Design + Decor South Florida Fall 2020

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1. Leili Fatemi | Leili Design Studio 2. Lisa Gilmore | Lisa Gilmore Design 3. Laura Parsons | Pure Design 4. Nan Wright | Wright Interiors 5. Carrie Brigham | Carrie Brigham Design 6. Lisa Guild | LMG Design Consulting 7.Wilfredo Emanuel | Wilfredo Emanuel Designs 8. Mark Vanagas, Lou Shafran | Pacifica Interior Design 9. Debbie DeMaria | Vogue Interior Design 10. Robyn Lang-Shakeland | Freestyle Interiors 11. Jenny Provost | K2 Design Group 12. Heather Serrano | Heather Serrano Designs 13. Lisa Ficarra | Ficarra Design Associates

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14. Kristin Lyons | KDL Interior Design 15. Aniko Brittingham | Aniko Design 16. Ashleigh Poirier | K+A Coastal Design 17. Molly Hoover | Molly Hoover Design Group 18. Lyndsey Davis Nicklas | L Design Studio 19. Kelli Esposito | Harper Haus Interiors 20.Natasha Pereira | Natasha Pereira Interior Design 21. Ryan Spicer, Alina Spicer | ARD Design 22. Gloria Black | Gloria Black Design 23. Lisa Davenport | LDD Interiors 24. Debra Yelner | DLY Design 25. Susan Petril | Interiors Group of SW Florida

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FALL 2020



For a home in South Beach’s prestigious Portofino Tower, Britto Charette keeps things light with oak, marble—and lots of mirrored walls.

Story by Drew Limsky Photography by Kris Tamburello


DESIGNING WITH THE FIVE SENSES The 2020 Top 25 Designers Issue

Story by Susan Winlow


Designer Jackie Armour creates a personality-filled family home that’s as playful and fun as it is stylish.

Story by Jean Nayar Photography by Brantley Photography


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Publishers Letter Ask the Experts Profile

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Poggenpohl + Florida Designer Cabinetry 10800 Corkscrew Road Ste. 105 Estero, FL 33928 T: 239-948-9005 |

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DESIGN +DECOR FALL 2020 Editor-in-Chief Matthew J. Kolk 203-820-1092 Contributing Writers Deborah Brannon, Lisa Gant, Susan Heller, Pam Gersh, Anna von Stelzer-Worth, Kait Shea, Anastasia Storer Contributing Photographers Jane Beiles, Michael Biondo, Phillip Ennis, Tria Giovan, John Gruen, John Hannon, Paul Johnson, Neil Landino, Mark La Rosa, Tim Lee, Daniel Milstein, Janice Parker, Durston Saylor, Debra Somerville, Eric Striffler, Jonathan Wallen, Woodruff/Brown Photography Copy Editor Elena Serocki Graphic & Web Design East Coast Home Publishing

Publisher Shelley E. McCormick 203-545-7091 Account Managers Alessandra Flanagan Aileen Gardner Jane O’Reilly Kelly Ames Smith Anita Watkins Design + Decor 7485 Inspira Circle #1203 Naples, Florida 34113 Design + Decor is published six issues per year. To subscribe:; Subscriptions: one year, $28; two years, $50. Back issues can be purchased at For editorial inquiries: Editor, Design + Decor, 7485 Inspira Circle #1203 Naples, Florida 34113 or e-mail: For advertising inquiries: Please call Shelley McCormick at 203-545-7091. Reproduction whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All projects described in this publication are for private, noncommercial use only. No rights for commercial use or exploitation are given or implied. The opinions expressed by writers for articles published by Design + Decor are not necessarily those of the magazine.

EAST COAST HOME PUBLISHING 7485 Inspira Circle #1203 Naples, Florida 34113 DD-MAG.COM

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’m very pleased to present our much-anticipated Fall issue. This is one of my favorite issues to put together, as I get the joy of evaluating the numerous interior design firms in our region and deciding which to feature as part of this year’s “Top 25 Interior Design Firms.” This year we have some familiar names from past years, and we are thrilled to introduce the new talent I discovered during the summer as I searched for firms that meet our distinctive criteria: style, creativity, class and innovation. Congratulations to all 25 firms who made the cut of our discerning editorial team! This is our third year highlighting the area’s top talent, and every year we ask each designer to adhere to a theme. This year’s theme fits perfectly with where we are in our world: sensory design, and how the five senses come into play when designing a home. These days, all of our senses are heightened and are seeking ways to feel harmony, safety and balance. Interior designers use colors to set a mood, textures to add visual and tactile interest, sounds to bring comfort, and smells and tastes to evoke memories and trigger emotions. But please read the fascinating, unique ways that our individual designers employ sensory design to create ideal, exceptional spaces for their clients. In addition to our “Top 25” story, look for our other articles that report on generational family businesses in our area, including Kurtz Homes and Lighting First. In closing, I would like to thank Omicron Granite & Tile of Naples for not only hosting an amazing Top 25 Interior Design Celebration (yes, we were CDC-safe!), but also for opening its showroom to photograph each of the designers who graced our cover. Thank you, Michele Alan of Omicron, for putting this all together for Design + Décor. It was a fantastic event! Until we meet again for our Winter Edition 2021—our Architects’ Edition—I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. Stay safe and healthy!

Shelley McCormick


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Mud Wrestling Emulsion and Eggshell PaintMud Wrestling is an almost black paint with brown undertones, giving it a beautiful, warm feeling. Helping to create a haven of tranquillity this dark paint is perfect for a monochrome scheme where you don’t want a cold black colour. It’s great for both period and contemporary spaces and will add maximum impact to your rooms. It’s a bold choice, but we love it.

Graffitified I Rug GRAFFITIFIED I is a premium rug inspired on the act of graffiting. If you want a rug that reminds you of the best of the urban art and to offer you the energy of city life, GRAFFITIFIED I rug will definitely conquer your heart.

Inkblind II Rug INKBLIND II rug is a natural rug inspired in the phenomena of one becoming more attractive toward others after receiving multiple tattoos.

Zebra Cush Zebra cushion is an eye-catching decorativein pillow, made of high-quality velvet with smooth black fringes borders. This homeware item offers comfort and style.

Volare Chaise Lounge Volare Daybed is a luxury daybed perfect for a modern master bedroom or luxurious living room project.

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Wallpaper | Vanilla Black Fabric Starting with rugs, and now entering the world of homeware, with high society, Covet house aims to give their clients the ability to relate to their house on a more personal and deep level, creating a line of design that’s tastefuel, coherent and an expression of who they are. A true oasis of comfort and design, that materializes their feelings and their personalities. The Diamond Bathtub With the style of a precious jewel, the Diamond bathtub will make a splash in interior design. The exterior of this fanciful piece is presented in silver leaf finished with a luxurious shade of translucent black with high gloss varnish. The new bathtub also features a highly sculptured body leading to a gold interior.

Kalem Outdoor Fireplace Kalam Fire Pit is a freestanding fire pit, that will fit perfectly in a modern outdoor design project.

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ecipient of the AIA Florida 2020 Medal of Honor for Design, Joyce Owens, FAIA, RIBA, has been a practitioner and advocate of good design for more than 30 years. With projects including the Alexander McQueen Flagship Store in the United Kingdom and the Bishop Verot Church in Florida, Joyce has been recognized for her work on a wide spectrum of award-winning Design + Decor

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Askthe KITCHE theE Ask

dian white oak, knots all, with dark bronze metallic today, soand livability isstudio, key. That includes: newspapers that a and wide audience. Intextured hervisits outreach, projects. Her agility as a designer can be attributed to To hercurate in- cal unique pieces for hisreached designs Wilfredo local cabinets paired dark-tint gridtoscreens, custom made referenced thewith local Floridaoiled Cracker and Chickee herent drive to adapt a built space to its context. In 2017 markets she toshe identify suppliers and resources. “I try maximize myHuts’ local in can Capeto Town, South form a rich kitchen experience inofa -people Open Africa, spaces with large windows thatsays. bathe the kitchresponse climate-sensitive architecture, with theHe goal was recognized for her efforts and elevated to the prestigious resources so we support in our community,” he relies Marco Island en innew natural light to workinwith “looking back tohome.” look ahead.”Successful educating the pubCollege of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects on his existing network to find artisans on a long-term lic about architecture, she went on to build several projects (AIA). basis. Several motifs emerge fashionable choices in current kitchen - Naturalasof materials help you bring in nature, such based on her principles goodthat design. Southwest Florida design. Pared-down sleek,exemplary sophisticated and elegant, the colas rawand woods witharchitecture, anattention interesting grain and now home to some of her which is Starting out as a woman in a male-dominated industryWilfredo’s was a isdesigns are stunning infinishes, their meticulous to detail. ors, finishes layering inother todaynatural ’s culinary creation spaces tend textures that recall patterns—even with their modern inand form and thought. forms ofone these buildchallenge. Without any female role models to look up Colors to, she andtruly textures complement each onThe more than level, and timeless Only time will tellend howofwell allrefinement. beautiful imperfections are derived from theiran context and function. worked with men who recognized that women broughthis somerooms ings tie toward together to truly create experience. At the the these day, trends hold up, but,clients’ for now,comfort the big and players in dream style and thing different to a team. She recalls being an anomalyhis in first the and last priority is the their foroperatheir tion asserted themselves for the year. - Seamless integration ofupcoming living plants intomy theGod, kitchen Committed to advocating for good design, Joyce serves on theI industry, a situation she worked hard to leverage in the home: Lon-“Every timehave they open the door, they have to say, ‘Oh environment, using systemsincluding of open shelves leadership board of a numberespecially of organizations, the don-based practice she set up with a female colleague. Produclove this space.’” Resource:Construction on the walls, on of the Southwest island and above it Guild Florida and AIA ing unique and intelligent designs project after project, the Women’s two acquired a diverse international clientele. Resource: Florida, supporting her peers and continuing the dialogue on Carrie BrighaminDesign - Organic, flowing design that makes movement and good practice architecture. Carrie Bringham the transition between different activities very effortEquipped with global experience and licensure, Joyce Wilfredo moved Emanuel Designs 5117 Castello Drive, less Suite 1 Resource: back to the U.S. in 2004 to be closer to her parents and Emanuel Wilfredo FL 34103 set up Architecture Joyce Owens LLC (AJO) in Southwest 4760 Tamiami Naples, Trail North 239.261.1720 Resource: Architecture Joyce Owens Florida. She soon discovered that modern architecture here Suite 2 Ownes was removed from its climatological context. She wasNaples, inter-FL Joyce 34103 2281 Main Street Studio Snaidero Naples ested in changing public mindset about the banal application 239.315.7794 Interiors + Construction 1482 Rail Head Boulevard Myers, FL 33901 of architectural elements and the borrowing of stylistic ele- Fort EBL Paul Benson Naples, FL 34110 ments from dry climates like the Mediterranean, which con- 239.425.5773 1482 Rail Head Blvd. 239.431.5003 trasts significantly with the subtropical region where she now Naples, FL practices. Believing it is imperative that people understand Stone by UMI 239.431.5003 what good architecture is all about, she began writing for

