To personalize the interiors of this large Biscayne Beach Residences penthouse, interior designer Thom Filicia studied the 14-foot-high ceilings, and modern metal and glass frames. The designer felt it was important to avoid a flat or chilly look by designing the 10,663-square-foot home to be welcoming, warm and approachable.
“This is not a showroom,” Filicia says of the spacious Miami waterfront residence he designed with the natural colors of blue, green, gray and white to take advantage of the surrounding views. The challenge was how to give a warm point of view to a vast great room while depicting how to live on the water.
Filicia, who was the interior designer on Bravo TV’s popular, Emmy Award-winning series, “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy,” and whose high-profile clients include celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Tina Fey, had more than 90 feet of perfect Biscayne Bay views from which to work. He gave the penthouse a clean understated layout with white oak flooring, sexy pendant lighting and earthy colors with shimmers of antique brass amid various black finishes for balance. “I wanted the space to have a point of view yet be down-to-earth,” he says.
In the living area, Filicia designed two separate spaces each allowing the water view to be the star. It was important to illustrate how the room works on a totally livable scale with either large or small groups of people. “I wanted a serene and relaxed interior space as a counter to the strong international city of Miami,” the designer says. “But the scale of the textiles, furnishings and fabrics had to work with the size of the space.” The geometry of the “Eclips Hexa” pendants from the designer’s Sedgwick & Brattle work together to define the area by bringing down the ceiling with warmth and light.
The family room with its strong views of the bay is dominated by the designer’s choice of a “Lanka Blue” area rug made of wool, an ideal spot for children or dogs to play. An architectural “Freijo Prisma” floor lamp gives a nod to the bridges and other architectural sights visible from the large floor-to-ceiling windows. Nearby, the custom white natural oak floating stairway provides a platform for balance.
Created with an island of gray-washed wood and clean white countertops, the kitchen is a perfect springboard for entertaining. The addition of dark charcoal leather barstools with an antique gold metal base proclaims this attractive space as the go-to place to prepare drinks. “Miami is a going-out-to-dinner town,” Filicia says. “So this is more of a kitchen that becomes part of the home’s lifestyle.”
Yet when a perfect night calls for a romantic dinner at home, the dining room centered by a stunning industrial black concrete table with a warm chunky wood base provides the perfect ambience. Surrounded by “Downey” dining chairs in stonewash gray, and a chic “Enzo” bench in Bourdeaux oatmeal fabric with a forged base, it would be difficult to beat the magical vibe and the mesmerizing view.
When Filicia completed the penthouse, he felt he had designed a rich, unpretentious interior, a space in which he would be proud to live. “We created sophistication and warmth, both timely and timeless,” the designer says. “We gave it a sense of place in a warmer, friendlier Miami.”
Interior Design by Thom Filicia, Sedgwick & Brattle by Thom Filicia, New York, NY
Text by Linda Marx
Photography by NativeHouse Photography, Lithia, FL