Creative Minimalist Spirit Intrigues in Miami Condo

A minimalist viewpoint and an eye to satisfaction underpin a spirited collaboration between a Miami couple, an architect and an interior designer


architecture and interiors are like clothing: What you’d wear in Manhattan is different from what you’d wear in South Beach,” architect Christopher Craven says, who with designer Yumi Miyanishi transformed this 3,000-square-foot Il Villaggio condominium into a haute main residence for a Miami couple. Taking into consideration the panoramic views of the ocean, the duo focused on light and airy design elements that would create interiors the clients could enjoy. “The owners are both outgoing and huge art lovers,” Miyanishi says. “They wanted a wonderful entertaining space, as well as a backdrop that would show off their art collection. But they also wanted intimate spots, places where they could be comfortable when it was just the two of them.”

Before making Miami home, the couple split their time between South Beach, Boston and New York. “We chose South Florida for the weather and casual lifestyle,” the husband says. “We chose Miami because we found it to be internationally and culturally robust; we chose South Beach for its proximity to the ocean, and for the eclectic mix of residents and visitors.”

Although they make it to the beach less now that they live in Miami full-time, being able to see the ocean drove all of the design decisions. “It is very important to be able to enjoy the panoramas throughout the day,” the wife says. “Now, the ocean is a backdrop to all but one room … it is the first thing you see when the doors open.”

The couple tapped Craven and Miyanishi for their new home because they had seen several condos in the building designed by the team. “Since they are art collectors, the homeowners wanted a free-flowing plan,” Craven says. “Beyond that, they were remarkably open to our ideas.” This was a good starting point that included completely reshaping the interior architecture.“Space creation was a collaboration between Chris and the husband,” Miyanishi says. “I finished with color and texture that expanded on the great foundation they created.”

The design duo gives credit to the contractor, Built by Owner, and the homeowners credit Miami art advisor Spring McManus for curating the sophisticated collection that delivers upon the couple’s contemporary vision. This went beyond architecture and furnishings to include a deeper contentment for the couple now calling the condo home. “Good design must be personalized and must address the environment and the ethos of the times,” Craven says. “But more importantly, it must be a pleasure.”

Mixing elements without making the backdrop too busy was also at the heart of the plan.  “Variety is something we all need, particularly in a space where we spend so much time. But in the end, making a design coherent and ensuring the spaces flow is key,” the architect says.

“We created this home just for us,” the husband says. “We eliminated all the bedrooms except the master, creating something like a luxury suite in a five-star hotel. When our children or guests visit, we put them up at The Betsy, just across the street. This is incredibly convenient and provides privacy for them and for us.”

Stylistically, the contemporary spaces were a departure for the couple, as they had more traditional interiors in the Northeast. However, they knew they were in good hands in broadening their design sensibilities and gaining an enjoyable mise en scène for their lives. “I believe it is very important to add playfulness to a home,” Miyanishi says. “After all, life is boring without eye candy!”

About the new home they now have, the couple feels content, relaxed, and grateful. “We’re both happy people and we laugh a lot,” the wife says. “There’s a great deal of positive energy in the home — lots of joy. The art does that and so does the design. It’s cheerful, warm and sophisticated, which we like to think captures our personae.”

Story Credits: 

Architecture by Christopher Craven, Christopher Craven Architect and Design, Miami Beach, FL

Interior Design by Yumi Miyanishi, Spacecat, LLC, Miami Beach, FL

Builder Greg Milopolous, Built by Owner, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Text by Saxon Henry

Photography by Troy Campbell, Miami, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:


living area

Sofa, lounge chairs, stools, side chair and cocktail table – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Glass top of cocktail table fabricated by Lucid Glass Studio, Providence, RI

Throw – Missoni Home, Neiman Marcus, Miami, FL

Accent pillows – Osborne & Little, Twill and Texture, Miami, FL

Fabricated by Grafton Furniture, Miami, FL

Vases on cocktail table – Takashimaya, New York, NY

Sculpture on pedestal – Kukje Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

Yellow artwork – Marc Selwyn Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA

Grand piano – Piano Music Center, Hallandale, FL

Area rug – Stark Carpet, Hollywood, FL

dining area

Dining table – Liaigre, Miami, FL

Dining chairs – Fendi Casa by Luxury Living, Miami, FL

Centerpiece – Michael Aram, Glass Tray by Okra Martinique,

Nisi B Home, Miami, FL

Artwork of woman – Mary Boone Gallery, New York, NY

Artwork in hallway – Perrotin Gallery, Paris

Circular yellow wall art – Perrotin Gallery, New York, NY

Cabinetry – Mirrors & Closets of Florida, Hollywood, FL

Bowl on cabinetry – Ralph Pucci, Miami, FL

Wall treatment – Itai Bar-On, Ann Sacks, MDD, Miami, FL

Fabricated by S &T Marble And Granite, Miami, FL


Cabinetry – SieMatic, Euro Kitchen and Bath, Laguna Beach, CA

SapienStone countertops – S & T Marble And Granite, Miami, FL

Black bowl – Gentner Design, Nisi B Home, Miami, FL

Counter stools – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Light fixture – Ralph Pucci, Miami, FL

Cooktop and double ovens – Wolf, Sub-Zero Group, Madison, WI

Artwork on column – Artnet Auctions, New York, NY

Blue artwork – Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

Yellow artwork – Brant Foundation, Greenwich, CT


Sofa – Trussardi by Luxury Living, Miami, FL

Fabric – Orlean USA, Miami, FL

Accent pillow fabric – Casamance, Twill And Texture, Miami, FL

Cocktail table fabricated by Belt, Hollywood, FL

Occasional table – DLV Designs, Brooklyn, NY

Large photo – SmithDavidson Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Small photo – Spinello Projects, Miami, FL

Desk – Mirrors & Closets of Florida, Hollywood, FL

Desk chair – Trussardi by Luxury Living, Miami, FL

Stool – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Photo above desk – Staley-Wise Gallery, New York, NY

Wall covering – Phillip Jeffries, Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Area rug – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

powder room

Sink – Antonio Lupi, Italy

Mirror – Mirrors & Closet of Florida, Hollywood, FL

Wall covering behind mirror – Ann Sacks, MDD, Miami, FL

Shower head – Waterworks, MDD, Miami, FL

Shower wall treatment – WOW USA, Inc., Lorton, VA

Floor sculpture – Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, NY

master bath

Vanity and mirrors – Mirrors & Closet, Hollywood, FL

Sinks, faucets and wall sconces – Waterworks, MDD, Miami, FL

Stool – Jayson Home, Chicago, IL

Wall covering – Opustone, Miami, FL

Flooring fabricated by S & T Marble And Granite, Miami, FL

master bedroom

Bed – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Wall covering, accent pillows and throw – Twill And Texture, Miami, FL

Accent pillows and throw fabricated by Grafton Furniture, Miami, FL

Bedside chests – David Sutherland, Miami, FL

Table lamps and bench – Liaigre, Miami, FL

Artwork – SmithDavidson Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Window treatment fabricated by Shade Trends, Inc., Miami, FL


Recessed lighting – Apure, Miami, FL

Flooring – Siberian Floors, Miami, FL

Fabricated by SFE Hardwood Flooring Specialists, Dania Beach, FL

Floral – Gil Sosa Design, Miami, FL

Art adviser – Spring McManus, Miami, FL

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