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ould you talk a little about the commercial project you recently completed at Bonita Springs, and what your design intent was? The project is rather unique—you don’t see this building type very often. It’s an off-track betting facility with a poker room and a restaurant. The client’s original building was a racetrack building for Greyhound racing. After the Florida voters in the last election cycle voted out dog racing from the state of Florida, the owner wasn’t going to operate this big building with this huge grandstand when the dogs went away. So all these functions within that building were taken out and put in as part of the program I did for this new building.


The other thing at play is that Bonita Springs has overlay zoning districts at this site, where the building is located with a form-based zoning code that requires the building to be sited at the road frontage and have the parking tucked behind the building, out of view. So it’s unlike many commercial zoning districts around the U.S., with the sea of parking you see from the road and the building far in the background. The spirit of the zoning code seems to require an engagement of the commercial building with the street and city. How did you achieve this with the specific program of having very closed-off spaces like card rooms and poker facilities?

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DOUBLING DOWN Design + Decor sits down with Tom Jones of WDG Architects to speak with us his newly finished project in Bonita Springs. Story by Neha Hegde

The spaces were sorted out in a way that the most public spaces were exposed, and the most under-detailed spaces were concealed from view. The other thing I did with the building was articulate the corner it resides on in the spirit of urban planning. It is on an undeveloped corner at the intersection of a major arterial road within Bonita Springs. I gave the building a lot of glass presence, so there is transparency between the viewer of the building from the road and the occupant of the building from within. So the building engages both parties. As you sit within this glass box restaurant with this huge outdoor seating area, you can engage the city and see the street, and vice versa from the road. It allows you to see in and invites the eye to participate in what’s going on within the building. This not only makes the corner of the building have an

iconic defining presence, but also gives a sense of invitation as you enter the building from the side street. It’s kind of a discovery as far as how you find the entrance and see it, but it’s also oriented so you get a diagonal view of it from the intersection. We had a lot of issues to solve as far as the administration and support spaces, the back-of-house to the operations of the building, with the frontage being exposed, the backside being the parking lot entrance side and the corner being present, where it was. The solution was about responding to all those elements along the way, and we did a pretty good job of solving the variables involved.

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Courtney and Thomas Jones

What were some other design challenges you took up as an architect, and how did you solve them? Whenever you’re introducing a modernist aesthetic to a building, something that’s not traditional, that is inherently a challenge. I think one of the challenges I imposed upon myself was to create a modern architecture that would be somewhat civic in nature and would respond to what it is as a commercial entity, yet have this scalability of much more humanscale-type projects—not necessarily residential, but breaking down the mass and scale so you don’t have just the big blank 32,000-square-foot box sitting on a road, but have enough articulation at the user level. The material palette brings in the combination of steel and wood and the clapboard weathered siding, which was really meant to respond or pay homage to the more residential context of the town. It is very much a beach town, and the siding was a nod to that part of the town’s aesthetic, as far as residential beach homes go. So it was trying to blend some of these things together and make this somewhat familiar material palette, yet progress it in a way that it was new. From a sustainability perspective, what sets commercial buildings apart from other typologies of design? Could you also elaborate on how your firm is responding to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Commitment? It’s interesting because my firm does both residential and commercial projects. The two worlds of practice are very different in their mentality towards sustainability. And I know here in Naples—and I suspect it to be the same in many other parts of the country—that sustainability in the residential realm is really not regarded much or at all. It’s rarely understood, especially because it’s driven by developers and maybe planners who haven’t set up projects in a way where sustainable site planning and solar orientation are in play. Homeowners so far have not had sustainability at the front of their agenda, at least not in Naples. Design + Decor

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But on the commercial side, we have that opportunity because invariably you have building owners and corporations who are very concerned about the life cycle of their building. So it’s a lot easier to talk about this subject, sell the ideas of sustainability and even put them into practice because they understand lifecycle maintenance of materials, energy efficiency and what that means for their overhead over the long term. And one way we do that ties into the AIA 2030 challenges. We advocate passive design practices—specifically, passive cooling, which is the most relevant for this part of the country. The program of the building and site can be manipulated to be very responsive to solar orientations, light, heat gain and prevailing winds. Unlike residential projects, where many times you have a certain lot, the default thinking is that the front door or certain things have to face the street. It forces the program of a house to unfold in ways where you might have undesirable solar exposures, heat gains, light issues and so forth. But commercial buildings are very different. Not only are the clients not as emotionally tied to them, they understand that they can look and be different for many different reasons. It is really the architect’s job to create those sets of roles, variables, concepts and ideas that are very relevant for that site and building program. The form that follows that sort of intelligent planning and analysis will generate a three-dimensional form that is inherently relevant. Things that happen in three dimensions are being born out of very well-thought-out conceptual ideas and approaches based on site analysis, sustainability, life cycle, security access and several other factors. But sustainable design practice doesn’t take LEED, Passivhaus or the AIA 2030 Challenge to be relevant. I think all responsible design professionals should be implementing sustainable practices in what they do. What are some passive cooling strategies you’ve implemented in practice? Passive cooling is also about creating the shading performances we would need for certain exposures and then, where we don’t need shading, opening it up and trying to harvest daylight as much as we can. It’s about using cool roof materials that reradiate long-wave ultraviolet heat and using light colors on the façade. The roof is the one area of the building where you’ll get 70% of

your heat gain. So designing the roof appropriately from the start matters; the days of using dark asphalt, tar-type roofs are over for us, especially in Florida. That’s why buildings are white—because they reflect and not absorb light and heat. We try to put all those things in play as we’re doing buildings by making sure we’ve got different exposures protected—whether it’s through shading devices, supplementing landscaping to help passively cool, or using insulated glass strategically in mitigating the heat gain into a building. What are your thoughts on post-pandemic design in commercial buildings? That’s a good question. It hasn’t really been talked about or become an issue yet with clients, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t respond to it. One way we’ve already started to plan our buildings is to have more hands-free features and go a step further in making them sanitary, especially in public restrooms, with hands-free soap dispensers and low-voltage, foot-control flush valves. We also want automatic sensors on doors—even if they are swing doors and not just the bi-parting commercial doors you see in the grocery store and Home Depot. Maybe the pandemic will move us forward in terms of how we filter air and the kinds of paints we use. Antimicrobial products exist, but they’re at a premium. Some materials can inherently kill bacteria, but when you’re talking about viruses, it’s different. Maybe we’ll start to look at how we filter air in our conditioned spaces, and what that means for the mitigation of pandemic situations. Resources: WDG Architecture Thomas Jones 8970 Fontana Del Sol Way #2 Naples, FL 34109 239.594.9778 Design + Decor

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LIGHTING FIRST Greg and Steve Adams share with us their families love of lighting. Story by Neha Hegde

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ighting First is a one-stop shop for homeowners, builders and designers to find lighting solutions for their projects. Starting out as a family-run retail enterprise for lighting fixtures in 1984, the company is now run by the second generation of the family, Greg Adams and Steve Adams, who are carrying forward the original vision of delivering good products and services at competitive prices. Lighting design was of interest to the family even before the inception of Lighting First. Greg and Steve’s grandfather manufactured lamps in Philadelphia. Years later their parents took an interest in the field and moved the family to set up shop in Florida, where they manufactured and sold table lamps from a warehouse. As the business grew popular with the local community, the family extended the scope of their offerings to chandeliers, ceiling fixtures, exterior lighting and home accessories. The parents set up the business’ first store in Naples in 1992, and a second one in Bonita Springs in 2003. Successful in growing the enterprise, the brothers opened the company’s third store in Fort Myers in 2011. A lighting fixture punctuates a room and helps pull the space together. A lot of thought goes into planning its location in the room and its placement on a surface. Sometimes the fixture has Design + Decor

