Global Fusion in Miami


Global Fusion

An unlikely mash-up of retro Cuban style and côte d'azur sophistication yields interiors that ooze romance and glamor.

A Home's Global Entry

The home’s Cuban overtones begin in the entry, where designer Tatum Kendrick chose a tropical wallcovering from Walnut Wallpaper in Los Angeles to make a bold statement. The custom Aqua Appia console and Hopi Pot pendant light are both by Jason Koharik of Collected By in Los Angeles, and the triangle mirror is from Stripe Vintage Modern. The whimsical vase on the console is by Jonathan Adler.

A Dining Room with Touches from Around the World

A 1960s Italian table from Vittorio Ragone Antique & Design in London is the organizing feature in the dining area. The Z-shaped chairs with bikini-fit cushions and the custom solid-brass bookcase are by Koharik for Collected By. Kendrick had Koharik modify and make a swinging arm for a midcentury fringed light fixture, and she had the chairs plated in brass. The emerald velvet for the cushions is by Pollack, and the Angustias Cloud sheers are by Robert Allen.

Hard and Soft Chair

In the living room, studs add an unexpected twist to the soft leather of the custom Le Bambole-inspired Sculpture 01 chair by Koharik for Collected By. The vintage Roger Rougier coffee table is from Navarro Gallery in Toronto, and the custom bamboo-silk area rug underfoot, by Studio Hus, was fabricated by Silk Road Oriental Rug in Beverly Hills, California.

The Big Comfy Couch

Three distinct fabrics define the living room’s custom Mega Party sofa by Studio Hus, including burgundy leather by Edelman, dusty pink velvet by Brunschwig & Fils, and a Nate Berkus polka- dot print. The Dutch-style still life by Jorge Diezma was acquired through Galerie Half in Los Angeles. Vintage accents come in the form of Salvatore Gregorietti’s Mushroom floor lamp for Valenti Luce from Stripe Vintage Modern and a sculptural chair.

A Marble Marvel

In the refurbished kitchen, brass barstools from Lawson-Fenning in Los Angeles, wearing Edelman leather, belly up to the marble waterfall island. The Arabescato Corchia marble is from Opustone Natural Stone Distributors and was fabricated by W M Marble & Granite. The faucet is from Waterworks, and the vintage Jacques Biny sconces are from Rewire in Los Angeles. Liebherr, Wolf, Miele and Bosch appliances are from Impel Appliances Gallery.


Kendrick designed the custom-upholstered studded door that opens to the master bedroom. Fabricated by Shades By Design, the door features leather from Sav-Mor Leather & Supply Co. in Los Angeles, studs from Lee’s Decorative Showcase in Valencia, California, and brass hardware from Blackman Cruz in Los Angeles. The vintage chair was sourced by Studio Hus.

Custom Design by Studio Hus

In the master bedroom, brass bedside tables flank a live-edge headboard, all designed by Studio Hus. The vintage Fabbian table lamps are from Hammer and Spear in Los Angeles, and the Rubelli Venezia patterned draperies are from Donghia. Custom lounge chairs by Studio Hus surround a vintage bone coffee table atop an RH rug. A black-and-gold coverlet by Garde supports the glamorous theme.

Nature Inspiration Inside the Home

A custom Studio Hus sofa wears Great Outdoors fabric from Holly Hunt in an outdoor living area on the terrace. The white Perennials pillow fabric is from David Sutherland, and the trim is from Décor de Paris, both in Los Angeles. The antique marble coffee table is from Stripe Vintage Modern, and the custom sling chair was designed by Studio Hus.

Classic and Modern Melded

Drape-patterned wallpaper with a flocked-velvet texture by Cole & Son gives the powder room its own dramatic flair. The vintage Italian mirror was found on 1stdibs, the pendants are by Michael Anastassiades, and the washbasin is by Boffi. A Kallista wall-mounted faucet from Wool Kitchen & Bath adds another touch of gold.

Wall Art

In the study, Thibaut’s black-on-cream wallpaper backs a custom leather Tobia Scarpa-inspired chair by Koharik for Collected By. An Italian bar cart from Stripe Vintage Modern juxtaposes against a modern floor lamp by Michael Anastassiades for Flos. A rug adds a bold punch of red underfoot.

