Check your Miami misconceptions at the door: this penthouse apartment is a fresh, contemporary and cohesive home for a stylish client.
Miami may generally conjure up images of flashy, splashy and downright over-the-top design choices but this modern renovation by design studio Avenue Design Studio thankfully challenges all of those assumptions. Refined, relaxed and quietly sophisticated, this penthouse apartment subverts your expectations in the best possible way. Making the outcome even more impressive was the fact that the project was completed (mostly) internationally, with lead designer Holly Marder based in the Netherlands.
Encompassing a full tear-out, renovation and redesign of the two bedroom, three bathroom apartment, the project was no easy feat – made even more difficult given Marder was based in the Netherlands! Nonetheless, the dedicated designer overcame logistical challenges, limited site visits and all the complications of navigating a project from abroad to deliver a design that hit all the right notes for her US-based client.
Having made the move from her home of over 30 years to penthouse living, the client’s brief to Avenue Design Studio was to create “a cohesive but contemporary home”. She needed all new furniture, design and layout, as well as in-person materials selection to kickstart the renovation. Marder worked closely with her client, visiting Miami to first meet the contractor and walk through the plans, then to select the materials. In between visits, all the plans, furniture advice and selection was done from abroad.
Avenue Design Studio began by opening up the spaces to let the light shine in and better support flow through the home. The original living and dining areas were spacious, but the kitchen was small and closed-in, made worse by a low ceiling. By pulling out “a wall or two”, raising the ceilings in various places and selecting finishes that were fresher and lighter, Avenue Design Studio have gently modernised the home and better opened up the communal spaces to melt into each other.
The client also had a request for plenty of storage, so to pack plenty in without scarifying style Marder designed a wall to wall built-in cabinet that flanks the dining area. A mixture of open and closed shelving, the custom joinery provides space to highlight key objects and accessories as well as provide an interesting backdrop to the dining space. To integrate this design with the rest of the space and streamline the style of the communal areas, they opted for a light paint colour consistent with the walls, while adding beautiful oak pulls by Design Studio NU, and a large wooden table and sculptural Lambert et Fils pendant to further build the atmosphere of relaxed sophistication.
“We wanted to breathe new life into the space as a whole, open it up but at the same time ensure our client was left with a liveable, functional interior.”
Working with limited space in the kitchen and bathrooms, Avenue Design Studio again have opted to keep it simple, with light tones, custom joinery and a high degree of functionality. The “All-American kitchen” imbues a once-drab space with plenty of storage without cramping style and space, including a breakfast bar and striking Macuava Calacutta quartzite bench tops. Taking the style direction of “fresh, contemporary and clean with a classic twist”, Avenue Design Studio have created an abode that hits that idyllic balance of stylish yet welcoming. While it may have involved a process that spanned continents, the finished design is nothing but cohesive.