Tropical Touches Charm in Coconut Grove Townhouse

Shady Coconut Grove surroundings set the stage for this stylishly designed townhouse that combines the love for traditional furnishings with a contemporary sophistication

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When a former University of Miami football coach and his wife hired designer Phyllis Taylor to create the interior of their 6,140-square-foot Coconut Grove townhouse, they seemed satisfied to keep the look traditional like they enjoyed in their previous home in Georgia. But Taylor, along with her team of talented architects, including Jeremy Taylor and Maria Rignack, had other ideas for the couple’s home. “We understood their desire for a traditional home, but we wanted the couple to dig deeper and make the townhouse their own,” Taylor says. “After studying our renderings, they decided to include more sophistication with some contemporary touches.” The result is a charming, four-level home with views of trees, a playground, and water from the roof deck. It is like an urban tree house … and in walking distance to the town center.

Transformed from heavy Mediterranean to a more comfortable and sophisticated tropical tableau ideal for frequent family gatherings, the design unfolds at the entry floored in travertine stone. Since the stairway is the center of the home and was originally painted concrete with tiled steps, Taylor wanted to reimagine it and add some character. “We stripped the staircase down to the bare concrete treads and clad the walls with keystone rock to make it a more dramatic focal point,” Taylor says. “We used a blackened steel balustrade with a warm wood handrail, treads in hickory rustic wood, and crisp black and white runners to go up and down the stairs. I believe the staircase is like a piece of jewelry, a strand of pearls that creates the rhythm of the home.”

In the living room, the designer used warm woods and colors like taupe and green plucked from the exterior landscaping. Since the yard is visible from sliding glass doors, it marries the living space with the tropical surroundings. To create a family centerpiece, Taylor used some of the clients’ country furnishings, as well as their art pieces that celebrate their commitment to their faith. A large custom Sapele mahogany wall unit designed by Taylor & Taylor surrounds an EcoSmart fireplace and oak doors that open to reveal the television above.  Wood ceiling beams with tongue-and-groove planking, antique doors with iron hardware throughout, and hickory wood flooring offer a warm, yet sophisticated feel. University of Miami’s school colors of forest green and orange make an appearance.

Eager to modernize the kitchen, the design team took the existing underused dining room and opened the walls to make the space more contemporary. The kitchen, with its chic MiaCucina cabinetry, now opens to many rooms that connect through the warmth of recessed lighting and wicker pendant lighting. Butcher block combines with antique barn wood on the island topped in Neolith marble countertops to further the rustic sophistication.

Transforming the second-floor landing into the new dining area, Taylor went over the hickory wood floor using black inside the grain and bevels to continue the rustic feel. The look of a modern lantern-style light fixture completes the setting.

The game room, with its custom bridge pool table and custom millwork is a favorite spot for family fun and entertainment. “This is where the former coach displays his sports memorabilia like University of Miami football posters,” Taylor says. “Arranged together on the wall, they add color to the room and complement a vintage referee in uniform.”   

Rather than using a great deal of color in the master suite, Taylor brought the space alive with texture using a wall treatment of parquet grass cloth in taupe and white glaze done in squares behind the bed with a headboard of smooth white leather. A darker throw from Saccaro adds more texture picking up the frame color from art above the bed. “The couple already had this artistic spiritual sign above the bed, so I worked the room design around that,” she says.   

The guest room is highlighted by an orange wall treatment borrowed from outdoors and University of Miami colors. “We gave this room a sophisticated farmhouse look to create a sense of place inspired by Florida,” Taylor says.   

Although the coach and his wife have moved away as he has since retired, the entire design project was a labor of love. The team made some changes, working through structural challenges because the owners were comfortable with the process and eager to achieve their vision. “Our team enjoyed working with them, and both the husband and wife loved the home,” Taylor says.