What would look right with pink Venetian plaster walls and a live-edge redwood headboard reminiscent of a Nakashima piece? It’s a question Los Angeles-based designer Tatum Kendrick pondered about the master bedroom she was renovating inside a condo on Fisher Island. Kendrick’s answer—side tables that look like brass cubes inspired by Donald Judd—along with the aforementioned selections, is indicative of her upbeat, eclectic and often fearless approach to interior design. For this particular project, Kendrick had in mind a Cuban vibe comingling with the essence of the French Riviera. “I wanted to capture Miami back in the 1940s and ’50s, when the Cuban influence was everywhere, and combine it with an easy indoor-outdoor feeling that evokes the South of France.” 

Her clients Mia and Rafael Llopiz, a New York couple with Cuban roots who had worked with the designer on two previous homes, were immediately on board. “There’s a romantic, sexy spiciness about them that I wanted their home to reflect,” Kendrick says about the stylish high school sweethearts who are now empty nesters. But the existing condo, with its hollow-core bifold doors, ho-hum living room built-ins and a dated kitchen, was devoid of both sensuality and imagination. “We needed to start by elevating the architectural finishes,” she adds. 

The designer tackled those challenges in concert with builder Ray Martinez, who gutted the kitchen and oversaw the installation of new cabinets and finishes in the existing footprint. “Because of the location of the mechanicals, the layout needed to remain the same,” says Martinez, who helmed construction with the help of his colleague Mike Mila. “We also removed the living room wall unit and filled in a recessed section created by a wet bar, so the new wall was flush and ready to be covered with Venetian plaster.” Juan Jose Leon served as the architect of record to handle logistics and permitting. 

The wall finishes were the first of many choices to make the Cuban connection. “Cuban interiors are all about history and rich patinas, and plaster walls have that old, historical feeling,” Kendrick says; she used a soft gray in the main living spaces and a more daring pink in the bedroom, where new black studded leather doors counteract the feminine hue. 

In the living room, brass stanchions on the media shelving and brass banding on the main light fixture—both custom pieces by Los Angeles-based artisan Jason Koharik—were selected with an eye toward how they would age. “Being this close to the ocean, they are starting to get a patina already, and they’ll just keep getting better over time,” Kendrick says. 

The sparkling metal accents join a sofa upholstered in three distinct textiles: burgundy leather, polka-dotted fabric and dusty pink velvet. It’s one of many custom-designed pieces by Kendrick, and it joins brassy Z-shaped dining chairs to establish a ashy, vibrant postwar Miami ambience that imbues the entire residence with a salsa beat. “It’s a super eclectic mix of eras and materials that just work well together,” says Kendrick, who didn’t hesitate to add a pillowy Mario Bellini-inspired chair by Koharik dressed in studded pale pink leather. “The kidskin is so soft; it’s like sitting in this big, amazing marshmallow.” 

The rhythm begins in the entry, where the tropical foliage wallpaper instantly puts you in the mood for a margarita. Paired with a modern table carved from balsa wood and covered with plaster, the combination of disparate items is Kendrick at her nest. “I love playing with tension points and figuring out what partners best with something else,” says the designer. Case in point: her coupling of busy black- and-white-print wallpaper with canvas draperies and black ra a-like trim in the study. “The drapes are so graphic and out there,” she says. “They were definitely a design risk.” This bold pairing stops just short of going over the top. 

Equally graphic is the strong veining in the marble that swathes the kitchen counters, island and backsplash. According to Kendrick, because the kitchen is open to the rest of the condo, it needed to make its own stylistic statement. “The stone resembles old Roman marble like you’d see in a museum,” she says. 

In contrast to the bolder statements, the Riviera influence arrives in more subtle ways, as in the sensuous curve of the Roger Rougier coffee table and soft white living room sheers that billow in the breeze. The latter creates a gentle connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces, and strategically placed potted palms further blur the lines between inside and out. On the terraces, many of the furnishings, designed by Kendrick and inspired by the work of Jean Royère, have a noticeable French attitude. “The sofas and sling chairs with ironwork pattern and brass ball details are very French,” says Kendrick. “And the small stripes on the upholstery along with the mustache fringe on the cushions is like something you would see on the Riviera.” 

Whether inside or outside, the ongoing juxtaposition of styles and materials succeeds in denoting the romance and glamour of a time gone by. As Kendrick explains, “I think we captured the feel and lifestyle of someone living in the 1950s. There’s a wonderful interplay between French refinement and a bold Cuban punch.” 

Mindy Pantiel