Renewal On Williams Island

Blending The New With The Old Assures A Sense Of Timelessness As A Growing Family Expands In Style

Story Credits

Guimar Urbina, KIS Interior Design, Miami, FL
Emilio Collavino, Miami Beach, FL
Renovations Contractor:
Paul Chavez, CH Construction Group, Miami, FL
Text by:
Marina Brown
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The Miami area is nothing if not cosmopolitan. Visitors who decide to stay; those intentionally putting down new roots; and sophisticated internationals that divide their time between the U.S. and a home country are constantly introducing new tastes and trends to the area. And the designers who watch, listen and essentially “feel” the newcomers’ preferred ways of living change and grow, too.

Guimar Urbina is one such young designer. The Venezuelan-born entrepreneur has for the last 10 years evolved her own tastes along with her clients’ desires. “My first career was in fashion merchandising, but I wanted to expand to something larger,” she says. After graduating from Miami University’s School of Art and Design, she worked with a high-end designer and then struck out on her own … she hasn’t looked back.

“I particularly loved this project on Williams Island,” Urbina says. “It is in a truly beautiful area, and the clients are a young family that has just expanded.” It was this change that prompted the purchase of a larger residence, a spacious 3,000-square-foot condominium in need of a total renovation. “With a 15-year-old and a very little one, and another in the middle, four bedrooms were a necessity,” the designer says. And so was the creation of specific family areas and a grown-up space for the adults to entertain.

Utilizing a number of the Colombian couple’s own pieces, Urbina decided to keep to a monochromatic palette that would integrate their older with the newer purchases, and at the same time assure a timelessness as the children grow and the family’s needs change. In the main social space that doesn’t seek to compete with spectacular views, only a few extraordinary pieces are needed. Striated chocolate silk runs the expanse of the living area, where Urbina paired a textural hide area rug with a formidable wall sculpture and an unusual pendant lamp from Pablo Designs.

The designer defined the adjacent dining area with a dark wood table lined with white leather and chrome chairs. A wall of mirrors is strategically positioned so that every diner receives an ocean view. And because every room can use some whimsy, especially when there are children around, Urbina broke from the black, beige and white motif to introduce art by Columbian painter, Fabio Mesa. Created of blue and clear acrylic painted with tiny black figures, the artist’s piece allows the little people to spill off of the “canvas” and onto the wall, marching helter skelter wherever it is little people go. Emphasizing the unimpeded flow, pale Crema Marfil marble flooring pulls all of the main living spaces together.

With the removal of a nearby wall, the kitchen becomes a focal point for children and adults alike. “I wanted something special for the kitchen exhaust vents since the profile of the kitchen itself is sleek and minimal,” Urbina says. “The brilliant hood cylinders by Faber are sculptural by themselves and tend to pull the eye upward and around the space.”

The designer loved creating the older daughter’s bedroom. “All 15-year-old girls want a black or a white bedroom,” she says. “Covering a floated ceiling and a headboard wall in black and white geometry offered both.” Keeping organized could become challenging without the deftly hidden shelving that can be cached behind a sliding mirror. A guest daybed by CB2 completes the perfect haven.

A calming retreat awaits the homeowners in the master suite, where a brown-velvet wall covering and soft pillows from West Elm bathe the room in a sleek luxe. Mobital’s leather-clad bedframe and basket-woven headboard make for prominence without dominance in the quietness of the sanctuary.

The balcony off the main living areas seems both intimate and vast with wrap-around views across the inlet between Williams Island and Sunny Isles, and the skyline that makes this sought-after Miami area part of each days’ beginning and end. “It was such a pleasure completing this project,” Urbina says. “I came to know a lovely family as I created a home that they can grow with for years to come.”