Modern Oceana Vacation Home is Neutral Territory

A fuss-free palette of cream and brown offers the ideal backdrop for modern sophistication in a Bal Harbour sky residence


During their hunt for a Miami residence, a Brazilian family was immediately captivated by the exclusive allure of Bal Harbour—and, in particular, the way of life at the exclusive Oceana tower on Collins Avenue.  As their chief desires were private beach access and sweeping water views, settling on a 3,600-square-foot condo with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, overlooking both the ocean and the bay, was a no-brainer.

To execute their vision for a modern South Florida vacation home awash in natural light and defined by a soothing palette of earth tones, the homeowners called on fellow Brazilian interior designers and sisters Cristina and Monica Souza of MC Studio in Miami.

While the existing format of the apartment worked for the family, the designers had to make several cosmetic updates and upgrades in order to fully implement their design concept. This included reconfiguring the layout of the kitchen and swapping out the old millwork for all new doors and trim. “In the kitchen, we extended the island, added cabinetry, and a bar area,” says Cristina. “All of our modifications were thoughtful and orchestrated to elevate both functionality and aesthetics.”

In an effort to anchor the main living area, where panoramic ocean views are the clear centerpiece, Cristina and Monica chose an oversized wool rug from Niba Designs, defining and cozying up the expansive room. A custom sectional from Minotti offers consummate seating for the family and their guests to comfortably unwind. Above it hangs a grouping of four paintings by French artist Jane Puylagarde. “This set of artwork was chosen to evoke a sense of both movement and balance, serving as a focal point that ties the room together,” says Monica. “It infuses the space with symmetry and continuity, adding a dynamic yet refined touch to the overall ambiance.”

To add dimension to the living areas, which are decorated exclusively in muted hues save for several accent pillows and a handful of objects, the designers decided to rely on textures such as leather, linen, and various grains of wood. “These choices were intentional as we were able to enrich the design while maintaining cohesion,” says Cristina. “Our approach created visual interest and also enhanced the tactile experience of the interiors, contributing to a warm and inviting atmosphere.”

A focus on neutral artwork, furnishings, and accessories continues in the primary bedroom, where bright white bedding and a coordinating headboard is juxtaposed with chestnut-toned bedside tables and a woven caramel-colored rug. “We wanted to blend with the subdued tones used throughout the home, evoking a sense of harmony,” notes Monica, who points out that using such light colors also served to amplify the views.

In the office, the designers installed custom cabinetry to create a relaxed and intimate feel. And to preserve a link between this room and living room, which operate as one large space divided by the kitchen, they opted to employ the same wool rug that was chosen for the living room. Hand-loomed and custom-made, the rugs connect the furnishings seamlessly, establishing continuity.

“We found immense joy in working on this project and are very proud of the result,” says Cristina. “Alongside our fantastic clients, who embraced our creative freedom and cherished every decision, we feel that we achieved a stunning finished product.”

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Cristina Souza & Monica Souza, MC Studio, Miami, FL

Text by Mallory Jacobson

Photography by Craig Denis, Miami, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:


Dining Area

Table – Henge, Miami, FL

Chairs – Espasso, Miami, FL

Chandelier – Poltrona Frau, Miami, FL

Living Room

Sofa – Minotti, Miami, FL

Club chairs – Poltrona Frau, Miami, FL

Ottoman stools – Poltrona Frau, Miami, FL

Cocktail table – B&B Italia, Miami, FL

Accent table near club chairs – Amour La Serene, West Palm Beach, FL

Area rug – Niba Designs, Hollywood, FL

Kitchen and Breakfast Area

Cabinetry and island designed by MC Studio, Miami, FL, and fabricated by Molteni&C, Miami, FL

Island stools – Poltrona Frau, Miami, FL

Table – Tresserra Collection,

Chairs – Minotti, Miami, FL


Table and chairs – Flexform, Miami, FL

Buffet – Serena & Lily,

Primary Bedroom

Bed – MC Studio, Miami, FL, and fabricated by Klemen’s, Miami, FL

Bedside tables – Serena & Lily,

Lamps and bench – Homeowners’ collection

Area rug – Niba Designs, Hollywood, FL

Primary Bathroom

Cabinetry designed by MC Studio, Miami, FL, and fabricated by Idélli, Miami, FL


Wall cabinetry designed by MC Studio, Miami, FL, and fabricated by Artemisa Escobar Brothers, Miami, FL

Desk chair – Boffi | De Padova, Miami, FL

Cocktail tables – Baxter, Miami, FL

Area rug – Niba Designs, Hollywood, FL

Terrace Off Bedroom

Lounges – Design Within Reach, Miami, FL

Lamp – Homeowners’ collection


Builder – Blue Crew Contractors, Miami, FL

Millwork – Artemisa Escobar Brothers, Miami, FL

Cabinetry – Idélli, Miami, FL

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