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to be a focal interest in the room, and sometimes it needs to perform from a concealed place. The success of a space’s design comes down to the executional ability of companies like Lighting First. Greg and Steve and their staff adapt to the various needs of a customer, sitting down to discuss what kind of fixture would work best while offering a wide range of products from lighting manufacturers. What most satisfies Greg and Steve about being in the lighting business is that their products serve their clients’ everyday needs and are an essential part of their lives. Resource: Lighting First Greg Adams Steve Adams Naples Location 4600 Tamiami Trail East Naples, Florida 34112 239.775.5100 Bonita Springs Location 28801 South Tamiami Trail Bonita Springs, Florida 34134 239.695.7856 Fort Myers Location 12879 S Cleveland Ave Fort Myers, Florida 33907 239.695.7806 Design + Decor

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Keeping it in the Family What started from humble beginnings has grown into a generational family legacy. Meet the Kurtz Family. Story by Mary Lee Ptacek

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ome building began for the Kurtz family in Cedar Rapids, IA, in 1972, when Ron Kurtz began showing his young son, Randy, the ropes on his job sites. In 1982, after Randy graduated from Iowa State University, the family moved to Naples, FL, where they founded Kurtz Homes of Naples. Now, more than 40 Kurtz family members live in the Naples area, and some of them work in the family business led by Randy Kurtz. From the beginning, Ron and Randy made a great team. According to Randy ’s mother, Nancy, “My husband was the only boss Randy ever had.” Randy wanted to show his father the respect he deserved as a construction expert and head of the business. “Randy called his dad ‘Kurtz’ at work because he didn’t want to call him ‘Dad,’” Nancy explains. “Randy wanted his dad to get all the credit.” Randy loved working for his father, who passed away in 2005 after a sixyear illness. Ron taught Randy the skills he needed to run a successful business. “One reason my dad and I were such great partners was because we wanted more for each other than we wanted for ourselves,” Randy says. “My dad and I were very close—he was really my best friend.” Ron Kurtz’ legacy lives on today. Randy ’s oldest daughter, Carolyn Gordon, explains that his values continue to guide the family business. “For us, there’s definitely a sense of responsibility,” says Carolyn. “The foundation that my papa Ron laid for us—not just the business ethics but the family values and Christian values—he passed on to us.” Those values have led to impressive success. Kurtz Homes takes on only Design + Decor

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Randy Kurtz

a few projects a year to provide its clients with the highest-quality results. “We took a limited number of projects so my dad and I could be involved in all the projects,” explains Randy. Their hands-on approach has also earned them the trust of their staff. “We have a lot of employees who’ve been with Kurtz Homes for many years,” says Nancy. “We consider them a part of the family business, and that’s how they ’re treated.” This staff of reliable employees and family members has helped the family business thrive. “It helps knowing that you’re working with people you trust,” says Nancy. “You know their ethics, you know their history, and that flows through your whole business.” That trust and strong 46

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foundation have led Kurtz Homes to flourish. “We’ve never built the same home twice in 38 years,” says Randy. Unique, custom-built homes are their specialty. The company ’s unwritten rule has always been to put the client’s priorities above all else. “The plan and the goal for our business was never to maximize the money we made, but to work hard and do a good job,” Nancy says. Project Manager John Hurtado agrees. “Randy ’s focus is on maintaining the highest level of quality we can, and not compromising that for the sake of volume,” says John. “Growth is important, but a real, healthy, tempered growth, not just for the sake of growing bigger.” John believes this focus on attention to detail has given Kurtz Homes its stellar reputation. “I’m definitely proud to be part of a company that emphasizes doing the right thing with integrity above monetary reward,” he says. “There’s an unwritten rule that you’re going to do things the right way, with no shortcuts. One thing we’re told to ask ourselves all the time is, ‘How would you want it done if it were your house?’ That’s a good motto to have.” That motto has served them well. Kurtz Homes of Naples has built more than one home for multiple clients, and their new projects are often referrals from former clients for their own friends and family members. Kurtz Homes’ craftsmanship and dedication to fulfilling all their clients’ wishes have led them to success and a promising future. 48

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tects or interior designers themselves, they work together with all trades to harmonize different materials, wallcoverings, tinted concrete, etc. to create the best atmosphere for the space. “We can contribute to the poetry architects and designers create,” says Don, who describes color as a “shape-changing sensation.” He and his wife are often brought in to help decide if a color is the correct choice—it’s as simple and complex as that. Talking with Don, you understand just how much there is to know about color. He points out that “biologists believe human beings can differentiate between seven and nine million distinct shades.” Color shifts within the eye and is ever-changing. Other things that shift along with color are trends—and that’s where the avocado-green appliances come in. Who decided that green appliances would be a hit? Or did consumers already reveal what would be in style so manufacturers could produce just that? This involves color forecasting. Sandra Sampson, vice president of public relations and communications for the Color Marketing Group, describes color forecasting as “determining consumer color preferences several years in advance.” Made up of volunteers, the Color Marketing Group is the leading international associationLotus of color Moderndesign GardenprofesDay Bed sionals, and has been forecasting color for over 50 years.Belgium. Each Lotus modern garden day bed is a luxury outdoor daybed designed by Kris Van Puyvelde for Royal Botania garden furniture company, With its bold contemporary design and sumptuous all-weatheryear, furniture Lotus invites you and your loved relax infour decadent the materials, Color Marketing Group releases to one the to public key comfort and style. You can optionally fit a highcolors, quality parasol cooling shade over Lotus modern garden day bed. which to areprovide determined by regional color forecasting The throughout Kurtz Family Donald Kaufman shops known as ChromaZones® and in conferences Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Explains Sandra, “The

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When it comes to the future, Randy ’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth, is working with her sister Carolyn on the company ’s next big project: a commercial space that Randy purchased years ago with two friends. They recently decided to develop it, calling it The Collective. Describing her involvement with her father’s new initiative, Elizabeth says, “He started a development in real estate at the location. I help manage and do a lot of the marketing for the building.” The Collective will be a one-stop commercial space for Naples’ high-end names in home design and building, including Stofft Cooney Architect, Premiere Systems, AlliKristé Cabinetry, Casa Italia, Method & Concept, Unique Wood Flooring Co., Mon-

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Accessorizing is such a key element in the final design process—it’s the icing on the cake, exposing your creativity and expressing your personality. It’s not just filling up every shelf with your favorite treasures and trinkets, but being thoughtful and processed as to what and where. Be highly curated with your accessorizing: we evolve and change, and so should your home. While changing a full room can be timely and costly, keeping your rooms fresh and current can be done with accessories. Pillows are an easy addition, adding comfort and pops of color, textures and layers to your rooms. Think of the fabrics you use and what effect or feel you are trying to achieve: heavy velvets, suedes and leathers add depth and weight, linens and cottons add an airy organic feel, and silks add a sumptuous, elegant feel. Don’t just settle for a fabric—add some fun with trims and tapes, and layer your pillows. Here are my accessory must-haves: Coffee-table books: They are essential and a great way to display your interests and personality. There are no “right” books; choose travel, fashion, couture, design, interiors, architecture, art, hobbies…the list is endless. Hardback books add color and conversation and can be flanked by some fabulous bookends or stacked on a cocktail table or shelf. Sculptures and ornaments: These add precision, flow and statements, depending on size and matter, and they also show an avocation or passion. They are another great way of adding textures and layers. Create vignettes or show as a collection on an entry table or console to create vast interest and depth to a room. Candles: They create the mood and ambience of a room with their essence and glow. Versatile in every room, they can add that welcoming warmth every home should ooze.

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of Trays: Where tanna wouldDesign we be Associates, without theGWT tray!Outdoors Trays areand, funccourse, Homes Ultimately, The Coltional, resourceful andKurtz elegant, andNaples. they have an abundance of lective willarefeature businesses, as purpose and style. They perfectadditional for your candles and such florals, interiortodesign studios, furniture and allowing an ottoman become a cocktail table,companies, and are easily moved around. other related firms that complement the existing tenants. What’s trending right now in flooring? While Randy sees development projects like The Collective as a way of deepening his roots in the Jack Walsh Trade Showroom Jeremy Walsh Naples community, his priority will always be Kurtz flooring Homes Naples continuing foundaOiled natural wood for anyandstyle room isthe popular— tionhardwood, his father which laid. “Iis hope we continue things especially natural trending with biophilic the way been doing for 38 years,” says designs. We have lotswe’ve of requests forthem wide-plank hardwood Randy, who is delighted so many family floors, which make rooms look larger that and more open and memoffer bers are innothematter business. family is a realOak big something for everyone, your“My design sensibility. part durable of my life. It’s great have some them as is one of the most species, withto a tight, dark of grain that part of room, the Kurtz Team.” works in almost any in any stain. Maple is the second most popular hardwood, because it has a predictable pattern Nancy, continues to be involved and color, with Randy a hint’sofmother, character. Today ’s most popular colors with the business. His two Carolyn and are gray and gray muted stains, white anddaughters, light natural wood. Elizabeth, work in client relations and marketing, Carolyn’s husband, Gordon,direct is a projThe advantagesand of an oiled surface areDavid the pleasant conect manager. Carolyn andtheDavid’s children, tact with the wood, the smoothness, abilitythree to repair the Noah, Isla and Lucy in the Kurtzand offices, affected area without working on are theoften whole surface, the Noahcreated is even listed the website a future positive room and climate by theonexchange of asmoisture. employee. Hisinto startthe date? Theflooring year 2035. Natural oiled surfaces soak wood and provide the necessary robustness from the inside out. However, lacquered surfacesResource: represent sealing the wood floors on top, and are often obtained through several layers of lacquer. The wood Homes Naples underneath theKurtz lacquer layer is usually left untreated. Randy Kurtz 111 and 10th designs Street South What innovations do you see for homeowners who 304 want to create Suite an outdoor oasis? Naples, FL 34102 239.594.1501 LMG Design Consulting Lisa Guild

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UPON REFLECTION For a home in South Beach’s prestigious Portofino Tower, Britto Charette keeps things light with oak, marble—and lots of mirrored walls. Story by Drew Limsky | Photography by Kris Tamburello

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The Miami-based firm’s signature ceramic accessories grace the mirrored entryway.


n an industry where word of mouth is everything, some well-heeled, globetrotting homeowners discovered Miami firm Britto Charette while researching interior designers online. The firm’s work spoke for itself. “The clients interviewed us and two other firms, and they chose us because of our work in the ‘Miami’ style,” recalls principal Jay Britto. “They liked our aesthetic. When they reviewed our portfolio, they liked our approach to several other projects. They wanted a clean design with light woods and light materials— a neutral palette with accent colors.” The clients live full-time in Rome near the Colosseum, with multiple homes in other resort destinations. No strangers to South Beach, FL, they had been renting an apartment seasonally at the Flamingo, deciding whether or not they liked the area enough to buy. South Beach is hard to resist, and eventually it became time to purchase.

