Miami interior designer Fede Teran goes with the flow—in his designs and in his approach to life. So he was delighted when repeat clients bought a penthouse in Echo Brickell, the 62-floor high-rise with a wavy silhouette and ocean view in Miami’s financial district.
“Water is movement and tranquility,” Teran says, “It’s my signature and the theme of this project.”
The client—a Latin American business executive, along with his wife and two children—not only bought the approximately 5,000-square-foot condo in 2019 without ever touring the unit, but they also gave Teran carte blanche after seeing only a mood board he created for the living/dining room area.
“She said, ‘Yes, yes, yes. Let’s do this,’” Teran says of his client’s response. “That was our final communication until the finished project.”
Teran has this level of built-in trust with the clients because he had recently designed their previous condo. And since 2009, he also styled more than half a dozen homes for them in Miami, Spain, Central America, and South America. “Wherever he goes for work, he buys a home because he doesn’t like to stay in hotels,” Teran says of his client.
The Echo Brickell itself inspired the penthouse’s palette of chocolate, taupe, off-white, charcoal, and camel. “I wanted the building and unit to blend,” Teran says. He admits that he struggled at first, since brown is not one of his favorite colors to use. “Finally I said, ‘What the heck?’ I freed myself to do something beautiful.”
Teran, whose mother was an interior designer in Mexico City, grew up obsessed with color and often helped out with fabric, texture, and color selections. He says he learned a lot as he watched his mother create her designs. Even so, he aspired to become a reconstructive plastic surgeon. “I’d almost finished med school when I decided to go into architecture and interior design,” he says. “I exchanged humans for homes—but ultimately it’s about making people happy.”
As with all his clients, Teran chose everything in the penthouse, right down to the coffee table books. His biggest challenge on this project was making the condo’s entertaining areas work visually and functionally.
To balance the kitchen with the living/dining area, Teran created a dropped ceiling and wall of light walnut, adding an off-white Poliform sofa, a black and gold Italian marble-topped table, and camel leather chairs.
But getting the tabletop into the penthouse wasn’t easy. At 115 by 60 inches, it wouldn’t fit into the elevator from the ground to mezzanine levels. So he arranged to lower the larger lift that serves the higher floors to the ground level. The table was strapped to that elevator’s roof, then transported—very slowly—to the penthouse.
Another challenge was the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed the entire Echo Brickell building to outsiders (including Teran and his team) from February to September 2020. Manufacturing and shipping issues further delayed his original May 2020 delivery date.
He told his impatient clients, ‘’Relax. Stay calm and it will be done when it is done.” The project was completed in February 2021.
To speed things along, Teran flew to Mexico City armed with empty suitcases to carry back the leather vases and trays he’d had custom made at Fede Casa Mexico for the living room and foyer. “There was no time to ship them,” he recalls.
Those items and a black statement bench (from a limited edition of 10) by Brazilian designer Roberta Schilling reflect the waves outside. “I also selected the Arik Levy light fixture by Vibia because it looks like wind moving through fingers,” Teran says.
For the primary bedroom suite, Teran chose grayish browns, chocolates, and neutrals despite the owners’ penchant for blue—a color used widely throughout their other homes. “The wife said, ‘No more blue,’” he says. Behind the headboard, he had Russian sculptor Vasily Bets cover the wall with 4-by-4-inch wood veneer pieces to add depth and texture. “Wherever I can add texture, I do,” Teran says.
The only blue (a navy, mixed with black) is in the client’s son’s room. For the daughter’s room—who, like the son, attends college elsewhere in the U.S.—the room’s most important detail was planned well in advance. “I’ve known the children since they were little,” Teran says. “She competes in horseback-riding, so I asked her for a photo of her horse.” He surprised her with a custom painting of her steed.
The night before Fede Design clients see their new abode, Teran holds a ceremony of sorts, lighting candles and praying for their happiness, health, and prosperity. He even chooses music for the big reveal. “I pay attention to all the senses,” he says.
When Teran’s clients entered this new penthouse space, the designer knew it was an instant hit. “The wife exclaimed, ‘Oh my God, Fede! You did it again! I love it!’ and she turned to her husband to say, ‘See—we can have houses that aren’t blue,’” he says.
Teran recalls that the detail-oriented husband checked every corner in the condo. He then declared, on a scale of one to 10, “Fede: 20 points.” For further proof of their satisfaction, Teran says, “They haven’t changed a thing.”
Like their designer, they went with the flow.
Interior Design Federico Teran, Fede Group, LLC, Miami, FL
Text by Michele Meyer
Photography by Ken Hayden, Miami, FL
Sofa – Bristol, Poliform, Miami Design District, Miami, FL
Armchairs – Stanford, Poliform, Miami Design District, Miami, FL
Cocktail and side tables – Mondrian, Poliform, Miami Design District, Miami, FL
Sculpture on side table – Fede&Koon, Mexico City, Mexico
Bench – Addison House, Aventura, FL
Lamps – LBU Lighting, Miami, FL
Area rugs designed by Fede Casa, Miami, FL
Powder Room Vignette
Arc mirror designed by Fede Casa, Miami, FL
Fabricated by Aja Glass and More, Miami, FL
Wall coverings – Brewster, Miami, FL
Console table and mirror – Arravanti, Miami, FL
Infusion vases – Fede&Koon, Mexico City, Mexico
Horse head sculpture – Duppius, Miami Design District, Miami, FL
Dining table and chairs – Poliform, Miami Design District, Miami, FL
Chandelier – Vivia, Miami, FL
Wall cabinetry designed by Fede Casa, Miami, FL
Fabricated by Artemisa Luxury Millwork, Miami, FL
Cabinetry and island – Italcraft Kitchens, Miami Gardens, FL
Island stools – Sofie Stool, Poliform, Miami Design District, Miami, FL
Area rug designed by Fede Casa, Miami, FL
Bed – Modloft, Miami, FL
Bedding – Restoration Hardware, Miami, FL and
Pottery Barn, Miami, FL
Accent chair and ottoman – Nicole Miller, Miami, FL
Pendant – Huxe, Miami, FL
Area rug designed by Fede Casa, Miami, FL
Platform bed – Modloft, Miami FL
Bedding – Frette, Miami, FL
Artwork – Julian Sparks, Miami, FL
Side table – Nicole Miller, Miami, FL
Bench – Nicole Miller, Miami, FL
Chandelier – Kuzco Lighting, Miami, FL
Area rug – Loloi Rugs, Miami, FL
Bed designed by Fede Casa, Miami, FL
Fabricated by White Furniture, Miami, FL
Wall covering – Jeffrey Michaels, South Florida Design Park, Hollywood, FL
Stone panels – Consentino, Coral Gables, FL
Manufactured by Dynamics, Miami, FL
Bedding – Restoration Hardware, Miami, FL
Ottomans – Fede Furniture, Miami, FL
Side table and chairs – Poliform, Miami Design District, Miami, FL
Floor lamp – Pablo Designs, Ylighting, Miami, FL
Artwork – Fernanda Meirelles
Area rug – Loloi Rugs, Miami, FL
Electrical service – Mas Electric Contractor Service, Loxahatchee, FL
Audiovisual – Prestige Audio, Miami, FL
Shades and curtains – RT Décor, Miami, FL