Monday, May 4, 2015

Condo Project Reveal: A City Girl's Retreat

This very reminder of Spring of a condo, belongs to my dear friend and former colleague Paula D. We transformed her boyfriend, Mr. B's apartment  almost two years ago,  and she'd promised to call me if and when she bought a place of her own. True to her word, I got an email late last year that she was closing on a shell of a condo in Miami and wanted me to add some life. 

Hello shell of a condo. It was a standard builder grade of a condo. White walls, beige carpet galore and lots of strange decisions and locations of bulkheads and closets. No worries. We love a challenge. Paula also asked that we take our time to do the space, to sift through the very personal art she'd collected over the years and the treasure trove of books she'd amassed. Music to any designer's ears, a client who doesn't want a shopping blitz but a carefully curated space. Hip Hop Hooray!

First in. New grey washed floors. A laminate that looks pretty damn good. 

Once we settled on the floors, we decided to keep much of the walls white and create a gallery wall around the TV, to not make the television such a focal point. To maintain a light and airy feel to the condo, we added sheer curtains on a track for easy open and close to control the light. A glass media stand with lots of open shelving to display books and collectibles also fit the space perfectly. The framed photo of film stars Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni were a fave among Paula's collection, so we used them to anchor the gallery wall, then layered with her smaller framed pieces. We added the antlers and worded piece for some whimsy.

We knew we wanted a shade of green in sync with the rug (which looks more blue here but it's more on the green spectrum). After lots of back and forth, we settled on this minted shade which brings a fresh burst of energy to the condo. The tailored fabric of the sectional tones down the green a tad, and the black and white cityscape she purchased from Ikea years ago, finally found a home.

Fresh flowers, candles, books on her native Brazil and a woven piece, also from Brazil help personalize the coffee table. 

Let's head over to the dining room/entryway shall we?

Here's how we started. Remember those weird bulkheads and closets I mentioned? Why, why would someone place a closet smack in the dining room? It made no sense, so we removed the door, added a chest of drawers for dining storage, and shelves to display more personal items.


There was no formal entry way, so we created one at the back of the dining room with a slender desk, round mirror and baskets for additional storage.

Paula doesn't cook much, so we made budget conscious decisions in the kitchen by painting the cabinets white, adding a chalkboard for her to unleash her inner artist (she sketched said curvalicious image), bar cart and a rather massive fiddle leaf fig to give her a true sense of the outdoors. 

This small gallery wall in her kitchen was both functional (it hides her breaker panel without violating code rules that said panel be accessible) and truly speaks to Paula's personality. A city girl on a busy schedule with amazing wit, who appreciates the glorious Miami weather, and knows how to find time to chill. 
Definitely one of our favorite projects of the year. Call us if you have a tricky space that needs some clever design solutions. We'd love to help.

Sources Guide:
LIVING ROOMWest Elm: Sectional (Similar here or here
Ikea: Oversized Art (Similar here)
Overstock: Coffee Table (Similar here, here or great wood option here)
West Elm: Media Console (Similar here or here)
Wayfair: Nesting End Tables (Similar here, here or mirrored option here)
Lamp (Similar here, here or here)
Wayfair: Area Rug (Similar here, here or here)
Home Goods, Target: Throw Pillows
Accent Wall Paint color: Behr - Garden View
West Elm: Chandelier 
Lexmod: Dining Table (Similar here)
Ikea: Dining Room Rug
Overstock: Dining Chairs
Ikea: Foyer Mirror (Similar here)
Ikea: Foyer Table/Desk (Similar here or here)
Art: Client's


  1. Another WOWZA of a place ladies!!!!! LOVE the flooring and the pop of green! Beautiful!

  2. Boom!! This is one of my faves for sure!! LOOOOVE! Gimme that green colour. Beautiful gallery wall and lovely collection.

  3. So colorful and fun, great job ladies!

  4. Very Chic!

  5. Very nice! I love the mix of personal items that allow it to feel like a unique space. And the mint green accent wall in the LR---swoon!

  6. Great job and love the dining room closet and all your access prizing! Hope you all are well!!xo Nancy


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