Designing With White
Freedom Of Space, Light, Texture And Proportion Define Pure In A Penthouse Perched On The Edge Of The Atlantic Ocean
Interior Architectural Design and Interior Design:
Jennifer Post, Jennifer Post Design, Inc., New York, NY
Robert Brantley, Delray Beach, FL
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When New York-based interior designer Jennifer Post took on the task of styling this 6,000-square-foot penthouse in The Bath Club on “Millionaire’s Row” — the original Miami Beach getaway for the rich and famous in the 1920s — she did so with stars, artists and uber-successful real estate tycoons in mind. After a multimillion-dollar renovation, the iconic club has reclaimed its throne as the chic retreat for the famous and well-connected. “I designed everything you would need for a luxury lifestyle 20 floors above ground,” Post says. “You’re not living in a condo; you’re living in a castle in the sky.”
Given carte blanche by the owners, Post’s intentions are not to be mistaken: this modern penthouse is all about the architecture — a clean, structural interior that necessarily complements its floor-to-ceiling water views, and captures the unique feeling of airiness and peacefulness elicited by her designs. “Because the new building did not actually exist at the onset of our project, we started with floor plans,” Post says. “Once the slabs were poured, I sat and envisioned the space with all the different views … sunset versus ocean … and realized I should build the apartment as an eclipse where every room opens up to the water — a virtual fishbowl of sorts, all glass.”
On a clear night, the owners can see from downtown Miami to the Palm Beaches. “When you’re dealing with glass wraparounds that reveal a white and blue sky, how do you bring in vibrant colors? You can’t,” the designer says. “You have to follow the ocean and skyline.” And so, white walls, white Thassos flooring and Carrara marble combine with ocean-hued accents to provide a stark but warm, graceful canvas for minimalist furnishings that allow the eye to focus on the breathtaking views and sleek, dramatic architectural elements throughout.
Nowhere are these details more impressive than in the living room, where walls of glass reveal panoramic views while towering marble columns and architectural illusions command attention and emphasize the room’s 13-foot-high ceilings. The elliptical shape first appears here, where Bernar Venet’s sculpture in rolled steel completes the edgy space. “We had to install it before we put in any walls or windows,” Post says. “It’s just that heavy.”
Open and airy, architectural niches appear in the family room envisioned s a casual environment with furnishings floating away from the glass. Nearby, geometry takes precedence in the dining area with an interfacing of glass, stainless steel and white rectangular surfaces that continue the fluidity found throughout the project. And when the owners are ready to retreat at day’s end, a stroll through a curved, glass-walled catwalk offers panoramic ocean views on one side and luxurious privacy on the other as the glass walls change from clear to opaque at the touch of a button. Here in the master suite, a custom Lucite bed appears to float in a sea of white.
“You can never go wrong with white as a basis for a beginning,” Post says of this penthouse perched above the sands of South Beach. “The purity of white is ethereal, timeless and rich.”