easy textile face Minotti’s Hamilton sectional atop Kyle Bunting’s Runway rug from David Sutherland in the living area of a Miami Beach condo by interior designers Blanca Wall and Yessenia Cardenas. Those pieces are joined by Estúdio Nada Se Leva’s Espuma coffee table, Liaigre’s Oban side table and Amande floor lamp, a bowl from Nest Casa and a Cassina end table. Kirsten Everberg and Adriana Varejão artworks hang on the walls.

oak foyer with bench and...

Clad in rift-cut oak paneling, the elevator foyer makes a dramatic statement thanks to Alison Berger Glassworks’ Carpenter’s Bench from Holly Hunt and a Pae White artwork. Slabs of Crema Europa flooring from Mármol Export, USA flow into the unit.

dining area with terra-cotta chandelier...

A Pae White chandelier crowns the dining area, where Cassina’s 699 Superleggera chairs from Cassoni encircle Emmemobili’s UFO dining table. A Tom Wesselmann artwork is displayed above Holly Hunt’s Brimstone console.

neutral-colored kitchen with island, bar...

Günter Leuchtmann’s Le Tre Streghe pendants from Masters of Modernism hang above the kitchen’s Mark Albrecht Studio stools from Holly Hunt. Poggenpohl cabinetry complements the Opustone Cristallo backsplash and countertops. The Miele and Sub-Zero appliances are from Bell’s Appliances.

balcony with long dining table...

Interlocking pebbles from Naturali Stone line the balcony. “We wanted to create a vernacular beach feel and an organic approach,” Cardenas says. Paola Lenti’s Ami chairs, which hold cushions made of Perennials fabric from David Sutherland, and Plano table are from Cassoni. At the far end is a pair of Blaxsand blonde teak root chairs from Mecox.

bedroom corner with hanging artwork...

The team turned a guest bedroom into a media room, outfitting it with Global Views’ Hand stool from Mecox, a Henzel Studio rug from Anima Domus and Minotti’s Hamilton Islands sofa, draped with the owner’s blanket. An art piece by Aya Takano suspends from the ceiling.

desk space with tan chair,...

In the office, Maxalto’s Febo chair pulls up to B&B Italia’s Eileen desk, which holds Design Within Reach’s Tizio lamp. To the right, the team recessed Clei’s LGM bed; when closed, the unit reveals a bookcase with cabinet doors that provides shallow shelving and storage.

bathroom with freestanding white tub

The walls and flooring of the main bathroom are covered in slabs of Crema Europa from Mármol Export, USA. The Dornbracht tub filler and the brand’s Tara Classic faucet—both affixed to a bar of Opustone’s Calacatta Gold marble—as well as the MTI tub are from Bathrooms Unique.

bedroom with round rug, circular...

A rug and polished stainless steel drum tables by Fedora Design project an intimate feeling in the main bedroom. Holly Hunt’s Fortis bed wears Sferra linens from Threadcount. Marcel Broodthaers artwork hangs opposite Alexandra Von Furstenberg’s Stealth console from Nest Casa.

Good design evokes a tangible energy. Relaxed or lively, formal or playful, a specific mood can be formed by a room. And for the owner of a 32nd-floor Miami Beach condo, the atmosphere of her new residence needed to be shifted. The excitement of the city panorama in the main bedroom, she felt, was better suited for an entertaining area. And that tranquil ocean view in the kitchen? It should be enjoyed while lounging in the bathtub. “She knew right off the bat where she wanted to be and how she wanted to feel in the unit,” says interior designer Blanca Wall. “We needed to rethink the floor plan for the entire apartment.”

The condo’s original design was more compartmentalized, explains interior designer Yessenia Cardenas, who worked on the project with Wall. “When you opened the door, you walked into a modest living room and a partial view of the bay,” she recalls. “Something felt off.” So along with residential designer Robert Kerr (Michael Noll of M3 Design + Development served as the architect of record), Wall and Cardenas reconfigured the abode, creating a mirrored effect of the floor plan’s principal spaces. A bedroom became the living, dining and kitchen area, while the former kitchen was transformed into the main bedroom suite. And in the new main bathroom, the team mounted the tub on a platform to maximize the sight line to the beach.

The client had acquired the condo as one of her several vacation homes across the world. “She’s a well-traveled individual,” Wall says. “And she likes to be out and about during her travels, finding new innovations, restorations and vintage items. She loves the natural world, and she wanted this residence to feel very organic and vernacular in the setting of Miami Beach.” The homeowner also leans toward design concepts that are unique, Cardenas elaborates. “She loves to have a neutral palette and layer different things on top of it,” the interior designer says, “and those layers all have a little bit of a story and quirkiness.”

In the living area, for example, the furnishings harmonize in creams and taupes. But the geometric cowhide rug underfoot adds a compelling visual layer within the palette while offsetting the tiered curves of the coffee table and rotund armchairs. Nearby, the dining area’s terra-cotta chandelier echoes the gold veining in the kitchen’s white quartzite backsplash. “Because the majority of materials were imported,” says general contractor Alex Vega, “our focus was to ensure nothing was compromised or damaged in the process of installing.” The only touches of color—soothing blues and greens—come from wall artworks by Kirsten Everberg and Adriana Varejão, two of the pieces art consultant Danniel Rangel helped source for the residence.

To support an oversize ceramic plate by Varejão, Kerr designed a center volume in a light oak veneer that simultaneously acts as a backdrop to the living space, a wall in the powder room and a hidden pantry in the adjoining kitchen. “We didn’t want to call attention to the pantry, because it’s in a prominent spot,” he explains. “We were trying to show the art, so we concealed that feature.”

The new layout, the color palette and the artwork synergize to transform the spirit of the residence. But there’s a deeper undercurrent that locks it all in place. At the client’s request, Wall and Cardenas collaborated with her feng shui specialist to ensure the home adheres to principles of the practice. They mapped the unit into quadrants, taking into consideration colors, textures and furniture positioning. The blues and greens in the living area artworks are meant to evoke calmness and tranquility, while the red pieces in the media room decor inject a vibrant energy for creativity. To bring in the element of water—a key aspect of feng shui—the team introduced a mirrored closet system in the bedroom to reflect the ocean views and built a miniature pond sanctuary on one of the unit’s terraces. And the bedroom rug features voluptuous forms and subtle Kama Sutra designs, upon which Wall and Cardenas placed mirrored cylinders to highlight the artistry. “It’s very interactive,” Wall says. “You can move the cylinders for various moods and settings, and it will take on a whole different shape and feel of the bedroom. It’s a reflected moment of intimacy.”

Each space serves a distinct purpose, and the mood shifts throughout the residence. Yet a harmonizing feeling threads through the halls. “Every room has its own personal story, but somehow they’re all tied in together,” Cardenas says. “You feel tranquility and calmness, and you have spectacular views from every room.”