Striking Works of Art Adorn Allison Island Home

Neutral Yet Strong Furnishings Complement An Edgy And Eclectic Art Collection In This Allison Island Home


What I like about this home is that from the street you only see the guesthouse and when you enter the courtyard, the main house opens up to you,” says interior designer Charlotte Dunagan, who collaborated with Thomas Diverio on the interior scheme of this 8,500-square-foot house on Allison Island. “The facade is mainly glass, and you can see right through the entry to the open living space and the waterfront beyond,” she says.

The white stucco-finish concrete and aluminum-framed glass home was originally built as a modern spec house in 2012. Bricked Vena Grigio marble steps over an 18-foot-long reflecting pool, leading the way to the glass entry door. The flowing marble climbs the wall to the left, while coral stone veneer travels up the wall to the right. “The coral adds a duality to the front facade. It also has holes and bumps that introduce a contrasting texture to the smooth marble,” Diverio says. “It’s an interesting stone that is characteristic in Florida homes.”

These materials are continued in the back of the house on a sweeping, open veranda that sits on 80 feet of waterfront. A cool architectural overhang provides shade as needed, and on the upper floor, aluminum louvers finished in bronze do the same without blocking natural light. Though the outdoor furnishings are largely neutral, there are lots of pops of red in accessories. “The owners love reds and oranges,” Dunagan says. “We used these vibrant colors in accents both outside and inside.”

The most striking feature in the home, however, is undoubtedly the significant collection of contemporary art. When the homeowners purchased the house, they hired Dunagan and Diverio to help them integrate their artwork into the interiors in a seamless fashion. “Their taste is very modern, eclectic and edgy, as is their art collection. The house was a spec home, so they brought us in to personalize it, to make the interior design reflect their taste,” Diverio says.

A big part of the challenge was selecting and creating custom furnishings that were strong enough to complement the collection, while keeping the artwork in the forefront. “Our palette had to be neutral with black, white, dark and light gray hues,” Dunagan says. “The color stayed largely in the art.”

Working closely with the owners, the team started to assemble one-of-a-kind unusual furnishings to work with the art. Upon entry to the main social spaces, a special backlit niche was created to hold a stained-glass piece. Beneath it, the distinct fluid shape of a sloping leather chaise welcomes without detracting from the art. Nearby, the graceful lines of the “Isabel” sofa, with its metal shell entirely wrapped in leather, delineates the fascinating living area. “We used black furnishings and leather to provide continuity in the design,” Diverio says.

Just steps into the dining area, a 14-foot-long table of glass holds its own. “We wanted this area to be very transparent,” Dunagan says. “Even the chandelier, which was customized to fit the table, is made of crystals.” Wrapped in leather with metal stud details, each of the Louis XV-inspired dining chairs is unique with a different carved detail on top. “The intriguing furnishings became the equivalent of art to us,” Diverio says.

In the family room and an adjacent breakfast nook, the palette stays the same as the design becomes more about comfort and relaxation. A large sectional and iron cocktail tables create a welcoming place for the family to spend time together and watch TV while grabbing an easy snack from the nearby kitchen. “This home is unusual in that most of the houses we work on have open plans with the kitchen as a focal point,” Diverio says. “Here it’s the opposite: the main living area is much larger.”

Apropos for this unconventional couple. “They come here to enjoy their family and friends, and do a lot of casual entertaining,” Dunagan says. “They selected this home for its wonderful location on Allison Island, its wide-open spaces inside and out, and of course, the surrounding waterfront views.”

Story Credits: 

Interior Design: Charlotte Dunagan and Thomas Diverio, Dunagan Diverio Design Group, Coral Gables, FL

Architecture: Robert Moehring, Domo Architecture + Design, Miami Beach, FL

Developer: Todd Michael Glaser, Miami Beach, FL

Photography: Mark Roskams, New York, NY

Text: Charlotte Safavi

Open to see Interior Design Sources:


Wall sconces – Hubbardton Forge, Castleton, VT

Black and white floor lamp – Owners’ Collection

living area

Sofas – Flexform, Luminaire, Miami, FL

Print accent pillow fabric – Great Plains, Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Fabricated by Artea Home, Miami, FL

Swivel club chairs – Patricia Urquiola, Luminaire, Miami, FL

Chaise lounge – B&B Italia, Luminaire, Miami, FL

Table lamps – Orestes Suarez, Balance Order Nature,

Coral Gables, FL

Cocktail tables – Poliform, Miami, FL

Occasional tables – ClassiCon, Munich, Germany

Area rug – OT Oliver Treutlein, Miami, FL

dining area

Dining table – Fiam LLT, Cassoni, Miami, FL

Dining chairs – Moooi, Luminaire, Miami, FL

Vases – Owners’ Collection

Chandelier – Hubbardton Forge, Castleton, VT

family room

Sofa – Flexform, Luminaire, Miami, FL

Cocktail tables – Cattelan Italia, Cassoni, Miami, FL

Occasional table – Skram, Burlington, NC

White table lamps – Oluce, Y lighting, Walnut Creek, CA

Area rug – Marc Phillips Rugs, New York, NY

breakfast nook

Table – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Side chairs – Kartell, Lumens, Sacramento, CA

Chandelier – Luminaire, Miami, FL


Cabinetry – ItalKraft, Miami, FL

Counter stools – Potocco, Spenser Interiors,

Vancouver, BC, Canada


Furnishings – Holly Hunt, Miami, FL

Umbrella – Tuuci, Miami, FL                


Artwork and sculpture – Owners’ Collection

Facebook Comments