Designed by Britto Charette, a light-filled, 3,000-square-foot home in Miami Beach’s Portofino Tower seems to float, courtesy of its reflective surfaces and floor-to-ceiling windows.

It’s a big investment to buy at the Portofino (the property cost close to $3 million). Unveiled in 1997 by the Portofino Group and the Related Group, the peach-colored building, at 44 floors, is the fourth tallest tower in Miami Beach, and surpassingly prestigious. Residents have included acclaimed actor Donald Sutherland and former tennis star Anna Kournikova. But Britto Charette’s soon-to-be clients took the plunge on the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath residence, and soon they and their two children would have a base in one of South of Fifth’s most coveted towers. The apartment was not exactly move-in ready, however. “The condo was in need of a makeover,” says Jay. “WhoDesign + Decor

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ever owned it before must have had work done in the ’90s when the building first went up. It had coral stone applications, typically small marble tiles on the floor, and inadequate lighting.” Portofino Tower carries an irregular footprint, with eight different angular floor plans, so Britto Charette set to establish a more serene flow. “Because the floor plan is not your typical rectangular box, we wanted to create symmetry as you walk in,” Jay explains. “Since the original vestibule was round, we removed some walls to create a stronger sense of entry.” His team clad the foyer walls in mirrors, so when you enter, you see the city on one side and the ocean on 58

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the other. The skyscraper lords over the tip of the barrier island that contains South Beach, and the new configuration immediately showed off the assets of the location to all who enter. At 3,000 square feet, the condo is far from small, but the mirrors confer a feeling of endlessness. “We used mirrors throughout to give the home the illusion of a larger space,” says Jay. “In the dining room and foyer, there was a great deal of wall space, so we also added mirrors because we didn’t want the eye to fixate on the walls.” “The client was initially concerned about the mirrors, thinking it might look like the ’80s,” Jay remembers, “but we said, ‘Listen, the interpretation that

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The living space contains a custom bookcase, a chenille sofa by CasaDesús and Ligne Roset’s iconic settee.

you’re envisioning—with mirrors and chrome, like a gym—is not what we’re thinking.’” The owners decided to trust the designers. “Once everything was installed, they said, ‘Wow, it really opens up the room,’” Jay recalls. The wood gives the mirrors a look that is at once earthy and sophisticated. To avoid a corporate feel, the two mirrored walls are not identical: one has a wooden niche; both feature oak display shelves. Several of Britto Charette’s signature accessories appear on one of the shelves: two ceramic horns, one completely dipped in gilt, the other half-dipped. Such pieces serve as the design firm’s calling cards. “We develop products that are

unique to us, and when someone walks into one of our homes, they see the piece and know we designed the space,” notes Jay. The firm debuted the white, gold and platinum accessories line around seven years ago; it was inspired by a gold-themed exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as well as by handcrafted Peruvian objects. Jay lived in Peru until he was 16, and the aesthetic had a huge impact on him. “Even my tattoos were inspired by the culture,” he says. Within a few years after their introduction, the objects were scooping up awards—even beating established brands like B&B Italia—and garnering maDesign + Decor

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In the dining room, he designers kept things light and simple with a custom banquette and mirrors to brighten up the bearing wall.

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The open-style kitchen was enlarged by eliminating a guest bedroom closet.

jor coverage in newspapers and design magazines. The combination of the objects’ white matte finish and the suggestion of precious metals balances the rustic and traditional with the rarefied and exclusive. Once people see them, they tend not to forget them. The early success propelled the duo to create even more shapes and silhouettes. The firm always gives clients a piece as a gift; clearly, these Roman clients were moved to purchase several more. The home’s sense of reflection is reinforced by the glossy marble flooring in the foyer, leading to the living room, and in the bathrooms. Britto Charette used statuary white marble in a 24- by 48-inch rectangular format in the living space, and a 12- by 24-inch format in the bathrooms. The bedroom, on the other hand, is warmed up with eight-inch oak panels on the floor. But the design duo did far more than reinvent surfaces. The project involved a substantial redo of the interior architecture—including raising the ceilings, in part because the clients are tall. “Our team loves a challenge, and we found a fun one here,” says Jay. “With the help of our fantastic construction specialists, we were able to raise the ceilings 20 inches by moving air-conditioning ductwork and mechanicals, thus providing the perfect solution for our clients.”

The powder room continues the wood-andwhite theme and appealed to the clients’ streamlined, European modern tastes.

“To achieve the sleek design, we had to clean up several architectural aspects of the condo,” he continues. “In addition to opening the entrance, we removed the ceiling curve and cleaned up the ceiling architecture. We created a soffit ceiling design, so we were able to add downlights and integrated lighting, and then we had to tear down all the bathrooms. We also opened the entrance from the master bedroom to the bathroom by removing several nonessential doors and adding a barn door, creating a high-end boutique effect.” Britto Charette eliminated one of two closets in the guest bedroom to make room for a larger, eat-in kitchen, and created a more formal dining Design + Decor

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The custom bedroom evokes 1960s modernism, with its horizontal lines and its clean surfaces in oak and white lacquer.

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A custom-made oval-shaped desk finds a home in a curved niche.

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room with a custom-made banquette set against a structural wall. The firm designed beautiful furniture to complement the interior architecture, enlisting Soto’s in Deerfield Beach for the upholstery. “Nearly every piece was customized for this project, including beds, headboards, nightstands, TV wall units, area rugs, chaise and vanities,” says Jay. Some designers are given to customizing a certain piece for virtually all their clients. For Jay, those favored pieces occur in the bedrooms. “I design the beds and nightstands for almost every single project,” he says. “Some companies don’t do specific sizes of furniture, so it’s easier to create pieces geared to the client. Some clients want a nightstand for books, a pull-out tray or a surface to display art.” In this case, the clients had mid-century tastes that played out in the master bedroom specifically. To reflect a sleek 1960s Italian aesthetic, the firm customdesigned the bed and the wood-and-white-lacquer nightstands. Once again, Jay got resourceful given the original floor plan: he had an idea for an elliptical oak desk to fit inside a niche that he’d transformed from an angular space to a softer, round one. The living room is rather minimalist, boasting statement pieces and standout brands. The open-weave chenille sofa is from CasaDesús by Arravanti, with chenille and velvet pillows. An ottoman tucks neatly under the coffee table—these pieces are also from CasaDesús. Ripple-fold sheers hang over the windows. “Many designers use pinched-pleated, which we don’t think is modern enough,” says Jay. A second seating area, separated from the main seating area by a custom-made oak bookcase, is anchored by a totally different type of sofa—the iconic two-seater from Ligne Roset. “It’s low and doesn’t compete with the CasaDesús sofa,” says Jay. The settee finds company with a Dedon coffee table and a Poliform armchair. The geometric wool and silk rug was custom-made to fit under all the seating, and has an almost magic carpet feel—but that’s to be expected when reflective surfaces like marble and mirrors merge with a vast view over the sea. You’re in the clouds.


The Portofino Tower’s unusual footprint leads to moments like this deep soaking tub’s angular setting, with its enviable views in three directions.

