BY CHARLYNE VARKONYI SCHAUB
What is as important as your address is what you see from it, but decorating with a view of water or cityscape can be tricky.
Most South Florida designers have the same philosophy: Decorate with furnishings that either reflect the view or make it the focal point.
Come along with us and see how four designers met the challenge in different ways.
Designer: Danielle DePerro, Danielle DePerro Design
Photographer: Robert Brantley
Danielle DePerro faced dual challenges of a view and a dramatic staircase in her design of the living room of a two-story penthouse in The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale.
Although she wanted to maximize the view, she knew that the existing staircase was the interior focal point. Her design gave the staircase warmth – metal railings were painted to look like wood and glass mosaic tiles were added to the risers. Above the staircase, she added a curved wave ceiling. To pump up the drama even more, she added a custom-designed, hand-blown 13-foot tall glass chandelier from Eurofase. Four 10-foot long painted acrylic panels help to make the two-story space appear more intimate.
Ocean views are calming during the day but dark and largely featureless at night so the layout was designed to make the most of both.
“All the space planning was with the view in mind,” she said. “We designed the space pattern for evening to maximize the city views and the morning view faced the ocean.”
More warmth was added with Brazilian walnut floors topped with a geometric rug of 100 percent wool and an onyx and wenge-wood coffee table.
Another prime spot for her clients and their two children to enjoy the city view is the terrace.
“When you live on the beach, it is obviously hot and humid,” she said. “I wanted to do a covered area so they could enjoy lounging outside. I added the wood ceiling to incorporate lighting. The male client enjoys watching sports so I incorporated an exterior television.”
The bar, with a granite top and weather-friendly Corian cabinetry, was directed toward the view. The tile is 24-by-24-inch porcelain accented with the same river rock that DePerro used to cover the support columns.
Designer: Patrick Cabaroc, Roche Bobois
Photographer: Robert Brantley
After Patrick Cabaroc designed his first model apartment at One Thousand Ocean in Boca Raton he learned a lesson about what potential buyers want.
Although he designed the model to be more modern and a bit hipper, some potential buyers thought it was too cold.
This time, when he was asked to design a two-story residence that functions as a single family home, he changed gears.
“First, we wanted the feeling to be close to the sea and at the same time do something warm,” Cabaroc said.
He accomplished his goals in the great room with a sand-colored leather sectional and an area rug with brown and sand tones.
“We wanted the rug to match with the sofa but not be exactly the same color,” he said. “We didn’t want it to have too much of a designer look. We wanted it to look more like you might have done it yourself. The rug helps warm the marble floor.”
The glass-topped coffee table reflects the outside and allows the area rug to be enjoyed. It is warmed by the chunky oak legs that are stained in a dark wenge finish.
The drama comes from the 20-foot-high crystal chandelier from Ruggiano that he described as “a bit like a star in the sky.” He reinforced the sky image and reflection by painting the ceiling blue.
“I knew the shape and size of the chandelier would give it a big personality,” he said.
“Everyone enjoys the sun,” he added, “It is positive and the large opening to the outside gives the illusion of a bigger space.”
Designer: Willman Ramos,Artefacto
Photographer: John Stillman
Willman Ramos used Artefacto’s Brazilian design philosophy of warm contemporary in creating a penthouse model in the 67-story Marquis, the tallest building in Miami.
“When it comes to the view, it is great to consider bringing the outdoors indoors,” he said. “One of the intentions is to keep everything neutral and the view becomes essentially the artwork.”
To accomplish this, the floors were covered in white tiles, and he selected white upholstery and a mirrored coffee table. The design achieved warmth through a mixture of textures – a blend of metal with wood, natural fibers, linen and leather. The natural fiber ottomans echo the color of the wood cabinets. Raw silk throw pillows pick up the texture of the ottomans in tones of gray, beige and earth.
“By placing the two dark chairs near the window, they seem to disappear at night,” Ramos said.
The dining table, made with recycled wood topped by glass, became an art piece because the wood texture is seen though the glass.
“We decided not to go with any window treatment,” he said. “The windows are double height and you don’t want to do anything to block the view. With those massive windows, it is like you own the sky.”
The corner bedroom has a view of the city, which sparkles at night. Again, everything is neutral. The only pattern is the area rug. White sheers with blackout panels were used as a window treatment. Texture was added with an oversized chair with linen fabric, a chrome end table and wood paneling.
“We wanted to put a little pattern on the floor and stay within the same neutral color scheme,” he said. “It was a great opportunity to include pattern without competing with the view.”
Another creative concept was his use of beads to separate the sleeping area from the exposed shower and vanity. The toilet was hidden behind a door.
“There is a sexy glass shower and we didn’t want to block the view, but create a transition,” he said. “It is different but chic. You can take a shower and look at the view.”
The Brazilian touch worked. The model was sold in less than a week to a young Parisian couple.
Designer: Jennifer Corredor, J Design Group
Photographer: Daniel Newcomb
Jennifer Corredor’s client, a recently divorced man, wanted his condo on Williams Island to have the vibe of a bachelor pad that was fun, entertaining and full of vibrant color.
Corredor, who said she typically prefers neutral backgrounds with a pop of color, faced a challenge with the client’s request.
“Naturally when you are living across from the ocean you want to bring the view in,” she said. “This design has color without taking away from the view. I played with geometric shapes and adding a statement.”
That statement was a wall treatment of red, gray and white that played off the red, gray and white in the kitchen. She sunk the television into the wall treatment to make it appear like a piece of art. Other pops of red appear on the cushion of the outdoor swing and on an area rug. Everything else – the limestone floor, walls and furniture are neutral colors.
“We anchored this unique swing so it would appear to be floating and not take away from the view,” she said. “It is whimsical and interesting and evokes a carefree lifestyle.”
She removed a wall that separated the foyer from the great room so visitors could enjoy the dramatic view. In its place is a partial wall with a glass panel. She drew a design and had it sandblasted on the glass to look like art.
The bedroom’s focal point is a large piece of modern art entitled “Greatness and Power” by Marta Salas that was designed to go with the bed coverings. A white leather headboard contrasts with the dark wood base of the platform bed. Floors are Brazilian hardwood. A mocha area rug added color and masculinity.
Another pop of color is used on the iconic Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair, which is often seen in television and print advertising.
Patrick Cabaroc: Roche Bobois, 450 Biltmore Way, Coral Gables, 33134, 305-444-1017.
Jennifer Corredor: J. Design Group, 225 Malaga Ave.,Coral Gables, 33134, 305-444-4611, www.jdesigngroup.com.
Danielle DePerro: D. DePerro Design, 222 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana, 33462, 561-547-7423, www.deperrodesign.com.
Willman Ramos: Artefacto, 4440 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 1600, Coral Gables, 33146, 305-774-0004, www.artefacto.com.
One Thousand Ocean: Sales & Design Center, 725 S. Ocean Blvd., Boca Raton, 33432, 561-869-5000, www.onethousandocean.com.
Marquis Residences: 1100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 33132, 305-571-4000, www.marquismiami.com.
The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale: 1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 33304, 954-465-2300, www.ritz-carlton.com.