when a Brazilian client has his own ideas of how to execute sophistication in his new North Miami Beach home and quickly becomes friends with his interior designer, they are lucky enough to gab each day about a favorite subject. “I was referred to this client through a friend, but soon discovered that we both grew up in the same city and same neighborhood in Brazil,” interior designer Carmen Alcaraz Gomes says. “We shopped together and had daily pow-wows while I designed his 2,000-square-foot condominium. He was completely hands-on, and it was a wonderful experience.”
The client and his partner moved full time from Brazil to Marina Palms after falling in love with this 22nd-floor condominium overlooking the sparkling blue waters of Biscayne Bay. The couple told Gomes that they enjoy the waterfront lifestyle and wanted a sophisticated look using strong yet subdued colors. “They didn’t want glitz, acrylic or animal prints,” Gomes says, “but they love purple and other rich colors. They wanted to make the most of the water views, the climate, and everything spectacular about Miami.”
With a color scheme of violet, bold blue, beige, brown and the occasional pop of orange, Gomes selected a mix of materials and textures to add excitement to the rooms. Rich woods, printed panels, bronze and mirrors juxtapose beautifully with the light Italian tile flooring, mostly painted walls, recessed lighting and artful chandeliers. “While using mainly monochromatic materials, I found ways to add the texture we needed to create interest,” Gomes says.
In the foyer, the walnut-paneled wall treatment adds visual excitement and acts as a backdrop for the purple, blue and green image taken by the client, who is an international translator with photography as a hobby. Gomes highlighted the beige and gray furnishings in the living area with a splashy, brush painted, contemporary canvas called Beyond Here And Now by visual artist Francoise Issaly. It’s bold purples, blues, oranges and yellows pick up the colors of accent pillows as well as the outside world beyond. “The art is colorful and alive and became the dominant piece in the space,” Gomes says.
Across the room, Gomes added scale and texture by commissioning a custom-printed, beige-lacquer panel for the entertainment center. Below, a floating 10-foot-long bronze and mirror cabinet offers both beauty and a platform to showcase two glass sculptures: the gravity-defying Violet Piroplasm by Thomas Kelly, and the colorful Dancing Waters by glass artists Warner Whitfield and Beatriz Kelemen.
Gomes had fun in the dining area with Cattelan Italia’s glass-topped table and its flexible walnut base. “The torn wood bends, creating conversation and excitement,” she says. “The leather dining chairs are simplistic in style because the beauty is more in the shape and form of the ensemble.”
Nearby, the light-toned kitchen is small yet sophisticated with a textured backsplash made of lacquer and warm wood. For contemporary elegance, Gomes strategically positioned a waterfall-edge island shaped of quartz center stage for the couple to chat and enjoy casual meals under an abundance of light.
In order to create intimacy in the master bedroom, Gomes cut into the dry wall and inserted a custom walnut panel. The panel-headboard canopy with flanking crystal pendants from Flos provided texture and coziness without being dark. “The wall needed to be personalized for them so they feel like they are in their own private retreat away from the rest of the home,” the designer says.
The master bath shines and glitters with wall coverings from Brazil’s Orlean which the designer used to jazz up the space and add more sophistication. Travertine marble flooring allows the bath to look as elegant and cosmopolitan as the rest of the residence.
Gomes felt a great sense of accomplishment at the completion of this project. Not only did she create a great deal of low-keyed sophistication and waterfront-inspired excitement in a small space, but she made new friends. “The clients were so happy with their year-round home,” she says. “They appreciated that I knew exactly what they wanted, and together we made it happen.”
Interior Design by Carmen Alcaraz Gomes, CG1 Design, Coconut Grove, FL
Text by Linda Marx
Photography by Craig Denis, Coral Gables, FL
Sofa and chairs – Expormin, Clima Outdoor, MDD, Miami, FL
Cocktail tables – Dedon, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL
Cabinetry – Catellan Italia, Addison House, MDD, Miami, FL
Artwork and Hechee vase – Owners’ Collection
Wood wall treatment – Aurora Kitchen Cabinets, Doral, FL
Sofas – Addison House, MDD, Miami, FL
Lounge chairs and cocktail tables – Desiree, Addison House, MDD, Miami, FL
Occasional table – Design Within Reach, Miami, FL
Table lamp – Flos USA, Brooklyn, NY
Stools – Artefacto, Miami, FL
Artwork – Owners’ Collection
Floating cabinetry – Aurora Kitchen Cabinets, Doral, FL
Wall treatment behind cabinetry – Casa Mayo Design, Miami, FL
Area rug – allmodern.com
Dining table – Catellan Italia, Addison House, MDD, Miami, FL
Dining chairs – Addison House, MDD, Miami, FL
Chandelier – Studio Italia Design USA, Miami, FL
Cabinetry and island – Snaidero USA, Miami, FL
Counter stools – Catellan Italia, Addison House, Aventura, FL
Hood, cooktop and double ovens – Miele, Boca Raton, FL
Bed, chests and cabinetry – Addison House, MDD, Miami, FL
Headboard wall – Aurora Kitchen Cabinets, Doral, FL
Light pendants – Flos USA, Brooklyn, NY
Vanity – Snaidero USA, Miami, FL
Wall covering – Orlean, MDD, Miami, FL
Circular artwork – horshow.com
Shower enclosure – Alroma Glass Corp., Miami, FL
Flooring – Valencia Coverings, MDD, Miami, FL
Recessed lighting – Farrey’s Lighting & Bath, Inc., North Miami, FL