Bold pops of color and neutral furniture selections create the ideal aesthetic yin-yang in a Sunny Isles Beach condo

Text by Riki Altman-Yee | Photography by Denilson Machado

When it comes to interior design, some homeowners have to be pointed in the right direction while others know exactly where they want to go.

Just ask designer Jessica Jaegger who knows and deals with this type of informed customer often—most recently during a commission that found her transforming the interiors of a 48th-floor penthouse at The Ritz-Carlton Residences Sunny Isles Beach.

The homeowners, a Rio de Janeiro-based tech entrepreneur and his wife, purchased the 5,000-square-foot residence with five bedrooms and six baths for use as a South Florida vacation home for them and their extended family, and their design direction was clear: palm trees, bold colors, and elegant beach home sophistication. Or, as Jaegger puts it: “They wanted many of the references of their native Brazil, so I began to think a lot about tropical modern architecture. Our connection came from that point of reference.”

A Rio native herself, Jaegger spoke their language in more ways than one, and by the time the pre-construction condo was delivered, the designer already had a complete plan in place: “I love to work with natural materials and organic textures, so lots of wood lots of stone, lots of natural fibers. These bring a distinctive beauty and warmth to spaces. We like to do things very neutral, but throw in pops of color.” She also added plenty of bronze and brass throughout, “just to give that, you know, little touch of sophistication. That is our stamp.”

While the designer-ready home required a few edits, including changes to the layout of the master bathroom, a ceiling-suspended Futuro Futuro hood vent with display shelves, and the inclusion of a glass enclosed wine cellar, the biggest surprise came just as Jaegger had scheduled to have nearly 2,000 square feet of white oak slat panels affixed above. “We had to completely demo all of the ceilings where wood panels were to be installed and redo the structure of the ceiling to be stronger,” she explains. “This was a major setback both in terms of time and cost, but the client gave us the go-ahead.”

Jaegger opted for Santa Canterina Italian travertine, sourced from BKF Decor Solutions, for all the common areas floors and, once the entirely neutral canvas was established, it was finally time to ornament. The design team took no chances and opted for proven designers and brands, from Brazil’s Artefacto to Italy’s Minotti. A beloved art collection with pieces by Manolo Valdés and Carlos Cruz-Diez completed the aesthetic sentiments. The residence’s million-dollar views to the rest.

The end result? A sky home that’s both Rio-inspired and homeowner approved.