Art is the Star in Contemporary Surfside Condo

Two Surfside condos become one spectacular residence, and a modern backdrop for a stellar grouping of contemporary art


Designer Christian Liaigre is not in the habit of doling out recommendations, but when the French tastemaker saw how the mother-daughter duo of Carola Hinojosa and Sabrina Maclean tastefully incorporated his collections in the 3,000-square-foot Surfside condominium of a New York entrepreneur, he happily gave them his seal of approval when the same homeowner inquired about talent for his new real estate acquisition. With additional encouraging from his 14-year-old daughter, the businessman decided the two women who head up Hinojosa Design Studio were the ideal professionals for the job. It didn’t hurt that the new digs happened to be the adjoining apartment in the same building. 

Located in one of South Florida’s most exclusive residential towers, the new combined residence boasts 6,310 square feet of space, with three bedrooms and six-and-a-half baths. From the living quarters in the original condo to new social areas and guest suites in the new wing, everything flows seamlessly via grooved wood panels installed to both delineate and join. After the dividing wall between the two units came down, areas for lounging, living rooms, and a dining room were quickly identified in the square footage suddenly available.

“The client wanted something sleek, elegant, and timeless,” says Maclean. “One of the most important tasks was to create cohesiveness between apartments in order to create a contemporary, chic, and luxurious look.” 

As the design process got underway, the New York entrepreneur and Hinojosa bonded over their mutual love for art, and he relied on her to help him amass a collection that rivals the one in his Manhattan apartment. To accomplish this, Hinojosa, who is on the board of the Guggenheim and regularly travels the world to source art for her clients, took him by the arm to various galleries and art fairs, including Frieze and Basel. Together, they selected 13 pieces (paintings, photographs, and sculptures) that effortlessly harmonize with the muted tones of the new home’s chosen palette. 

To give the art a museum-worthy backdrop, Hinojosa and Maclean selected textured furnishings with neutral, earth-toned colors. To further add character to the creative vibe of the home, they incorporated whimsical elements like the plush Karl Lagerfeld chair overflowing with sheepskin fur, which is one of the few furniture pieces in the home that’s not from Liaigre. It is here that the homeowner’s favorite artwork resides, Long Ago and Far Away, a surrealist oil and silkscreen on linen by David Lasalle that never fails to spark conversations. 

“From the moment you enter the residence and from every vantage point in it, there’s a beautiful piece of art,” says Maclean. “When you walk in, there’s a beautiful bench and mirror, then another striking piece to welcome you from the entrance. It’s a stunning dance of elements.” Case in point: That Ralph Pucci mirror referenced by Maclean is cradled by a Hervé Van der Straeten 3D geometric gold leaf and lacquer frame perched above a John Boone cowhide leather bench. Set inside one of the entryways, the grouping makes a memorable statement.

Equally impressive are the art moments one encounters when walking through the apartment. In the elevator foyer, there’s Tony Cragg’s stainless steel Seam sculpture, which is strikingly lit on a custom blackened steel pedestal and framed by two white lacquer storage cabinets running from floor to ceiling. The scene conveys the reverential treatment the art collection was given. Another wall near the kitchen reveals Doug Aitken’s Hollywood Industrial Complex, a backlit spherical piece that’s theatrically mounted on blackened steel panels above a white floating shelf. Then comes a regal, 83-inch-high Christophe Côme mirror cabinet acquired at New York’s exclusive Cristina Grajales Gallery. In one of the living areas, Santa Maria dello Spasimo by Vanessa Beecroft, plays with our perceptions of classic aesthetics and modern perspectives. In another, an abstract canvas by Latifa Echakhch helps to conceal a hidden door. The point is made clear: This is the home of a serious collector. 

“The art played a pivotal role in all our design decisions,” says Hinojosa. “It steered us in the right direction every step of the way.” 

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Carola Hinojosa and Sabrina Maclean, Hinojosa Design Studio, Miami, FL

Architecture Antonio Sullo, Lisar USA, Corp., New York, NY

Builder by Jerry Rowland, Handcraft Construction, Deerfield Beach, FL

Text by Michelle Payer

Photography by Kris Tamburello, Miami, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:



Bench – Paul M. Jones Collection, John Boone, New York, NY

Abstract mirror – Hervé Van der Straeten, Ralph Pucci Miami, Miami, FL

Seating Area

Lounge chairs – Infante, Liaigre, Miami, FL

Fabric – Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL

Cocktail table – Nissler, Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL 

Side table – Praslin, Liaigre, Miami, FL

Artwork – Latifa Echakhch 

Wall designed by Hinojosa Design Studio, Miami, FL, and 

fabricated by Lisar USA, Corp., New York, NY 

Area rug – Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL

Living Area

Sofa – Rocco, Liaigre, Miami, FL 

Bazane stools – Liaigre, Miami, FL

Sheepskin chair – Karl Lagerfeld, Luminaire, Miami, FL 

Cocktail table – Liaigre, Miami, FL 

Chandelier – Torroja Cross, David Weeks Studio, New York, NY 

Floor lamp – Liaigre, Miami, FL 

Artwork – Long Ago and Far Away, David Salle 

Kitchen Bar

Floating shelf designed by Hinojosa Design Studio, Miami, FL, 

and fabricated by Lisar USA, Corp., New York, NY 

Round artwork – Hollywood Industrial Complex, Doug Aitken

Glass sculptures – Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL 

Abstract artwork – Point, Terry Winters 

Stools – Mark Albrecht Studio, Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL

Entertainment Lounge

Lounge chairs – Grace, Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL

Cocktail table – Tudor, Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL

Artwork – Santa Maria Dello Spasimo, Vanessa Beecorft, Palermo, Italy

Area rug – Liaigre, Miami, FL 


Mirror cabinet – Christopher Côme, Cristina Grajales Gallery, New York, NY

Sheep – Owner’s collection

Black pedestal – Lisar USA, Corp., New York, NY

Sculpture – Seam, Tony Cragg 

Dining Area

Table – Pesco, Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL 

Chairs – Shadow, Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL 

Wall and ceiling designed by Hinojosa Design Studio, Miami, FL and fabricated by Lisar USA, Corp., New York, NY 

Conversation Area

Sofa – Don Juan, Liaigre, Miami, FL

Fabric – Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL 

Loveseat – Aspre, Liaigre, Miami, FL

Slipper chairs – Liaigre, Miami, FL 

Cocktail table – Fran Taubman, Ralph Pucci Miami, Miami, FL

Sculptural ceiling lamp – Serge Mouille, New York, NY 

Reading lamp – Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL 

Artwork – Captive Gray Wolf, Joel Sartore 

Area rug – Liaigre, Miami, FL 

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