Lavish Surfside Condo is a Feast for the Eyes

Two luxury condos in the Four Seasons Residences at the Surf Club are combined to create a chic, superyacht-like space

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When renowned interior designer Juan Montoya is tasked with a tricky project like the 10,000-square-foot condo at the lavish Four Seasons Private Residences, he starts with listening—first to the space, and then to the clients. “I always let the space talk to me,” he says. “Then [I] make a list of what the clients want, and I study how people should move and function there. Based on that, I create the layout.”

The project, which took four years to complete, is in one of a pair of 12-story, luminous glass condominium towers—offering jaw-dropping views of the Magic City on one side, and miles of shoreline on the other. Gleaming wood, polished metals, and walls of windows give you the impression of being aboard a luxury superyacht. “That was the inspiration once I saw the view,” he says. “It had to be.”

The clients—empty nesters who downsized from one of the largest homes on Biscayne Bay in Coral Gables—still wanted to be able to have guests stay comfortably and to entertain frequently. But they also wanted the added advantage of world-class hotel amenities. 

Montoya is a master of meticulously designed and curated interiors with layers that don’t immediately reveal themselves. Hallway floors in unexpectedly striking patterns lead to sculpted doors, while every turn provides a delightful (and sometimes surprising) feast for the eyes. “I wanted to have transitions from the time you enter,” he says. “Square sofas and chairs in the living room wouldn’t have been as fluid to accommodate large numbers of people moving about the space.”

Montoya’s clients yearned for a change of pace from their previous Mediterranean home. To that end, the couple started fresh, bringing no furniture with them. “They only desired my designs or items purchased through my eyes from various showrooms,” explains Montoya. 

There was one exception—an enormous aquarium that houses the couple’s wide array of exotic fish. “It’s 15 feet long and weighs about 4,000 pounds, so it had to be brought in before construction,” Montoya says, reflecting on the two harrowing hours it took to choreograph the installation. “[It was] hoisted up several floors from the street, with a heavy crane by a company that specializes in this.” Once the tank (and its marine life inhabitants) were safely inside, cabinets designed by Montoya were built around it to cleverly disguise a maintenance access door. The result is a constantly animated, glowing backdrop of multi-colored exotic fish and corals at the elegant bar.

Montoya’s artistry is also evident in the custom display gallery cabinets he created for the wife’s Barbie doll collection; one of the largest in the world. “She travels to find new Barbies with specific details unique to each one,” he explains. “I designed the gallery with levels of stepped shelves so some dolls are sitting and are some standing.” The glass doors are equipped with Smart Glass technology. With the flick of a switch, the clear glass turns opaque white, providing the option of hiding the entire collection (because even Barbie needs her privacy every now and then). Outside the primary bedroom’s entrance is part of the couple’s collection of ancient Egyptian and African art. Other curated art pieces are distributed throughout the home, offering an elevated counterpoint to the sleek interior.

The mirror-like ceilings were achieved by using multiple coats of high-gloss lacquer, which reflect the massive stainless steel-clad columns that punctuate the space and seem to double the height of each room. “It brings in the colors of the ocean and the light during the day,” Montoya says. “In the evening, it’s a completely different mood. Just magical.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Juan Montoya, Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Project Director Bilal Barakat, Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Text by Daisy Olivera

Photography by Otto, New York, NY

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources

Living Room

Sofa and ottoman designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by DeAngelis, Glen Head, NY

Cocktail tables designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by Metalworks Inc., Bronx, NY

Glass side table – Lorin Marsh, New York, NY

Area rug designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by Tai Ping Carpets, New York, NY

Round table –J. Robert Scott & Associates, New York, NY

Chairs – John Boone Inc., New York, NY

Chandelier –Todd Merrill Studio, New York, NY

Dining Room

Table designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by CQ Design Studio, Richmond Hills, NY

Chairs – John Boone Inc., New York, NY

Credenza – Lorin Marsh, New York, NY

Chandelier custom designed by Davis Wiseman, dwiseman.com

Galleries

Stainless steel doors and molding designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Chandeliers – Sapho Gallery Inc., Queens, NY

Bar Vignette 

Cabinetry and island designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Stools – Fendi Casa, fendi.com

Hanging pendants – Galerie Carole de Combe, Paris, France

Aquarium designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by Reef Aquarium Design, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Family Room

Sofa and lounge – Molteni & C, New York, NY

Nautilus chairs – Vladimir Kagan

Cocktail table designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Solitaire table – Lorin Marsh, New York, NY

Chairs – Minotti, Miami, FL

Chandelier – Carpenters Workshop Gallery, New York, NY

Counter stools – Roche Bobois, New York, NY

Gentleman’s Office

Lounge sofa designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by DeAngelis, Glen Head, NY

Chair and ottoman – Minotti, Miami, FL

Wooden cocktail tables – Dennis Miller Furniture, New York, NY

Chandelier – Sapho Gallery Inc., Queens, NY

Swivel chairs – J. Robert Scott Furniture, New York, NY

Wall covering – Elitis, Hollywood, FL

Area rug – Tai Ping Carpets, New York, NY

Office

Desk designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by CQ Design Studio, Richmond Hills, NY

Chair – Minotti, Miami, FL

Side chairs – Lorin Marsh, New York, NY

Chandelier – John Boone Inc., New York, NY

Primary Bathroom

Cabinetry and wall designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by Improdema, Bogota, Colombia

Chandeliers – Vintage, ABC Carpet and Home, New York, NY

Floor designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY DISPLAY AREA

Round table – Lorin Marsh, New York, NY

Display shelves designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by Improdema, Bogota, Colombia

Primary Bedroom

Bed and headboard designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by DeAngelis, Glen Head, NY

Wall covering designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by Jouffre, Queens, NY

Bedside tables designed by Juan Montoya Design, New York, NY

Fabricated by CQ Design Studio, Richmond Hills, NY

Chandelier – Sapho Gallery, Ridgewood, NY

Sconces – Todd Merrill Studio, New York, NY

Area rug – Tai Ping Carpets, New York, NY

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