Coral Gables Home is a Pristine History Project

A storied neighborhood favorite in Coral Gables undergoes a renovation guided by contemporary design, modern art, and lots of color

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Coming home after many years away, a free-spirited New York couple aspired to infuse their colorfully funky aesthetic into an iconic Coral Gables home. Steeped in history, the pristine 4,500-square-foot Mediterranean-style dwelling was built in 1925 by esteemed architect Phineas Paist, and its legacy became a well-guarded gem of the neighborhood. Even the home’s original arched front door is part of a collective of historical doors in the Gables, preventing it from ever being updated or demolished. Nevertheless, the homeowners’ love of color and enthusiasm for modern art fueled the playful energy of a stunning interior overhaul.

“The clients’ sophistication and practicality were the foundation of this project,” says interior designer Luciana Fragali, who was introduced to the couple by her husband, David Siddons, a renowned Miami real estate agent with Douglas Elliman. “Their free spirit and great taste in fashion inspired us to go outside the box of what a historical home should look like.” Working alongside her studio’s creative director, Andre Wanderley, Fragali composed a scheme that honored the original architecture yet spoke to the owners’ passion for contemporary art and bold color combinations.

“Pink was the first word written in our brainstorming meeting,” Wanderley recalls. “The clients are not afraid of color—in fact, they love it. The wife showed us a picture of a pink closet she had saved on her phone. Right there, we knew we were about to embark on something special. Their excitement and fearless attitude got us through all the other obstacles.”

The main challenge was integrating a highly personalized modern design into a classic Coral Gables landmark. “The question was, how do we combine history and tradition with irreverence and funkiness?” Wanderley adds. “So, our keyword for this project became organicity.” The curvaceous Holly Hunt living room sofa impeccably illustrates this theme, setting the tone for the home’s organic shapes and rich hues. In addition, a composition of Roche Bobois coffee tables emulates the trees dotting the neighborhood, further emphasizing the home’s symbiotic relationship with nature.

The vibrant color scheme of Coral Gables ranges from pastels to more intense shades that are all true to the city’s original Mediterranean style. “It was important for us to make a smooth transition from the street’s beautiful landscaping to the home’s interiors,” notes Fragali. The mature trees, rounded arches, and coral rocks finished with stucco throughout the area inspired the design duo to specify natural oak wood panels and coral stone in the walls and columns to pay homage to the historic architecture. Natural rattan was applied to partitions and pivot doors to divide the spaces without blocking natural light. Herringbone-patterned wood floors create warmth and movement. The patina combines beautifully with the geometrical tile floors in the the sunroom and outdoor dining area to create memorable little moments when experiencing these spaces.

“Coral Gables is a homecoming for us,” says the homeowner. “My wife’s father grew up here, and 50 years later, we’ve moved back home. The starting line was that we wanted a fun, mature, colorful house, and when Luciana and Andre showed us our first renderings, we were hooked—the furniture, design, and vision were startlingly unique.”

The organic forms and shapes the design team was aiming for all began with the owners’ existing dining table. Its fluid, irregular shape informed their selection of the dining chairs created by Brazilian designer Jader Almeida. In addition, they chose a light pink upholstery fabric to amplify the continuity of the home’s eclectic color scheme, and photographic artwork displaying a lush green forest scene creates yet another connection to nature.

“The sunroom is one of my favorite spaces in this project,” notes Wanderley. “We wanted to create a cozy yet fresh space where the couple could enjoy a glass of wine or curl up with a good book.” The team designed a custom stone console with rounded shapes to fortify the organic aesthetic of the interiors. Two irresistible bubble armchairs by Sacha Lakic combine innovation and technology with natural forms—all while emitting a feeling of being whisked away on a cloud.

