Floridian Fantasy Realized in Miami Condo

In exclusive Bal Harbour, this top-to-bottom renovation brings one Chicago couple’s dream to life


Filled with glamour, sparkle and an abiding tranquility, this dramatically beautiful vacation residence is just what a Chicago couple dreamed of when they placed their Florida fantasy in the hands of interior designer Sarah Zohar. Though homeowners Michael and Deborah Greenhill would spend the next year and a half in Chicago, making only a half-dozen “field trips” to their Bal Harbour condo, Deborah’s exclamation when she saw the finished product, “I thought I was in heaven!” seems to say it all. Not only was the 17th-floor, 8,700-square-foot apartment perfectly suited to the couple’s desire to entertain their children and grandchildren, but “the process of its creation was both complicated and seamlessly carried out by Zohar’s team,” Michael says.

“We took the 30-some-year-old walls down to the concrete,” the designer says. With two original condominiums that had been awkwardly joined years before, the entire layout was reconceived. Eliminating the low ceilings of the era, Zohar elevated the height to 10 feet, relocating utilities and installing floating panels and trays. Flooring changed to gleaming porcelain, oak-like tiling, and cached and recessed lighting was used both as illumination and as a frank feature of design.

Fully prepped and ready, the designer happily admits to having help. Zohar’s Syrian-born father was a contractor; her brother was this condo’s project manager; her husband, the lighting designer, so she started out with a deep understanding of construction. Her use of CAD designs, as well as colored renderings allowed the out-of-state owners to know exactly what was happening as work progressed.

“The elements, water, sand, stone and lots of glitz were my starting points,” Zohar says. And in the living and dining rooms each of these aesthetic anchors are on display. With two structural columns in the middle of the social space, the redesigned condo may have presented a structural challenge. Not so for Zohar, who connected the pillars with cerused gray oak drawers topped in a solid slab of snow quartz to create a serving surface where guests listen to the owner’s piano rendition of Billy Joel favorites as the party transitions into the dining room. Here, Adriana Hoyos’ “Bolero” dining chairs pull up to the custom table that Zohar designed in the same thick gray oak with a stone and brass base.

Yet in every project there is a challenge. The overhead, custom-designed lighting fixture from Luxe Lighting weighed in at 600 pounds, according to Zohar. With its 16 smoked glass pendants, the designer wanted to be sure the reinforced overhead beams would hold it. “At one point we had three men hanging from that beam just to make sure,” she says. Bauhaus Design’s custom agate wall from Italy — a work by Mother Nature herself — is on full display.

Planned with family in mind, the media room’s ceiling is covered in silk. With black-out draperies from Crestron resembling falling water, Zohar chose a bronze mirror and shelving to keep the ambience subdued. A work desk is strategically positioned to multitask and keep an eye on the children.

Ringed by balconies “you could run a race on,” Zohar says the master bedroom is a triumph of “glam.” Using a dolphin tail motif for the headboard and its overhang, blue and blush silk peeps through the illuminated matrices. In champagne leather, patterned panels flank the bed, glowing behind the Regina Andrew light pendants.

Combining two apartments allowed for a “second master suite,” which now serves as an elegant guest room. The drama cast by Zohar’s ebony effects is pure sophistication. With a heavy bamboo wallcovering, Zohar played with its black, gray and green hues, asserting a snowy white bedcovering above the gray grain of the area rug. No less cosmopolitan, is the guest room’s bath. Here, bas relief bamboo reeds glisten in black wall tiles from Ceramic Matrix. Zohar added to the exotica with “zebra” veneer on the cabinets, and custom jet-colored sinks and a tub imported from Italy.   

“Working with Sarah has been an amazing experience,” Deborah says. “From start to finish, it was the best communication and the most beautiful outcome we could have ever asked for.”

Watch Zohar break down the redesign process on the latest episode of FD Conversations.

