Interior design in Miami might seem to be a challenging field; with so much natural beauty available just by stepping outside, putting together interiors that can stand the comparison could be a daunting task. On the other hand, though, there is plenty of inspiration: from beautiful Brickell condominiums to Mediterranean revivals, always with the ocean as backdrop, horizon, and shimmering possibility. Miami’s best interior designers therefore often take their inspiration from their ocean and waterfront surroundings, opting to complement, not compete with, the views that so many of their clients’ properties—waterfront estates, beach homes, luxury condominiums—command.
For instance, the interior design at the Brickell Flatiron itself, by renowned Italian designer Massimo Iosa Ghini, emphasizes fluidity and light. Reflective surfaces in supple, winding shapes flow vertically up the walls, while shell-like seating and the natural veins in the marble flooring create a peaceful, watery ambience. The lobby paintings and sawtooth lamps, by Julian Schnabel, likewise reflect oceanic themes: seascapes and bright, tropical scenes reflect the Brickell’s sense of place. Within the residences, Italian craftsmanship and materials—Zucchetti fixtures and Snaidero cabinetry, Italian wood and marble flooring, Casalgrande Padana porcelain tile balconies—continue the theme.
The all-women design team at Dkor Interiors have been called “South Florida’s top interior design firm.” They travel the world for inspiration and materials, and have designed interiors from Manitoba, Canada to condos in downtown Miami. The ladies of Dkor emphasize service and collaboration with their clients; while each project is unique, a glance through their online portfolio demonstrates a clean, soothing aesthetic that often features ocean views, natural materials, smooth lines, and watery elements: clear mineral droplets run in vertical lines down a purple wall behind a bed, paired modern chandeliers stream crystal showers above the center of a golden room; aquarmarine doors and a shining floor create watery light effects in the corner of a library.
Arcila-Duque Furniture Interiors is headed by Columbian-born Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque, whose first design studio was in New York. His modernist approach has a distinct Latino flair (Arcila-Duque’s first book was on Latin Style). Coming from a small mountainous country with an ocean on either side, Arcila-Duque’s designs often feature warm, inviting, even intimate spaces with an expansive sense of “beyond,” evoked through curtained windows, watery wall colors, or through featuring natural materials. Warm, convivial hospitality and natural beauty are important to Arcila-Duque’s aesthetic.
SoJo Design is the design firm of Swedish-born Sofia Joelsson, a former Miss Sweden and now an award-winning interior designer. Her clean, uncluttered aesthetic embraces luxurious textures while showcasing a spacious, light-filled sensibility; Joelsson has said that the Miami light is a “major inspiration in every room I design.” With her Swedish background, attention to light and interior environments, and restrained sensibility, Joelsson’s clean, elegant interiors are quietly luxurious and light-filled.
Pepe Calderin Design, based in Miami and New York City, focuses on high-end residential and commercial interiors, and has designed throughout North and South America, Europe, and in Saudi Arabia. With services that explicitly include marine, water, pool, and patio designs, Calderin (who is also an artist) also designs and produces his own furniture pieces, some of which can be viewed on his website. Calderin embraces modern minimalism, but with bold, dramatic touches; the aquatic metaphor here is not quiet, trickling streams but the spectacular expansiveness of crashing waves. Calderin’s design philosophy holds that “space has no boundaries and has limitless possibilities.”
Finally, Miami tastemaker Sara Colombo’s home and design emporium, Nest Casa, offers hand-selected items for home and beach, selected from across the globe. From exquisite objects d’art like these bronze sea urchins, sea-green glass chest, and watery ikat-patterned vase to these stylishly practical Ibiza beach bags, and designer beach towels, Colombo’s boutique brings European sophistication to Miami’s shore. With an emphasis on natural materials—leather, horn, precious woods—and exquisite craftsmanship, Nest Casa’s selections channel the finest traditions of workmanship from around the world and call to mind the grand age of trade and exploration, brought forward into the 21st century.