Story Credits:

Interior Design by Phyllis Taylor, Taylor & Taylor, Inc., Miami, FL

Interior Architecture by Jeremy Taylor and Maria Rignack, Taylor & Taylor, Inc., Miami, FL

Text by Linda Marx

Photography by Barry Grossman, Weston, FL

Open to see Interior Design Sources:

SOURCES

entry

Stairway – Custom designed by Taylor & Taylor, Inc., Miami, FL

Railing and stairway fabricated by McKenzie Construction, Inc., Miami, FL

Stair runner – Niba Designs, Hollywood, FL

Foyer table – Jalan Jalan Collection, MDD, Miami, FL

Wall sconce – Holly Hunt, MDD, Miami, FL

Chandelier – Wired Lighting, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

living room

Sofas – Poliform USA, Miami, FL

Accent pillows – Carlotta’s Fine Linens, Miami Beach, FL

Fabric – Pierre Frey, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Lounge chair – Owners’ Collection

Fabric – Great Plains, Holly Hunt, MDD, Miami, FL

Throw and floor lamp – One of a Kind, MDD, Miami, FL

Cocktail table – Jalan Jalan Collection, MDD, Miami, FL

Occasional table – Judith Norman, Hollywood, FL

Fireplace – Ecosmart Fire, Culver City, CA

Wall unit with bench – Custom designed by Taylor & Taylor, Inc., Miami, FL

Fabricated by Exclusive Concept, Inc., Davie, FL

Cushions by Carlotta’s Fine Linens, Miami Beach, FL

Artwork on the left of wall unit – Penley Art Co., Atlanta, GA

Area rug – Shiir, Holly Hunt, MDD, Miami, FL

kitchen

Cabinetry and islands – MiaCucina, MDD, Miami, FL

Countertops – Fine Surfaces and More, Inc., Doral, FL

Backsplash – Ed’it Showroom, Miami, FL

Barstools – Hinkley, Arteriors, New York, NY

Light pendants – Palacek, Judith Norman, Hollywood, FL

Appliances – Wolf, Sub-Zero Group, Madison, WI 

dining room

Vintage dining table – Refurbished by Bonnin Ashley, Miami, FL

Dining chairs – Le Jeune Upholstery, Miami, FL

Centerpiece – Sacarro, Miami, FL

Chandelier – Urban Electric Co., North Charleston, SC

Angel artwork – Owners’ Collection

game room

Bridge pool table – Blatt Billiards, New York, NY

Light fixture – Blue Point, Rejuvenation, Atlanta, GA

Vintage referee and University of Miami posters and

ads – Owners’ Collection

Vintage game table and chairs – Refurbished by Bonnin Ashley, Miami, FL

White cabinetry – Custom designed by Taylor & Taylor, Inc., Miami, FL 

Fabricated by Exclusive Concept, Inc., Davie, FL

Stools – Victoria’s Armoire, Coral Gables, FL 

bar area

Bar and shelving – Custom Millwork Designed by Taylor & Taylor, Inc., Miami, FL

Fabricated by Exclusive Concept, Inc., Davie. FL

Countertop – Ed’it Showroom, Miami, FL

Vintage barstools – Refurbished by Bonnin Ashley, Miami, FL

Steinway grand piano – Owners’ Collection

master bedroom

Bed and artwork – Owners’ Collection

Throw – Saccaro, Miami, FL

Wall treatment – Elitis, Jeffrey Michaels, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Bedside chests – Custom designed by Taylor & Taylor, Inc.,

Miami, FL

Light pendants – Shades of Light, Palacek, High Point, NC

Stools – Victoria’s Armoire, Coral Gables, FL

Bedding – Niba Design, Hollywood, FL

Mirror – Fine Line Furniture & Accessories, Coral Gables, FL

Window treatments – Moreda Designs, Miami Lakes, FL

Area rug – Stark Carpet, Hollywood, FL

master bath

Vanity – Custom designed by Taylor & Taylor, Inc., Miami, FL

Metal base fabricated by Steel Monkey Dream Shop, LLC, Miami, FL

Countertop – Ed’it Showroom, Miami, FL

Wall treatment – Porcelanosa, Pompano Beach, FL

Fabricated by McKenzie Construction, Inc., Miami, FL

Towel ladder – Lostine, lostine.com

Planter – Jalan Jalan Collection, MDD, Miami, FL

Woven basket – Carlotta’s Fine Linens, Miami, FL

Area rug – Elitis, Jeffrey Michaels, DCOTA, Dania Beach, FL

Guest room

Bed – CB2, Miami Beach, FL

Comforter – French Laundry Home, LLC, High Point, NC

Bedside cabinetry – Custom designed by Taylor & Taylor, Inc., Miami, FL

Artwork – Owners’ Collection

Reading lamp – Saccaro, Miami, FL

Armchair – Fine Line Furniture & Accessories, Coral Gables, FL

Area rug – West Elm, Miami, FL

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