Story Credits: 

Interior Design by Sarah Zohar, Sarah Z Designs, Miami, FL

Interior Architecture by Debora Fields, D.L. Fields Consultants, LLC, North Miami, FL

Builder Aaron Mawardi and David Zohar, Construction Brothers, LLC, North Miami, FL

Text by Marina Brown

Photography by Paul Stoppi, Miami, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:


Living Area

Sofas, printed accent pillow fabric, accent table and occasional table – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Wood cocktail tables – Boca do Lobo, Porto, Portugal

Gray armchairs – Morada, Miami, FL

Sofa table – Custom Design by Sarah Z Designs, Miami, FL

Sculptural dish – John-Richard, Greenwood, MS

Blue armchair, settee and ottomans – Ideal Casa, North Miami, FL

Yamaha grand piano and area rug – Owners’ Collection

White planters – Studio A Home, Global Views, Dallas, TX

Drapery fabric – JAB, Jeffrey Michaels, Hollywood, FL

Dining Area

Columned room divider, table and sideboard – Custom designed by Sarah Z Designs, Miami, FL

Column covering – Valencia Coverings, Miami, FL

Gray oak drawers – Unique Designs Mfg.., Deerfield Beach, FL

Snow quartz countertop and agate geode stone wall – Bauhaus Design + Studio, Miami, FL

Chairs – Adriana Hoyos Furnishings, MDD, Miami, FL

Chandelier – Luxe Lighting, Kravet, Inc., Jupiter, FL

Glass bowls on sideboard – SkLO, Healdsburg, CA

Wall covering – S. Harris, Jeffrey Michaels, Hollywood, FL

Drapery fabric – JAB, Jeffrey Michaels, Hollywood, FL

Area rug – Owners’ Collection

Media Room/Home Theater

Crestron automation – Aventura Home Theater, Miami, FL

Loungers – Palliser, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Sofa – Ideal Casa, North Miami, FL

Ottoman – Custom designed by Sarah Z Designs, Miami, FL

Cocktail ottoman and solid blue accent pillow fabric – Rothman Associates Showroom, Miami, FL

Print accent pillow fabric – Jane Churchill, Cowtan & Tout, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Bar cabinetry and shelving – Unique Designs Mfg., Deerfield Beach, FL

Glass shelving – A-A Glass & Mirror, LLC, Miami, FL

Ceiling treatment – Phillip Jeffries, Fairfield, NJ

Flooring – Robin Gris, Iberia Tiles, Miami, FL


Double doors and great fault quartz wall – Custom designed doors by Sarah Z Designs, Miami, FL

Wall fabricated by Bauhaus Design + Studio, Miami, FL

Console – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Mirror – Boca do Lobo, Porto, Portugal

Wall treatment behind mirror – Arte wallcovering, Jeffrey Michaels, Hollywood, FL


Fluted gray oak wall treatment – Unique Designs Mfg., Deerfield Beach, FL

Red/Blue artwork – Opera Gallery, Miami, FL

Sculptural pedestal – Brabbu, Porto, Portugal

Glass art on pedestal – SkLO, Healdsburg, CA

Pebble lighting – Viso Lighting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Master Bedroom

Bed, headboard wall and ceiling treatment, bedside chests and upholstered wall panels – Custom designed by Sarah Z Designs, Miami, FL

Wall and ceiling treatment fabricated by Unique Designs Mfg., Deerfield Beach, FL

Upholstered wall panel leather – Moore & Giles, Forest, VA

Fabricated by Hart-Lines, Inc., Pompano Beach, FL

Light pendants – Regina Andrew, Atlanta, GA

Daybed, chairs and ottomans – Ideal Casa, North Miami, FL

Desk – Joseph Jeup, Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Desk lamp – Rachline Accessories, Aventura, FL

Chair and black accent table – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Drapery fabric – Stroheim, Jeffrey Michaels, Hollywood, FL

Area rug – Stark Carpet, Hollywood, FL

Guest Room

Bed – Bernhardt, Lenoir, NC

Bedside chests – Global Views, High Point, NC

Wall covering – Elitis, Jeffrey Michaels, Hollywood, FL

Light pendants – 4U Lighting, North Miami Beach, FL

Bench – Vanguard Furniture, Conover, NC

Drapery and bench fabrics, desk and desk chair – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Area rug – Oriental Rugs Company, Miami, FL

Guest Bath

Black vanity – Custom designed by Sarah Z Designs, Fabricated by Unique Designs Mfg., Deerfield Beach, FL

Countertop – Bauhaus Design + Studio, Miami, FL

Tub and sinks – Puglia, Italy

Sink faucets – Delta Faucet Company, Carmel, IN

Tub faucet – Kallista, Kohler, WI

Wall sconces – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Wall covering and flooring – Ceramic Matrix, West Palm Beach, FL


Millwork – Unique Designs Mfg., Deerfield Beach, FL

Flooring – Casa Dolce Casa, Iberia Tiles, Miami, FL


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