When Nicholas Smith met with designer Ashlie Broderic to discuss a strategy for his South Florida residence, he handed over nearly 100 inspiration images gathered on Instagram the past six years. The New York financial professional knew what he liked, to be sure, but had no idea how to distill all his ideas down into one apartment. He asked Broderic: “Can you make sense of this?”
The designer sifted through the mountain of screenshots and zeroed in on a common thread. “Everything he sent me had either intense moments of color or a black-and-white, graphic nature to them,” she recalls. “He was looking for contrast, crispness.” It was an appropriate vision for his new-construction condo, perched 30 floors above the lively Wynwood neighborhood. “But it was just white walls,” Broderic says—the opposite of Nicholas’ playful, vibrant style—so she set to work translating his digital inspo into a real-life space with modern furnishings, bold punches of color and a Miami spirit. “It boiled down to a fun, refined, masculine-chic home,” she says. “As we selected pieces, we asked ourselves: Does it fall into these categories?”
From stepping through the front door, it’s clear the designer checked all the boxes. Adorned with a gallery wall of quirky David Shrigley prints, the foyer reflects the owner’s sense of humor. “It gives you a glimpse of what’s going to happen,” he says. “It’s a bit of a buildup.” Turn the corner, and the full breadth of Broderic’s design is on display in the combined dining and living area. A light fixture with wood and metal shades, for instance, “nailed our masculine-chic vibe,” she says, while a curvy forest-green sofa and pair of wavy wicker lounge chairs inject that Miami flair.
Art, too, nods to the home’s surroundings. In the living area, a linear wall piece by an Australian artist Nicholas discovered on Instagram is reminiscent of a nearby building with a rainbow-striped exterior. Yet the designer was particularly inspired by an iconic component of the area’s creative character: murals. Leaning into her client’s penchant for black and white, Broderic covered the living area’s 30-foot-long wall in a print that mimics spray-painted street art. “The nature of the neighborhood influenced what the design became,” she says. Despite the wall’s eye-catching design, however, one aspect remains nearly invisible: A jib door hidden in the wall—concealed with no visible moldings by general contractor Daniel Artola so as not to disrupt the wallpaper—is the sole access to the primary suite. “It feels like the wall opens up,” the designer adds.
Continuing the mural inspiration, Broderic cloaked the bedroom’s headboard wall in a moody blue wallpaper with a hand-painted pattern. The rich tone reappears on the walls of the office, where she combined Nicholas’ love of books and colorblocking to create a “bookcase” of shelves affixed to a rectangular light-pink wall mural. Geometric art and a swooping lounge chair join an asymmetrical rug, the starting point of the room. “The vibrant Memphis vibe of the rug gave us a design direction,” Broderic says. “I wanted to create a pared-back, clean, edited interpretation of the look—like Memphis’ cool, glamorous older sister.”
As a counterpoint to the dark-hued spaces, the guest bedroom boasts a chic color palette of lavender and pink tones, as seen in the artwork that hangs above the bed. “I like color, but Ashlie helped me integrate it without being overwhelming,” Nicholas says. “That piece satisfies my craving for this room.” A rug in similar tones grounds the area, while the surrounding furnishings remain subdued to evoke the refined luxury feel the designer had identified in her client’s batch of inspiration.
Midway through the project, Nicholas decided to relocate to Miami full time, altering the purpose of the space from a weekend getaway to a primary home. This shifted Broderic’s mindset, too, into a more detail-oriented view that involved rounding out the residence with final touches such as accessories by some of her favorite ceramic artists that also struck a chord with her client. “She understands me better than I understand myself,” Nicholas laughs.
The designer considers this project “the apartment Instagram built,” she muses. All it took, Nicholas says, was her curator’s eye. “Somehow, from looking at all those images, she picked out exactly what resonates with me.”