Interior Designers Britto Charette 310 NW 26th Street Miami, FL 33127 305.640.5005

General Contractor CH Construction 444 Brickell Avenue, Suite 403 Miami, FL 33131 786.762.2641

Millwork EVM Woodworks 7542 West McNab Road North Lauderdale, FL 33068 954.655.6414

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ogue Interior Designs has been creating beautiful commercial and residential interiors since 1979. Constantly evolving to meet and exceed its clients’ standards, the firm takes into consideration each client’s unique way of life and work to create thoughtful spaces. As Florida-based designers, its team members find it difficult not to include organic elements that reflect the natural environment that attracts so many homeowners to the area. Designer Debbie DeMaria, principal of Vogue, says that her team enjoys incorporating natural elements in their projects. “There are many products that help create this type of interior, such as tiles, wood and stones that can be easily installed on walls, floors and columns,” she says. Beyond imitating the textures of nature, Debbie and her team also incorporate organic materials, such as live-edge tables, faceted glass light fixtures and natural stone or marble fixtures like sinks. “I believe this style of design serves the purpose of promoting positive well-being,” she says. Discussing one recent project with a biophilic design, Debbie recalls, “The home is located on Mystique Island in the West Indies, and it was built on a cliff with no windows—only doors. The entire living and dining areas were built around koi ponds, a large swimming pool and lush landscaping. We used local wood for beams, walls and floors, and warmed it up with textured fabrics and linens. It was absolutely breathtaking.” Organic materials not only add life and beauty to what might otherwise be a stale space, but they also remind us of the abundance of nature, bringing the emotions that nature evokes into the home. Debbie says it is common practice to incorporate wood in many spaces, whether it be a simple beam or a layered detail on a wall. “Today’s furniture manufacturers produce many options for designers to use in this area,” she says. “Live-edge tables are popular now, and outdoor furnishings have given great focus to this style.” For this particular design, Debbie explains, “I didn’t want this project to be restricted. The clients wanted the feel to be spacious and relaxing while incorporating elements of nature.” Debbie and her team achieved this goal by using the sound of running water, highly textured walls and natural materials like stone and grass cloth. “We also used chandeliers, various accessories and built-ins,” she says, “but the final combination of free-form design was blending in different organic materials and giving mindful love of all that is nature.” While some clients may not care for nature-focused concepts, Debbie says she would love to continue using certain elements of biophilic design in her work. “By accessing the relationship with nature and using its tranquil properties, I believe our clients will have more of a connection with their homes,” she says. “Utilizing the positive impact of nature to strengthen our health and well-being is just another added luxury for Vogue designs.” Design + Decor

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reating the desire to touch, inhale deeply or slide open a tion with its crystal beaded cornice boards and crystals dangling from the window to hear the outdoor symphony is inherent when ambient lighting. it comes to designing a well-balanced home that offers joy and comfort to the homeowner. The five senses can be incorporated in dozens of ways, including an eyecatching octagon beamed tongue-and-groove ceiling. The architectural eleThat joy and comfort can be found in an elegant high-rise ment draws the eye upward in a living area featuring a clean, neutral color bathroom that brings in contrasting yet complementary elements and bal- scheme aided by pops of natural wood in the flooring and the two-tone ances the senses. Aniko Brittingham of Aniko Design uses a neutral and cherry-wood credenza near the front entryway. The home naturally fuses natural palette, combining smooth stone flooring; onyx countertops; a together casual and elegant with a lively mix of textural and ambient elesheer glass shower front; a plush, multicolored loop and cut pile area rug; ments. These include the light and airy crystal chandelier, the pearl stone and dimensional blue tile inside the shower, subtly designed to remind the and white marble linear fireplace, and the luxurious texture-laden cut pile user of a waterfall. The refined sparkle from the shower meshes optimally and loop area rug with silk threading, giving the feet a cushy place to land. with the touchable, faux-finish ceiling that incorporates glass beads for an unusual upward dazzle. The crystal sparkle is carried through a variety of The master bedroom also offers a quintessential safe place to land. “I think elements—faucet handles, bath accessories, lighting and a luxurious chair all master bedrooms need to have a very soft look to them,” says Aniko. with silver threading—and even moves slyly into the home’s living room. “It’s for sleeping, so you need to relax at the end of the day.” To that end, Aniko created luxurious comfort with a soothing color palette that A bastion of family comfort and safety, the living room is resplendent with includes comforting elements, such as a silk coverlet, tranquil artwork, a a lovely gulf view, suggesting the smell of sea air and the sound of crashing silver-leaf dresser and a textured headboard dressed in faux ostrich skin. waves. A beam ceiling and warm European white oak wood floors mix flawlessly with the textured and colorful draperies recessed into the ceiling. A The five senses are both appeased and piqued. room designed for family living and fun, it still carries an air of sophisticaDesign + Decor

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The guest bedroom provides an equally compelling but vastly different view of the golf course and beyond, to Naples. Carrie wanted to foster a sense of serenity that positively exploits the natural countryside view while meshing with the vintage vibe of the client’s furniture. The soft upholstered headboard offers a transitional update from the vintage vibe. The brass and wood details found throughout the space add a tasteful display of a variety The master bedroom and adjoining study provide a seamless view of finishes. A striking vintage table with a glass top and relaxing of the gulf, as floor-to-ceiling windows and sliders allow the salt seating nearby supply warmth to the corner of the room. air to waft through the space with the west-to-east cross-breeze. The sheer taupe draperies in the study capitalize on the view and With its pops of red, the kitchen evokes the suggestion of a satmimic the light and airy surroundings. White oak plank flooring isfying Italian dinner in the making, while the abundant gladiola floral arrangement brings in an aromatic scent. The adjacent famaffords a juxtaposition to the soft, cream-colored shag rug. ily room, with its onyx-clad linear fireplace and cozy library, gives Trellis screening offers a division, yet not an obstruction, between a feeling of comfort and relaxation. the study and the contemporary master bedroom. The stunning custom plush headboard is a visual and textural nuance as it spans “We want to create a great space,” Carrie says. “If you don’t touch the width of the room, causing the bed itself to become an archi- on all the different senses, the interior falls flat. In order for a tectural focal point. Carrie likes to use a combination of plush space to be multifaceted and interesting and get the ‘ wow’ factor, fabrics like silks and velvets in a bedroom to create a luxurious it must somehow speak to all your senses. Our clients usually have sense of touch. With its neutral pallet of warm beiges, bronzes and a particular vision or taste for their style, but our team is eager to help our clients discover their personal style as well.” brass tones, this space allows the ocean view to pop. stunning condominium complex overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and the beautiful greenery of a golf course create the quintessential backdrops for this design by Carrie Brigham Design. The natural focal points offer a sensory delight to the homeowners and gave Carrie an easy jumping-off point in employing the senses in her designs.

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ringing the five senses into her designs is something that comes naturally to Kristin Lyons of KDL Interior Design. Indeed, she works with a conscious eye toward multisensory design and how the senses play upon each other to create a balanced and relaxed space. Kristin’s use of different textures—soft blankets, textured grasscloth wallpaper and area rugs—brings about a space full of visual and tactile surprises. Candles offer a variety of delicate scents and evoke nostalgic memories that can trigger special taste and auditory recollections. Utilizing all five senses in design, says Kristin, “makes us feel better. It makes us feel more balanced, more in harmony about the space.” What better way to start sensory exploration in the home than in the foyer? Here, a unique cypress wood design is set on a shimmering aqua wall that extends to the top floor. The natural shaped wood is inlaid with crystals, some painted and sanded to resemble driftwood, and others naturally petrified. As the front door opens Design + Decor

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to let in the sea breeze, the fun design is visible, complementing the soft plush rug, linen table and grasscloth wallpaper. A light and airy master bedroom intertwines the senses with its soft paint colors that exude a soothing and peaceful vibe. The various textures in the woven Abaca bed, sandblasted oak nightstands, linen bedding, plush rug and white marbled table lamps invite the homeowner to feel the physical differences between the elements. Meanwhile, the scent of fresh sea-salt air and the gentle sound of birds at play allow the homeowner to relax. An inviting living room draws immediate attention, its lateral fireplace shrouded in ledger stone with its chiseled surface. The roaring fire and comfortable seating area, featuring linens and knit textiles, are designed to bring the family together in a cozy, relaxed atmosphere. Kristin cleverly combined natural elements such as driftwood, greenery and stone to enhance the tactile and visual senses amid the feeling of warmth and security. A restaurant space must take great care to mesh its scents into a cohesive balance. The sights and smells of an Asian restaurant might mix the scents of sesame, garlic and cucumber amid the joyful sounds of guests. Sleek modern elements combine with warm woods to create an intimate and inviting atmosphere that balances all five senses and gives guests an enjoyable experience. Design + Decor

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hether it’s with plush materials, cool tiles or a roaring fire in an outdoor seating area, Robyn Lang-Shankland and her team at Freestyle Interiors always strive to heighten a client’s sensory experience.

Many of Robyn’s clients are seeking makeovers for second or vacation homes, and are looking for a sense of peace, a coastal escape or a nostalgic place to refresh and regenerate. “We’re there to create happiness, calmness, relaxation and tranquility,” says Robyn. “Engaging in all the senses creates that laid-back, let-go feeling.” No space is off-limits when it comes to using multisensory design to promote tranquility. A stunning contemporary coastal bathroom with private outdoor access set among gorgeous textural stone and foliage triggers multiple senses as the homeowner steps into the serene space with its Zen-like feel. Smooth and textural surfaces reveal the cunning use of different materials. The cool sleekness of the natural stone walls and flooring and the reflective glass sheet of the shower juxtapose neatly with the tactile bamboo on the wall. A warm natural walnut wood inlay within the stone flooring serves as a backdrop for the smooth, modern freestanding tub. A luxurious outdoor shower brings a feeling of peace and is the ultimate way to combine the outdoors with the indoors. Though Robyn designs with a lot of natural materials, such as wood, stone, pebbles, foliage and plantation, another important element she uses is water— be it warm water from the outdoor shower, or the sight and sound of water gently spilling into a swimming pool from artistic terra-cotta

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statuary. While the architecturally designed pool captures immediate attention, the lush green vegetation, pergolas and seating areas suggest a spa-like feeling, allowing the homeowner to relax and smell the fresh air. The scent of salty air from the Gulf of Mexico and the view of the gulf from an outdoor area play well with a nearby roaring fire and a comfortable swing suspended by a chain. The salty air, hot and cool elements, natural wood, shiplap, shell-stone flooring and textured upholstery mix well together and with the beautiful outdoors to heighten the senses. Design + Decor

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e it an unremarkable public alleyway off Naples’ 5th Avenue, or a kitchen or bedroom makeover, Heather Serrano of Heather Serrano Designs strives to incorporate a bevy of senses tailored to each user.

