Interior Designer’s Home Goes Grand in Coral Gables

A meticulous renovation gives an interior designer and her husband the open and sophisticated house they’ve always wanted

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When interior designer Carmen Alcaraz Gomes approached architect Jorge L. Esteban about renovating her 1970s-era Coral Gables home, she was looking for an expert to open up the 7,000-square-foot residence to take advantage of the glorious water views. She wanted glass, light, and an abundance of breathing room for comfort, movement, and to showcase her impressive art collection. 

“The house was art deco and dark with a sunken living room,” says Gomes. “I needed more windows, new balconies, and a clean view to the Intracoastal and ocean, and I knew Jorge had experience with this type of renovation. My husband and I bought the house specifically because we loved the water views, which we now take advantage of every single day.”

From the outside, the three-level, five-bedroom, six bath house offers a sophisticated mix of contemporary and modern architecture, even though it’s topped by a slope roof, which is not typical of that style. 

The structural work was extensive. “We changed the old entrance, designed new stairs, replaced a round window, added a wood double front door, and got rid of the sunken living room by raising the floor,” says Esteban. “I now like to enter the open two-story living space with the bridge across because I love the million-dollar view visible through new the sliding glass doors, which add plenty of light.”

Open Gomes wanted and open she got. The living, dining and family rooms now belong to one large space, largely at the bequest of her husband, Daniel Berrebi, who spent his early childhood in Tunisia feeling claustrophobic in the confined spaces where he grew up. “My husband never wants to live in anything small again,” says Gomes. “So, we cut columns, opened walls, made squares out of circles, and created larger rooms. We even raised the ceiling in the dining room, kitchen, and master bedroom. The house, especially our main living space, now has an uncluttered feeling with amazing water views from every room.”

In terms of interior design, Gomes relied on her contemporary art collection of large canvases to make dominant statements throughout the home. She also indulged her love of everything Missoni—sofas, ottomans, pillows and throws—and let the brand’s iconic motif make its presence known. “I shopped at Missoni in Paris and felt like I bought everything they had,” she says with a laugh. 

The rest of Gomes’ choices were just as upscale. The flooring throughout the home is Calacatta tile, chosen because it both lets furniture shine and has appeal of its own. A powder room benefits from Gomes’ clever use of Silestone black vein quartz marble panels, a way to bring Old Hollywood glamour into a very today space. While the master bedroom is open, spacious, and modern with a balcony for sun-bathing and enjoying the view, Gomes made the connecting bath more ornate and glamorous by adding zebrawood cabinets and baroque crystal wall pendants. The interior spaces are now a combined interpretation of Gomes’ talent and tastes, with unexpected elements and no dominant style of design, exactly as she wanted. Just as important is how flexible and adaptable the interior design scheme is… should the desire to reinvent reemerge a few years from now. 

“The design has lots of possibilities and we can switch the vibe easily,” says Gomes. “But right now, I am thrilled with everything as is.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Carmen Alcaraz Gomes, CG1 Design, LLC., Coconut Grove, FL

Architecture by Jorge L. Esteban Architecture and Planning, Inc., Coral Gables, FL

Text by Linda Marx

Interior Photography by Craig Denis, Miami, FL

Exterior Photography by Paula Osorno, Coral Gables, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Front Exterior

Architectural element – Custom designed by CG1 Design, LLC., Coconut Grove, FL

Front door – Secure Windows and Doors, Doral, FL

Living Area

Sofa and ottoman – Divani, Milan, Italy

Fabric – Missoni, Milan, Italy

Cocktail tables – Mondrian, Poliform, Miami, FL

Side chairs – Utrecht, Cassina, Miami, FL

Console – Addison House, Miami, FL

Mongolian bench – Jonathan Adler, Miami, FL

Decorative jars – Z Gallery, Miami, FL

Dining Area

Table – Tonelli, Addison House Miami, FL

Chairs –Philip Stark, Cassina, Miami, FL

Chandelier –Viabizzuno, Mohd Milan, Milan, Italy

Wine wall designed by CG1 Design, LLC., Coconut Grove, FL, and fabricated by Alroma Glass, Miami, FL

Buffet – Catellan Italia, Addison House, Miami, FL

Artwork – Rock Therrien, Canada

Media Area

Sofa – Arketipo, Mohd Milan, Italy

Pillows – Missoni, Milan, Italy

Cocktail table – Addison House, Miami, FL

Eames lounge chair – Herman Miller, Design Within Reach, Miami, FL

Divider wall designed by CG1 Design, LLC., Coconut Grove, FL, and fabricated by Aurora Kitchen, Doral FL

Area rug – Modern rugs, modernrugs.com

Kitchen

Cabinetry and island designed by CG1 Design, LLC., Coconut Grove, FL, and fabricated by Scavolini USA, Coral Gables, FL

Tile wall – USA Tiles, Doral FL

Guest Bedroom

Bed and headboard – Modloft bed, North Miami Beach, FL

Bench – Habitus Furniture, Doral, FL

Nightstands – Domo, Addison House, Miami, FL

Artwork above bed – Paula Osorno Photography, Coral Gables, FL

Balloon lighting – Brokis, Mohd Milan, Milan, Italy

Powder Room

Floating cabinetry designed by CG1 Design, LLC., Coconut Grove, FL, and fabricated by Aurora Kitchen, Doral, FL

Wall panel – Iberia Tiles, Doral, FL

Primary Bedroom

Bed – Poltrona Frau, Miami, FL 

Panel behind bed designed by CG1 Design, LLC., Coconut Grove, FL, and fabricated by Aurora Kitchen, Doral, FL

Bedding – Missoni, Milan, Italy

Bench – Jonathan Adler, Miami FL

Nightstand – Calligaris, Miami, FL

Pendants – Flos, Milan, Italy

Chair – Poltrona Frau, Miami, FL

Area rug – All Modern, allmodern.com

Primary Bathroom

Cabinetry designed by CG1 Design, LLC., Coconut Grove, FL, and fabricated by Aurora Kitchen, Doral, FL

Sconces – Barovier & Tosso, Mohd Milan, Milan, Italy

Mirrors – Alroma Glass and Mirror, Miami, FL

Wall designed by CG1 Design, LLC., Coconut Grove, FL, and fabricated by Aurora Kitchen, Doral, FL

Area rugs – Missoni, Milan, Italy

Artwork – Endimoni, Bisazza, Milan, Italy

Tub – Jacuzzi, jacuzzi.com

Back Exterior

Pool designed by Jorge L. Esteban Architecture and Planning, Inc., Coral Gables, FL

Lounge chairs – Gandia Blasco, Mohd Milan, Milan, Italy

Seating – Restoration Hardware, rh.com

Throughout

Flooring – USA Tile and Marble, Doral, FL

Windows and doors – Secure Windows and Doors, Doral, FL

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