Artful Illusions Mesmerize in Murano Grande Condo

High end interiors mixed with clever design hacks illuminate an impressive art collection in this Miami Beach condo

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Renowned interior and furniture designer Michael Wolk has never forgotten the words of one of his idols, famed graphic designer Milton Glaser: The act of creation is like a waking dream. “You can’t call it in, but you know when you’re in it,” Wolk says. “We go along making decisions with whatever conscious intelligence we can. Then, there are these moments when it transcends the ordinary and becomes extraordinary. That’s what you call inspiration.” 

When a couple enlisted Michael Wolk Design to renovate their apartment in the Murano Grande condominium complex in Miami Beach, Wolk found inspiration ample. Challenges, too, were ample. The firm was tasked with addressing structural concerns that blocked natural light and water views, while also showcasing the couple’s major collection of glass art. 

“At every opportunity, we had to create a specific showcase for the owners’ art pieces—not as an afterthought, but from very early on in the process,” he says. A prime example may be found immediately upon exiting the elevator, where the couple’s collection is on display on the right-hand side of the foyer. Wolk crafted James Bond-style geometric alcoves that highlight the organic shapes of five glass works. “For security reasons, we developed a very intricate locking system where you have to pull one piece out to get to the next, like a puzzle.”

Moving into the living area, natural sunlight shines through a seafoam green Peter Bremer glass sculpture and a frosted amber-hued bowl by Dale Chihuly. As the light shifts throughout the day, so too does the illuminated art. “The vision of bringing the light through the apartment was one of the guiding principles of our design,” Wolk explains. 

To achieve maximum light and views, Wolk reconfigured the space to achieve a flow from Biscayne Bay and Fisher Island on one side to South Beach on the other. Then, he addressed unmovable 8-foot ceilings with a stroke of brilliance—by covering them in a white stretch vinyl in a high-gloss, mirrored finish to provide a sense of double height, making it difficult to determine where the ceiling ends and where the windows begin. “It really changed the feel of the whole apartment,” he says. “An added bonus was that it reflects the waterways. The south view looks over the port, so the cruise ships are going in and out. Seeing them upside down on the ceiling is a beautiful illusion.” 

Similarly, the floor, terrazzo scattered with large semi-precious stones and outlined by metal inlay, gleams with the sun’s radiance by day and the skyline’s dazzle by night. And Wolk took the magic of lighting a step further by crafting dramatic accents in the apartment, such as lighting the perimeters of the oak panels with embossed texture in the living room to create a floating, ephemeral feel. The result is a space that mimics the aqueous elements that encapsulate it—dreamy, poetic, and ever changing. 

Story Credits: 

Interior Design by Michael Wolk, Michael Wolk Design, Miami, FL

Text by Liz Petoniak 

Photography by Troy Campbell, Miami, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Dining Area

Table and chairs – Abitare Minotti, Miami, FL

Pendants – Lindsey Adelman, New York, NY

Bar

Island and cabinetry designed by Michael Wolk Design, Miami, FL

Fabricated by Bon Vivant, Miami, FL

Stools – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Ceiling and wall designed by Michael Wolk Design, Miami, FL

Fabricated by HTC Enterprises, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Living Room

Sofa – Carriage House, Miami, FL

Fabric – Manuel Canovas, manuelcanovas.com

Accent chair – Ox Chair by Danish Design Store, danishdesignstore.com

Cocktail table – Carriage House, Miami, FL

Occasional table – David Sutherland, Dania Beach, FL

Sofa table – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Lamps – Obelisco, Donghia, New York, NY

Glass bowl on cocktail table – Dale Chihuly 

Sculpture near sofa – Peter Bremers

Area rug – Rug International, New York, NY

Master Bedroom

Bed and headboard designed by Michael Wolk Design, Miami, FL

Fabricated by Bon Vivant, Miami, FL

Bench – Michael Wolk Design, Miami, FL

Club chair – Mdcf, Miami, FL

Sculptural chair – Roma Emmemobil, Owner’s Collection

Accent table – Abitare Minotti, Miami, FL

Sconces – Liagre, Miami, FL

Master Bath

Cabinetry designed by Michael Wolk Design, Miami, FL

Fabricated by Bon Vivant, Miami, FL

Tub and wall designed by Michael Wolk Design, Miami FL

Office

Desk and chair – Carriage House, Miami, FL

Club chairs – Michael Wolk Design, Miami, FL

Cabinetry designed by Michael Wolk Design, Miami, FL

Fabricated by Bon Vivant, Miami, FL

Throughout

General contractor – Wahab Construction, Miami, FL

Custom walls designed by Michael Wolk Design, Miami, FL

Fabricated by Bon Vivant, Miami, FL

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