“The home gives nods throughout with fun art and objects collected from our life together,” says the homeowner. “Since moving in three months ago, we have entertained family and friends weekly. We plan to fill the house with a continual flow of guests and bring to life for them the beauty and style of Miami.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design Luciana Fragali & Andre Wanderley, Design Solutions, Miami, FL

Builder Builcore, North Bay Village, FL

Landscape Architecture by Overland Landscape, Miami, FL

Text by Jeanne de Lathouder

Photography by Craig Denis, Miami, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Entry

Sideboard – Jader Almeida, Sollos, Fisker International, Miami, FL 

Floor lamp – Noctambule, Fadecci, Miami, FL

Hanging lighting – Meshmatic, Moooi, Fadecci, Miami, FL

Living Area

Redondo armchairs – Patricia Urquiola, Moroso, Luminaire, Coral Gables, FL

Green sofa – Hindsight, Vladimir Kagan, Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Flower-pedal chair – Antibody, Patricia Urquiola, Moroso, Luminaire, Coral Gables, FL   

Cocktail and drink tables – Roche Bobois, Miami, FL

Black side table – Pure Project Home, Coral Gables, FL

Bar cart – Fabricio Roncca, Roberta Schilling Collection, Miami, FL

Area rug – Harmony Studio, Miami FL

Dining Room

Table – Homeowners’ collection

Dining chair – Jader Almeida, Sollos, Fisker International, Miami, FL 

Buffet – Labirinto, Roberta Schilling Collection, Miami, FL

Photographic artwork – Sergio Kovacevick, Roberta Schilling Collection, Miami, FL

Lighting – Luna, Gabriel Scot, Fadecci, Miami, FL

Seating Area

Bubble chair – Sasha Lakic, Roche Bobois, Coral Gables, FL

Poufs – Bovist, Hella Jongerius, Vitra, Luminaire, Miami, FL

Console table designed by Design Solutions, Miami, FL

Flooring – Innovative Surfaces, Coral Gables, FL

Kitchen

Cabinetry designed by Design Solutions, Miami, FL, and fabricated by MiaCucina, Coral Gables, FL

Counter and island top designed by Design Solutions, Miami, FL, and fabricated by Fine Surfaces, Doral, FL

Lighting – Perch, Moooi, Fadecci, Miami, FL

Breakfast Area

Table – Mirela Ampezzan, Roberta Schilling Collection, Miami, FL

Platner armchair – Warren Platner, Knoll, DWR, Miami, FL

Lighting – Random Light, Bertjan Pot, Moooi, Fadecci, Miami, FL

Family Room

Sofas – Faro Sofa, Harmony Studio, Miami, FL

Side chair – Patricia Urquiola, Moroso, Luminaire, Coral Gables, FL

Cocktail ottoman table – Design Solutions Miami, FL

Drink tables – Bruno Faucz, Roberta Schilling Collection, Miami, FL

Wall arm sconce – Serge Mouille, Fadecci, Miami, FL

Area rug – Justina Blakeney, Roberta Schilling Collection, Miami FL

Primary Bedroom

Bed, headboard, and side tables designed by Design Solutions, Miami, FL, and fabricated by Oliver Luxury Millwork, Sunny Isles Beach, FL

Pendant lighting – Gabriel Scott, Fadecci, Miami, FL

Club chairs – Cassina, DWR, Miami, FL

Side table – Soul Lounge table, Vermeil Furniture, São Paulo, Brazil

Arm chair – Patricia Urquiola, Luminaire, Coral Gables, FL

Wall covering – Scalamandré, Hollywood, FL

Area rug – Harmony Studio, Miami FL

Primary Bathroom

Floating cabinetry designed by Design Solutions, Miami, FL, and fabricated by MiaCucina, Miami, FL

Wall and shower designed by Design Solutions, Miami, FL, and fabricated by Fine Surfaces, Doral, FL

Sconce – Tom Dixon, Fadecci, Miami, FL

Rear Exterior

Outside seating – Roberta Schilling Collection, Coral Gables, FL 

Stools – Kettal, Coral Gables, FL

Fire pit – RH, West Palm Beach, FL 

Throughout 

Cabinetry – MiaCucina, Miami, FL

Fabricator – Oliver Luxury Millwork, Sunny Isles Beach, FL

Appliances – MiaAppliances, Miami, FL

Window treatments – Mayo Design, Miami, FL

Home automation – Tech Squad AV & Automation, Boca Raton, FL

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