Incorporating the five senses into a previously drab public outdoor alleyway was no small feat, but Heather tackled the project with aplomb. The result is a magnificent outdoor space resembling an art garden, which is designed to surprise and engage the senses of passersby and patrons of nearby establishments. The colors of the abstract artwork combine brilliantly with the uniquely vibrant, custom-made, oversized planters. Indeed, the art served as Heather’s muse for the colorful containers, which include lush greenery that adds a breath of life and a tactile element to the stunning commercial design. Combining the defining colors with a variety of ground textures, whimsical marine bubbles climbing the wall, and restaurant tables and chairs “gives the dead alleyway a purpose,” says Heather. A high-end contemporary kitchen grasps the senses from the get-go, thanks to its fabulous mixture of sleek elements. These include taupe cream marble floors, an L-shaped textural stone column that cleverly hides the building water main, quartzite countertops, chrome accoutrements and a classic view


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of the nearby Gulf of Mexico, with its wondrous sandy shores. The dark espresso cabinets offer a dramatic backdrop to the neutral color palette, and posh fabrics that envelope the home provide a variety of plush and comfortable textures. Strategically placed artwork near the column draws the eye to the sphere-shaped object and beckons the viewer to touch and experience the unique element in the kitchen. “We wanted the column to feel as if it were inclusive,” Heather says. “It made the column more important—like it was supposed to be there—and made it an architectural appointment.” A stunning transitional crystal and gold chandelier becomes the inspiration for a divine dining room design. The space pops with blue velvet dining chairs and the plethora of colors in the wool and silk area rug. Not only is the carpet wonderful to the touch, but the eye is attracted by the silk threads that seem to dance in the sunlight. A watercolor palette and gulf-feel in a master bedroom invite the homeowner to relax and shake off the problems of the world. Silk and cotton fabrics offer a luxurious hideaway and “a soft place to land,” says Heather. A soft silk and viscose broadloom area rug beckons to the nearby gulf, while the entire palette artfully plays to the outdoors and the water view.

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nfusing the five senses into a design is just as important for a commercial establishment as it is for a private residence. The sensory fusion must create a palatable atmosphere that nudges the senses but doesn’t implode with a cacophony of confusion, so the patrons have an enjoyable experience.

husband-wife design team at ARDesign, when asked about using multisensory design in a commercial space. Adds his partner, Alina Spicer, “There are certain senses that are more highlighted when it comes to commercial spaces. In a restaurant, I think it’s taste.”

For that reason, the proper lighting is vital to make the food appealing. “We “I think it’s definitely just as important,” says Ryan Spicer, half of the had to really consider what we were doing when we picked out the light-


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ing for a local seafood restaurant,” says Ryan. “We had to make the space feel warm and cozy, but also make the food look appetizing.” The seafood restaurant isn’t remiss in its visual and tactile features, either, with its soft coastal ambience and stunning views of the water outside the massive windows. Oversized tactile wicker lights offer that special lighting, and the imperfect whitewashed wood walls add character and a soothing effect when combined with the pops of blue. Ensuring that a residential space is sensory perfect is also a high priority for the Spicers, who provided both visual and tactile elements in an entryway to a bathroom suite. By utilizing mirrors and glass for reflection, combined with uniquely suspended pendant lights that appear to be “falling” from the ceiling, the design team created an overwhelming urge to touch and experience the frosted glass and black lighting. A wood paneled wall complements the reflective elements, and additional chrome adds some amiable bling to the sleek linear area. While a marriage of variety can be paramount in appealing to the senses, sometimes simplicity allures, allowing the clean lines of a sophisticated kitchen to highlight a bowl of mouthwatering red apples or a beckoning wine decanter and two goblets. An island bar set up for conversational seating gives way to suggestions of taste and smell—synonymous with friends and family. A guest bedroom overlooking the mangroves is the ultimate in plush and comfy with textural additions, such as a painted grasscloth dresser, a leather chair and the warmth and smell of natural wood. With the senses being such a personal choice, the Spicers ensure that each design they create is an ideal fit for their clients. Design + Decor

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esigning with the five senses is an innate function point, but the eyes are also drawn to the texturally curious 3D for designers. Some do it consciously, others do panels that beg to be touched, and the “feature wall” that offers it subconsciously, but, in the end, each develops a a musical walk of fame with classic rock posters. beautiful space perfectly aligned with all the senses. Appliances can evoke a sense of taste and offer suggestive vibes “It’s more about creating a space that will be well balanced and that revive memories. The star here is a luxury French La Corhave a nice harmony and contrast to create visual interest,” says nue range and oven, highlighted by a stunning floor-to-ceiling Leili Fatemi of Leili Design Studio. “I work a lot with tex- backsplash. This elegant combination evokes a sense of taste: ture; I think it creates visual interest. It makes people curious fresh-baked croissants hot out of the oven on a weekend mornabout going into the space and touching it—it draws them into ing, or a colorful cluster of grapes that adds color to the peacethe room. They want to see why it’s dimensional and has a 3D ful, neutral-toned kitchen and beckons the homeowner after an early-morning workout. look.” Leili has created a variety of spaces that offer a one-of-a-kind play for the senses. A contemporary home bar heightens the sense of touch and sight. The bar utilizes a lighted multilayered acrylic column to initially catch the eye. Lights are used as a “visual marker,” fascinating visual curiosity with pocket lights, pendant lights suspended from white floating headers, and strategically placed lighting within the concrete and acrylic bar surface.

The senses come alive in the living area. This space is dominated by a visually stunning piece of paneled artwork and an equally impressive linear fireplace, which is straddled by geometric light fixtures that add supplementary dimension and texture. Leili engaged soft and plush elements with a calfskin rug, graceful leathers, touchable fabrics and warm wood flooring.

Even small areas under stairways can tune in the senses. A custom-framed panel of Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is the The nearby game room draws the ear as the muted knock of backdrop for a state-of-the-art Bluetooth stereo system that a cue stick against a billiard ball brings in visitors from the uses the exhaust system of a Porsche 911. Both sight and sound bar area. The impressive wood billiard table is the room’s focal mix with classic and contemporary in this tastefully done niche. Design + Decor

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uscious color that is flawlessly integrated into a space is Lisa Gilmore’s trademark. Lisa has a knack for putting together a delightful palette that doesn’t always incorporate a vast number of neutral tones, but still manages to soothe and calm the soul while softly integrating the five senses.

Lisa Gilmore Design works with clients who value her fearless approach to patterns and colors. “I think, as humans, we crave to be interesting,” says Lisa. “We don’t like to be stagnant; we don’t like the same things over and over again. Even in the most monochromatic spaces, if we don’t have different textures and finishes, it gets a little mundane and boring. As a designer, I try to create spaces that liven and rejuvenate the senses.” Lisa did just that at a residence in St. Petersburg, FL. This ranch-style home visually pops with color and arouses the senses. The whimsical dining room is a daring example of just what the homeowner was looking for: well styled and traditional, yet bright and happy. The pink grasscloth walls burst with color and texture, and the Design + Decor

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eye drifts upward to the green and white leopard-patterned ceiling. The multicolored chinoiserie-patterned draperies pull in the color from the deep-teal lacquered and velvet chairs and the limegreen buffalo-check slipcovered seat. The wainscoting, auburnoak luxury vinyl flooring and pink-blush Italian vintage chandelier add opposing yet complementing traditional elements. The exquisite palette continues in the adjoining formal living room. Here, the breathtaking silky chinoiserie wallpaper of soft lilac and garden visage of birds, butterflies and flowers provides a gorgeous backdrop for the tactile-pleasing gold velvet sofa with its bullion fringe, eye-catching blue leather ottomans with their unusual claw and crystal legs, and soft, sky-blue bamboo silk rug. Once again, the traditional is weaved artfully into the design, giving the eyes a change of pace. While the kitchen and guest bathroom offer a tempered variation of the bright color scheme, the cheerful feeling continues with the fun bold-green bathroom vanity featuring a turquoise patina and rose-quartz pulls. The kitchen evokes a wonderful sense of natural whimsy with the lemon-designed window coverings, birdthemed antique brass lighting pendant, and elegant light-green cabinets and island base. The rust-colored chairs give a pop of color and beckon friends and family to sit and chat, while the whistling tea kettle whets the tastebuds for a cup of tea. “I truly enjoy working with color and pattern,” says Lisa. “I feel so grateful that is what clients seek from us.” Design + Decor

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pop of color, unusual texture and flawless lighting provide a fantastic show for the five senses in these spaces created by Natasha Pereira of Natasha Pereira Interior Design.

