Elegant Sunny Isles Beach Condo is All Character

A designer helps a Brazilian family customize their dream home with the most powerful tools in her arsenal: personality and perspective


When a Brazilian couple began contemplating moving their family to South Florida, they turned to Instagram in search of a local interior designer whose style matched their own. It was a fellow Brazilian, Daniela Saliba, whose work caught their eye, mainly because it reminded them of home. Post after post revealed Saliba’s flair for mixing sleek modern pieces with organic materials, textures, and just the right amount of pattern.

The couple reached out to the designer immediately, even though it would be another year before they purchased a 2,800-square-foot oceanfront condominium at The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach. Once the keys to the unit were theirs, they called Saliba again and enlisted her to create an elegant, yet inviting residence where they could create new memories with their extended family and friends.

The apartment is ideal for the homeowners’ gregarious ways. The living room and kitchen are part of an open floor plan with glass doors that can be opened to include a 200-square-foot deck. The wife immediately envisioned cousins, nieces, and nephews flowing between these spaces and gathering around the kitchen island while she cooked.

“For me, it was really about respecting the floor plans,” says Saliba. “That was not difficult, but I did have to make sure I could fit everything in this integrated space.”

As square footage was limited, the design team integrated custom storage throughout the home to ensure all the homeowners’ possessions were at hand but unobtrusive. A number of cherished objects and artworks brought over from Brazil were integrated into Saliba’s design.

“The look very much complements who they are,” says Saliba. “It’s elegant, but it can also be casual and homey.”

In the living room, a floating seafoam green-hued shelf was installed to accommodate 20 years of thick leather photo albums, as well as display space for plants, sculptures, and books. Next to that, an oversize painting by Cristina Canale echoes the shelf’s green palette. This approach also took precedence in a home office near the kitchen. Here, the design team used custom wood cabinetry and shelving to create yet more discrete spaces for memories. “In that room, there’s even a wall with 32 tiny photos of the family,” says Saliba. “Each time someone marries or has a new baby, a photo goes up.” Features like these made the move from São Paulo to Sunny Isles Beach all the much smoother for the family, which includes two parents and a teenage son.

Saliba’s aforementioned “elegant, yet casual and homey” approach is on exhibit in the open area that encompasses the living room and kitchen, a space that embraces the water views with a neutral palette and here-and-there warm textures like the woven area rug and wood stools by the kitchen bar.

Although the project took longer than expected, the couple was thrilled with the final result. “They were very happy, and they constantly send me photos of themselves entertaining,” says Saliba. “It’s very rewarding for me to see them enjoying their home the way they envisioned it.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Daniela Saliba, Daniela Saliba Studio, Miami, FL

Text by Paige Bowers

Photography by Denilson Machado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Open to see Interior Design Sources:



Bench designed Daniela Saliba Studio, Miami, FL, and fabricated by Des & Art Furniture, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Tennis racquet art – Homeowners’ collection

Corner with Armchair

Swivel chair – Vala, Hlynur Atlason, Design Within Reach, dwr.com

Millwork designed by Daniela Saliba Studio, Miami, FL, and fabricated by Des & Art Furniture, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Lamp – Damo, Fadecci Lighting, Miami, FL

Living Room

Sofa and lounge – Minotti, Miami, FL

Armchair – Jader Almeida, jaderalmeida.com

Ottomans – Nanimarquina, nanimarquina.com

Cocktail table – Cattelan, Anima Domus, Miami FL

Floating cabinet – Daniela Saliba Studio, Des & Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Lamp – Belle Soiree, Fadecci Lighting, Miami, FL

Area rug – Minori Casa, Miami, FL

Kitchen Area

Cabinetry and island designed and fabricated by Snaidero USA, Miami, FL

Stools – Tractor, Craig Bassam, Design Within Reach, dwr.com

Counter chairs – Hoffman, Joseph Hoffman, Design Within Reach, dwr.com

Primary Bedroom

Bed – Vella, Michele di Fonzo, Design Within Reach, dwr.com

Bedside chest – Line, Nathan Yong, Design Within Reach, dwr.com

Chairs – Lina Swivel, Hlynur Atlason, Design Within Reach, dwr.com

Platner table – Knoll, knoll.com

Area rug – Minori Casa, Miami, FL


Seating and lounges – RH, rh.com

Pillows – Pottery Barn, potterybarn.com

White table – RH, rh.com

Orange table – Ballard Designs, ballard.com


Cabinetry – Des & Art Furniture, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Remodeling – Builcore Inc., Miami, FL

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