Miami Home is an Homage to International Wonders

A cosmopolitan couple finds the perfect place to settle down amongst their worldly treasures

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Before they settled in the Miami area, the couple sailed the South Pacific, exploring remote places and purchasing pieces from artisans they encountered along the way. There was the 30-foot canoe they bought from a guy in New Guinea, the striking temple door they found in Sumatra, the one-ton stone tub from Bali. Before they knew it, they had a 40-foot container of exotic finds, but they just weren’t sure what to do with them. 

That changed when they found a 10,000-square foot waterfront home in a family-friendly community across the bay from downtown Miami. 

The couple liked the lush, tropical surroundings and the residence’s overall exterior, but they wanted to gut the interior and reconfigure it so that it had the peaceful and sophisticated feel of an Aman Resort hotel. The homeowners hired Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc. to tackle the redesign, B. Pila Design to mix their Asian pieces with new and existing furniture, and Krome Construction for some imaginative engineering feats that most contractors would just as soon avoid.

“The wildness of this project took me completely out of my comfort zone,” says Deborah De Leon, president of Village Architects. “But it was exciting for me to figure out how to accomplish the homeowners’ detailed vision.”

One of the first things De Leon did was address the bottom floor’s choppy layout, which she cleaned up to provide more flow. Her reconfiguration allowed for a larger kitchen with an aquarium, a larger family room, a great room with a custom-designed bar area, an art studio, a brand new media room and an office within the original footprint. Removing one of the home’s original two staircases created more space for the media room, but it also allowed De Leon to create a bigger women’s closet upstairs in a larger master suite. Throughout the rest of the second floor, she redistributed space, raised ceiling heights, and added wallpaper and new finishes.

With the rooms complete, Beatrice Pila-Gonzalez of B. Pila Design came in to place the family’s existing furniture and Asian treasures, before deciding what kinds of custom pieces to create. In the master bedroom, she added a red-lacquered modern canopy bed and bespoke storage concealed by panels. The storage contains things like children’s books that the couple can read to their young son at night, a sweet touch for a home that is every bit as personal as it is chic. Pila-Gonzalez even added a Shoji-style clubhouse to the son’s room to give him a stylish place to play.

“It’s rare that you get the chance to create at this level with the client cheering you on and giving you the financial backup and input to create great design,” Pila-Gonzalez says. “It’s also a challenge to create something this colorful, personal and whimsical and have the end result be as sophisticated as this project was.”

Because the homeowners were involved in every step of the process, the end result was no surprise. But they said it is the perfect house for their needs.

  “I can honestly say this is the most complex build I’ve ever been a part of,” says Jordan Gruber of Krome Construction. “It was a cool experience, and the owner enjoyed the process and appreciated the passion all of us have for what we do.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Beatrice Pila Gonzalez, B Pila Design Studio, Miami, FL

Architecture by Deborah S. de Leon, Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL

Builder Alex Trench and Jordan Gruber, Krome Construction, Miami, FL

Landscape Architecture by Lancescape Miami, Miami Beach, FL

Text by Paige Bowers 

Photography by Sandy Dewitt, Homestead, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

Sources 

Front Entry

Firepits custom designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL

Fabricated by Carved Creations Inc., Kaukauna, WI

Dining and Living Area

Dining table and chairs – Owner’s Collection

Ceiling and wall treatment designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL

Fabricated by Byblos Group Inc., Miami, FL

Modular sofa custom designed by B. Pila Design Studio, Miami, FL

Fabricated by White Furniture, Miami, FL

Purple chairs – Adriana Hoyos Furniture, Miami, FL

Area rug – Kyle Bunting, Austin, TX

Hallway

Chandeliers – La Murrina Murano, Venice, Italy

Ceiling inlay designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL 

Fabricated by Byblos Group Inc., Miami, FL

Family Room

Sofa – Lee Industries, Jalan Jalan, Miami, FL

Pillows – V Rugs & Home, Miami, FL

Orange ottoman design by B. Pila Design Studio, Miami, FL 

Fabricated by Tomlinson Companies, Thomasville, NC

Round table – Armazem.design, Dania Beach, FL

Tiered table and side table – Armazem.design, Dania Beach, FL

Area rug – Art Resources, Boca Raton, FL

Loggia

Oblong table and bench designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL

Fabricated by Krome Construction, Miami, FL and Flower Child, Miami, FL

Canoe lighting fixture designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL 

Fabricated by Restoration Arts & Lighting, Miami Gardens, FL

Kitchen

Kitchen and island designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL 

Fabricated by RETC, Miami, FL

Cabinetry – Byblos Group Inc., Miami, FL

Appliances – Avanti International, North Miami, FL and Coral Gables Kitchen + Bath, Coral Gables, FL

Ceiling lighting designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL

Fabricated by Byblos Group Inc., Miami, FL

Aquarium designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL 

Fabricated by Reef Aquaria Design Inc., Coconut Creek, FL

Flooring – RETC, Miami, FL

Bedroom

Bed – Modloft Miami, North Miami, FL

Bedside table – Arteriors, Dallas, TX

Swing – Kettal, Coral Gables, FL

Ceiling light – Arteriors, Dallas, TX

Master Bath

Floating cabinetry and vanities designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL

Manufactured Byblos Group Inc., Miami, FL

Ceiling and wall treatment designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL

Fabricated by RETC, Miami, FL

Back Exterior

Lounge chairs – Holly Hunt Miami, Miami, FL

Umbrella – Tuuci, Hialeah, FL

Pool designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL and Aquadynamics Design Group, Miami, FL

Fabricated by Reef Tropical Pools, Key Largo, FL

Floating koi pond designed by Village Architects of Key Biscayne, Inc., Miami, FL

Deck – RETC, Miami, FL

Throughout

Builder – Krome Construction, Miami, FL

Landscape architecture – Lancescape Miami, Miami Beach, FL

Interior and exterior stonework – RETC, Miami, FL

Flooring – RETC, Miami, FL 

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