Dazzling abstract artwork by a local artist immediately draws the eye in the kitchen. Natasha says this spectacular piece of art drove the palette for the entire house. Its multicolored design stands out clearly against the pristine neutral background and meshes wonderfully with the upholstered sunshine yellow barstools and lovely tulips on the counter, both a visual delight and an ode to a scented flower garden. The coral in the rich drapery panels complements the yellow and engages perfectly with the sleek flooring and plush area rug. Simple, fun skirted chairs in cobalt blue supply another eye-catching component to the room. A beautiful guest bedroom offers a friendly welcome and the promise of a deep sleep after a busy day. The multiple textures in this room include the heavy wood grain on beautifully finished gray floors, the artistically textured area rug and the luxurious, acrylic-based sheepskin bench. In contrast to the rich feels in the room, the bedding is a simple luxurious linen, contrasting nicely with the room’s additional materials and accessories. The calm and relaxed feeling is accentuated by the use of soft materials and soothing neutral colors. The reflective glow of strategically placed lighting in a powder bathroom showcases the mother-of-pearl tile and marble countertop. The spectacular seeded glass lights resemble bubbles and dazzlingly reflect the colors in the tile and countertop. A play on color and fabric in a visually pleasing living room draws attention and encourages the eye to travel around the room, taking in the tastefully appointed space that is both casual and dynamic. The simplicity of the monochromatic backdrop soothes the senses, while the rich color and velvety texture of the ottomans, accompanied by a sliding table, catch and hold the gaze for a moment. The casual seating group, which includes two off-white sofas and leather chairs, evoke an evening of company and conversation. “I think, as people, we’re very sensitive to our surroundings,” says Natasha. “Combining the senses—whether it’s from smell, texture or color—is all-important, and adding a little bit in each space goes a long way.” Design + Decor

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fabulous home in Naples, FL, is designed to naturally engage the into a space, it’s important that it appeals to all of them. A great designer is a senses and capture the essence of the homeowners and the surround- perfect fusion of engineer and artist. I take it as my job to create a space that is ing beauty. perfect for you and pleases you, but makes your life easier at the same time.”

Incorporating the senses is critical, says Gloria Black of Gloria Black Design. Nothing could appease the senses more than this formal bar with its ideal vi“We’re human beings and we use all our senses all the time. When we walk suals, luscious textures, sensual lighting and evocative aromas emanating from 92

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the reflective colors and shapes of the liquor bottles perfectly positioned on the floating shelf. Above, the glowing wine bottles appear to hover while suspended on cables behind a solid piece of glass and silhouetted by an antique mirror aided by internal lighting. Below, the wine glasses glisten with the help of undershelf lighting, beckoning the taste buds. The chrome floor accents, easy-to-clean swivel chairs and dynamic ceiling—which perfectly integrates with the flooring—create a wonderful, sense-engaging experience. After a lovely night imbibing some cocktails and wine with friends, it’s time to slip into the master bedroom—an oasis of tranquility and beauty, with a touch of whimsy that starts with soft and plush bedding. The lush rug is a delight to the feet and offers a silky touch with a dash of reflection. The bespoke dresser, with its vertical fluted metallic paint finish, provides visual and textural delight. The scent of the blue and white hydrangeas wafts delicately through the room, while the magnificent artistic light fixture supplies the perfect illumination for a peaceful atmosphere. Hydrangeas and their monochromatic beauty became one of the inspirations for Gloria when designing this home. Indeed, another striking hydrangea arrangement shares the focal point in the dining nook—an inviting informal eating area designed to exude the charm of a bed-and-breakfast while giving a whimsical, playful and soothing vibe. The serene theme continues in the craft/laundry room, which evokes a creative, uplifting atmosphere. Here, one can feel wrapped in soothing hues as natural light streams through the windows, dancing across pom-poms, sparking against charming tile, and landing on smooth, crisp, white working surfaces. Alluring melodies accompany the sounds and scents of freshly tumbled laundry and newly cut botanicals as bare feet are cocooned in soft luxury. Design + Decor

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t’s not all literal when working with the five senses. Suggestion plays a vast part in how successful a designer is in evoking emotion and memories through the senses when designing a space: an apple pie-scented Yankee Candle, a whistling tea kettle or a screened porch can remind us of special people or places.

“Multisensory design is something we need to address and is important because design is very much an emotional experience,” says Lisa Davenport of LDD Interiors. “It’s not just looking at a room and saying, ‘That’s pretty.’ When you walk into a room, it should embrace you and engulf you, and in order to do that we have to embrace the senses.” Lisa created a simple yet elegant foyer that is a sensory delight, featuring a sweeping curved staircase with newel posts. The exquisite fresh-cut flowers purposefully placed on a glass and chrome table carry in a delicate scent to the light and airy atmosphere.

Employing the senses comes with ease in a four-season sunroom. The woven wicker furniture with denim fabric adds distinct texture and complements the smooth glass-topped coffee table and the wool flat-weave area rug. The lush greenery on the table and the green pillows are a nod to the picturesque outdoor view of the golf course, water and palm trees. A unique corner master suite offers visual surprise before the homeowner even enters the serene and tranquil room. The sliding doors fold into the wall, allowing direct access to the patio and pool deck, with the soft and soothing sounds of the outdoors gently infusing the suite. A variety of shapes and textures—fabric wallpaper, an artistic ceiling fan, a posh carpet and an upholstered headboard—help absorb sound and create a tactile and exciting yet soothing space. The main kitchen provides a bevy of scents—the aroma of freshly baked muffins, bright red and tasty strawberries with a fun splash of yellow, and green from the limes and lemons next to the bar. They offer a citrusy nuance to the cheerful space. The long tile backsplash gives the eye a linear line to follow around the kitchen, coming to rest on the vibrant blue light fixture and striking artwork on the wall. A kitchen in a pool house furnishes an inviting space to prepare for a party. The bright barstools and orange tray supply a visual pop against the dark wall tiles and light cabinets. The sounds from the pool emanate into the space, and the fun colors evoke excitement for that anticipated party. Design + Decor

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dramatic open-floor plan in a modern Naples coastal home brings all of the senses together in a pleasing synthesis of sights, sounds, textures, scents, and tastes. Lyndsey Davis Nicklas of L Design Studio created a refreshing and welcoming update to this beautiful home. The senses of sight and touch are visually aroused by the pleasing and soothing environment featuring a neutral color palette with pops of color in just the right places. The blend of neutral and tonal elements creates a soft space while the fusion of bold blues and contrasting walnut wood Design + Decor

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tones offers an edgy and lively atmosphere. Lush accent pillows and throws add warmth to the cooler marble and wood elements, and an exciting array of materials further boost the tactile and visual party: cool quartzite countertops, reflective chrome lighting and plumbing elements, warm wood tones in eye-catching ceiling details mingle immaculately with the different tones and textures of the leather, velvet, and linen fabrics. Lighting is a significant sensory element throughout this home with the eyes drawn toward the strategic LED lighting placed under cabinetry and under the island and the modern integrated LED lights placed over the dining and morning rooms. Attracting the senses isn’t all about the literal, however. “ The more you can engage the senses in a space the more memorable that space becomes,” said Lyndsey. “Have you ever caught a random scent that took you back in time? Maybe it was the rich musk of grandfather ’s sweater, and all of a sudden

you can recall the time, place, and how you felt. People often think of design as just a focus on what you see, but that is easily forgotten over time. It is routing a space in all senses that creates memories and timeless experiences.” As such, this lovely open-plan space allows for much family mingling and easy conversation, along with the cooking experience to be shared and enjoyed with anyone within the space. Rich aromas from the kitchen drift throughout the area reducing stress levels and wetting appetites. The sense of smell further heightens the emotions and conjures pleasant memories with reed diffusers, candles and other perfume elements. Smart technology brings us the sound of music, and the nearby outdoor space draws in the soothing sounds of nature. “Our clients asked for a space where people would be able to relax, replenish, and rejuvenate,” said Lyndsey. “Just outside both sitting areas, large sliding glass doors pocket back to uncover a lake and fountain offering the soothing sounds of nature. The entire space can be opened up to allow the feeling of bringing the outside in.” Design + Decor

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nce Kelli Esposito of Harper Haus Interiors gets to know her clients, designing for them and putting together a space that incorporates all the senses becomes a relatively easy process. “Although we tend to consider our senses individually, they actually work in tandem,” says Kelli. “The most successful holistic designs are those that engage more than one sense. These multisensory experiences inspire stronger, more memorable reactions.” Kelli and Harper Haus employ a number of elements, materials and devices to bring the senses to her natural, modern and clean designs. “Raw organic shapes, driftwood and soft natural colors with subtle pops of color give unexpected interest and subtle fresh energy,” she says. Lighting also plays an important part in creating the appropriate mood within sensory design. Cozy elements like velvet or mohair, cool linens and warm fabrics offer a varied textural element. And simply opening a window or balcony sliders can give way to the natural sounds and scents of the outdoors, while aromatic scents from inside, such as sandalwood, can evoke emotional responses and happy memories. Kelli’s sensory approach is clearly evident in her projects. For a client who loved color, a calming, eclectic living area with a soft blue sofa and silver mist accent wall was the perfect design. The accent wall further captures visual

interest with the use of picture-frame molding to add dimension. The room mixes a variety of materials: the fuzzy alpaca-hair pillow on the sofa, the white linen chair with nailheads and driftwood legs, and the faux shagreen tabletop with a brass base. Natural elements are also brought into a casual yet edgy guest bathroom that features charcoal cabinets, brass hardware and oval novelty mirrors resembling sea urchins—which in reality are metal spokes with a brass rim accent. The stunning gray and deep blue-green accent walls play well with the dark cabinets and create an exquisite backdrop for the white linen sconces. The greenery adds a bit of that fresh outdoor feeling. A master bedroom easily combines masculinity and femininity with a headboard of charcoal linen and an accent wall using natural metallic chevron wallpaper. The bronze four-poster bed is swathed in clean white linen with a pop of pillow color on the nearby light-gray chaise. Flowers add a real or suggestive delicate outdoor scent, and the clear, beaded chandelier with a rope accent around the canopy offers a sophisticated yet subtle coastal, outdoor feel. Kelli utilizes an intriguing assortment of sensory elements to create memorable spaces for her clients. Design + Decor

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ith a niche in coastal design, Ashleigh Poirier of K & A Coastal Design uses a plethora of natural colors and elements to give her clients a multisensory experience right in their own homes.

