MODERN LUXURY INTERIORS
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
An art-minded Brazilian couple opts for a neutral color palette to highlight the sea and sky.
When you open the front door of the ocean-facing unit on the 20th floor of this midbeach condominium, the infinite ocean views are overwhelming. “That was the inspiration,” said interior designer Jessica Jaegger, gesturing with a knowing smile toward the floor-to- ceiling windows and the spacious wraparound terrace with 180-degree views of the Atlantic. “Everything is horizontal. We didn’t want any tall lamps or accessories to take away from that view. It feels like it’s never- ending.”
It’s slightly overcast today, the morning after a storm, and the gray, flat light reflecting off the ocean conjures an Ansel Adams silver gelatin print. As poet Elizabeth Bishop describes in Pleasure Seas, “the water turns opaque, Pistachio green and Mermaid Milk.” This subdued, fleeting color palette, courtesy of Mother Nature, makes Jaegger’s monochromatic design scheme all the more striking. The condo is neutral, awash in white, creams, putty and sand tones, with decorative art pieces providing minimal pops of blues and greens—a reference to the ocean—as accents.
At 1,980-square-feet, with three bedrooms and three full baths, the condo is designed as a second home for a Brazilian couple from Sao Paulo with two adult sons. Jaegger worked closely with the wife on her vision of a neutral color scheme that would play harmoniously with the ephemeral, all-encompassing ocean. Bringing a piece of Brazil with them through custom furnishings by Brazilian vendors, including Artefacto and Ornare, was also important in creating a Miami home that they’d like to eventually live in full time.
With a symmetrical floor plan and a central terrace that juts toward the ocean in a palatial flourish, the living room is the condo’s focal point. Eclectic seating ranges from a creamy upholstered sofa and oversize bench to a white leather Eames lounge chair and ottoman and two leather folding chairs with silver frames reminiscent of those you might lug to the beach. These pieces are all centered around a glass coffee table that Jaegger found at Brazilian store One of a Kind. The piece is designed in quadrants, floating atop a glossy white platform, with three blue-green glass vases like bubbles from a crashing wave.
A Spanish porcelain tile floor by Valencia Coverings in a texture and color akin to well-groomed sand reinforces the feeling of suspended infinity. The floor is uniform throughout the entire unit. “She didn’t want patchwork,” Jaegger says of her client. “But more a fluid feeling of softness. The porcelain tile adds warmth.” With this in mind, the living room’s area rug was selected very carefully to nearly match the color of the porcelain floors as a continuation, as opposed to a contrast—its tan border the only indication that it’s even there.
There are architectural details such as recessed baseboards, doorframes and overhead LED lights throughout. “It makes the walls look like they’re floating,” Jaegger says. “Everything is flush and incorporated.” This floating effect is also achieved in the short entry hallway where three recessed LED lights are seemingly slashed into the wall creating texture and movement.
On the other side hangs a colorful, large-format mixed-media painting by Miami-based contemporary artist Anthony Liggins. The piece depicts a shelf of art books splashed with graffiti. “They saw the painting on Lincoln Road and fell in love with it, says Jaegger. “At first she was concerned that it was too much color, but I assured her it was okay. She’s very afraid of color.” Another art piece hangs in the living room, an abstract, sculptural work whose putty color is a near-match to the high-gloss lacquer found on the accent walls and structural columns.
Custom Ornare closets and cabinets in the same putty lacquer are installed in the adjacent kitchen, maximizing storage and streamlining the relatively small space. Set against the bright white barstools and chairs, they also add depth. A kitchen bar is lined in elevated glass to match a glass kitchen table with an oversize white Flos pendant light floating above, as if just another cloud sailing through the sky.
To further highlight the views, mirrors are installed that perfectly reflect the floor-to-ceiling windows in the kitchen, boys’ rooms and master bath. The design scheme remains constant between the three bedrooms, with textured wallpaper in oatmeal alternating between silk stripes and burlap solids from room to room. Above the bed in the master bedroom, a mirror-paneled wall reflects wraparound views of the glistening ocean, with two glass walls opening up to the terrace. The effect is powerful—some vantage points capture a horizon of 75 percent ocean and 25 percent sky.
With that ratio and so many reflective surfaces—ocean, sky, mirrors, glass, neutrals, white—Jaegger’s execution of the couple’s home will always be a blank canvas for Miami’s ever-changing spectrum of light.