Her designs, both literally and suggestively, offer the tranquility of a beautiful ocean experience complete with the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of a peaceful oasis that exudes relaxation. “The one thing that sets my designs apart is my use of tranquility in color,” says Ashleigh. “When people walk into a space I’ve designed, they have a sense of being on vacation, being in a space meant to make them feel relaxed. All the colors I use are from the same color palette—the colors of the ocean.” In a beautiful sitting room she has designed, it’s easy to imagine relaxing on a calm Key West beach amid the turquoise colors of the water, the gentle lap of the waves, and the smell of salty air. Just as soft driftwood dots the landscape, it suggestively does in this room, with stunning artwork by a Florida artist created on beached driftwood. The flooring also evokes the look of driftwood. The base of the ambient lighting next to the

sofa brings to mind the stunning colors and smoothness of beach glass. Ashleigh designs her spaces not only to capture the natural essence of the ocean, but to be durable and comfortable as well. Typically, her designs feature relaxing upholstered swivel barrel chairs and sofas that beckon visitors to kick up their feet, shoot the breeze and enjoy a glass of wine. Comfortable colors of the sea contrast but mix flawlessly with the coolness of natural stone, wood and tile. Ashleigh incorporates sea glass and coral into her designs to give textural contrast to her elements, and uses wood and metals to create additional visual and tactile distinction. Sea-colored accent walls capture the eye and, once again, mix seamlessly with more traditional or neutral-colored elements, such as millwork and smooth plantation shutters. Ashleigh also includes fun and surprising elements in her designs, such as a repurposed bike or wood trim made to look like a tic-tac-toe board. If it’s reminiscent of the ocean, it’s fair game for this interior designer. “I’ll use anything that can make my clients feel transported,” she says. Design + Decor

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hen a magnificent home has the Gulf of Mexico beckoning at its doorstep, the wondrous, awe-inspiring beauty of the surroundings can’t help but seep into the indoor


Using the gulf as inspiration, Lisa Guild and her team at LMG Design Consulting created a beautiful living area with crisp whites, bright silvers, dusty sand and cool blues to enhance the glorious scent of the salty sea air and the sounds of the gulf that float in from open doors. The entire room begets a striking scene that easily brings in the organic outdoors, with the lustrous curved sofa reminiscent of driftwood, the rounded lacquered wood-and-glass console, and the blue leather chairs placed near the floor-to-ceiling windows, which boast an all-encompassing view of the water. Accented with a hand-knotted wool-andsilk area rug of taupe, gray, creams and light blues, the hardwood floors evoke the suggestion of sea spray with gentle droplets suspended in air. The space is truly a splendid ode to all five senses. Lisa and her team capture the senses in a variety of ways throughout their designs, acknowledging that people often have a stronger pull toward one sense Design + Decor

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or another. “Our team is very cognizant of not doing too many literal interpretations but, rather, how these materials relate to the concept,” says Lisa. “We do this with intention.” Sometimes this means playing with light and dark elements to create a visual rhythm and symmetry throughout the house, or creating a cocoon of comfort and privacy in a master suite by using padded leatherette upholstered accent walls and cushy silk wool rugs to absorb sound. Handcrafted wallpaper with layers of mica infused into the design offer a glorious tactile experience, but visual appeal also plays effortlessly by mixing burnished gold metals, stone and natural-toned upholstery into living room designs. The illusive sense of taste is all about suggestion in a beautiful, timeless coastal kitchen designed to create family memories of fantastic meals with wonderful people. Pendant lighting with strung oyster shells brings an element of visual and textural surprise to the room, while the stunning stone fireplace nearby gives the room coziness and warmth. Lisa and her team believe that designing with the senses is paramount in putting together a home that the owners will enjoy.

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he clients are part and parcel of every project taken on by Debra Lee Yelner of DLY Design, but there is still something special about that wonderful day when it all comes together—the furniture is moved in, the artwork is on the wall and clients experience the thrill of seeing the project as a whole. Whether the homeowners realize it or not, that moment places the five senses on high alert as they explore, touch and smell their new space. “From infancy, we’ve been fascinated by the emotions brought on by the five senses,” says Debra. “I believe it’s my responsibility to create that form of wonderment again in my designs.” To reach that point, Debra asks her clients, “How do you want to feel in this space?” That is a powerful question, loaded with senses, and drives the design path for Debra. The owner of a home in the Port Royal area of Naples, FL, wanted a calm, quiet and uncluttered kitchen. The serene palette of pale blue-gray walls, soft blue upholstery and white Kashmir countertops synchronize beautifully with the elegant and soft effects from multiple soft lighting styles. The home is situated on stunning waterfront property, so Debra made sure that nothing would compete with the magnificent water views that alight the senses with the sights, sounds and scents of nature.


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Indeed, Debra designs with the idea of never competing with nature, but rather allowing the tranquility of the outdoors to trickle indoors and enhance the space with clean fresh air, the playful sounds of birds and the soothing sound of water—be it a nearby river or the waves of the gulf. At a kitchen she designed in Greenwich, CT, wide triple doors overlook a bluestone terrace. Dark-stained wood floors, primitive farm animals and still-life paintings evoke warm feelings and thoughts of country life and intertwine with the outdoors. A screened porch in Greenwich with lovely forested surroundings also allows the senses to engage with both outdoors and indoors, while the wicker furniture with deep, soft cushions, sisal rug and double chaises provide additional tactile experiences. A restaurant, however, can be a vastly different sensory experience. When one eatery asked Debra to create a unique vibe that attracted the visual sense, she and her team at DLY Design fulfilled this request by utilizing cozy materials, reclaimed wood, soft lighting, saturated paint colors and antique brick with pops of red. Mixed with the tantalizing aromas and the contented buzz of the patrons, her design deeply engages the senses. “Our senses create an immediate awareness of our surroundings,” says Debra. “It’s all about tapping into your emotions and triggering memories.” Design + Decor

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ousing the five senses within a space creates a wonderful atmosphere full of delightful experiences. A fantastic piece of artwork, amazing outdoor lighting and the quintessential views, scents and sounds from the gulf all play a part in creating a unique space that resonates with the client. “I’ve long been interested in how the built environment affects the human condition,” says Jenny Provost of K2 Design Group. “How does one feel in a space? To understand better, we must consider the five senses. In these images of our projects, as in all well-designed rooms, human emotion is lifted through careful consideration of views, use of color—subtle or not—and shape. Shape informs whether the objects’ scale and composition were criteria in the selections made. When I hear someone say, ‘I love this room; it just feels right,’ I know it’s probably because the shape is balanced and organized.”

Balance and organization intertwine strongly with the five senses and, of course, with what the designer learns about the clients and their preferences. For example, if the clients have an animated response to a luscious piece of textured fabric, that “treat for the toes” will ultimately find its way into a stunning family room as an area rug. “ Touch is such a big part of the human condition,” says Jenny. “ The things we touch influence us—from our first teddy bear to the soft alpaca throw that keeps the chill off in our later years.” The sense most often expounded upon in design is sight. Some of Jenny ’s spaces feature a beautiful gulf view, a gorgeous paneled mural of the Everglades that hides a lesssightly television screen, an unusually beautiful cocktail table Design + Decor

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made from a silver leaf root, or the clean lines of a bathroom where light and dark dance together in sync. For Jenny, when a room is a perfect backdrop for food, the sense of taste becomes prevalent. An exquisitely set table with glasses of wine in a beautiful and natural setting tempts the taste buds and gives a stunning visual, as well. And sometimes, it’s not what we hear, it’s what we don’t hear. With all the sounds that saturate everyday life, some clients want that hushed Zen zone when they arrive home. Jenny ’s designs include wall boards for sound mitigation, drapes that stop echoes and plush area rugs that absorb noises—all to keep unwanted sound from intruding on a tranquil setting. Design + Decor

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rafting a visually pleasing and appealing space that feels good and offers a sense of safety, comfort and relaxation is a primary goal of the interior designers at Pacifica Interior Design. These stunning images supplied by Pacifica offer a magnificent example of how the group employs the senses, particularly sight and touch. A beautiful neutral color palette with pops of calming blue makes way for the exquisite beauty of the outdoors. A sleek, clean kitchen with multiple windows offers abundant natural light while breakfast sizzles on the stove. An engaging outdoor space nods to the sights and sounds of nature, calming water and the low buzz of conversation from various conversational groupings. “For interior designers, the main objective and what we get hired for is to provide a finished product that is both visually appealing and feels good to be in,” said Mark Vanagas, senior interior designer at Pacifica. “With that in mind, we believe the senses of sight and touch become the priorities when

making selections.” To do its part in designing a visually pleasing and tactile inviting space, the team uses stone flooring, tile and wood flooring in tandem with a tantalizing variety of fabrics for upholstery, bedding, pillows and draperies that “awaken the sense of touch,” says Mark. The design team operates with the philosophy of “keeping the eyes interested and entertained,” he notes. “The senses of smell and sound are really what the clients bring to the equation once they move into their new surroundings,” Mark continues. “Scented candles, bath salts and soaps, incense and home-cooked meals are layered onto the foundation we’ve given them. Favorite music or the simple sounds of a water feature outside will complete the recipe for success.” “Senses are a very personal and human thing,” he observes, “and harmony between the five senses is the very definition of design success.” Design + Decor

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isa Ficarra at Ficarra Design Associates engages a delightful mix of design elements, colors and textures to create a space that livens the senses and gives the homeowners a place to reminisce and forge new memories.

A fabulous kitchen island in a downtown Naples, FL, home provides a comfy place to sit and craft family recipes or entice guests with the bountiful aroma of something wonderful in the oven. The bold brass hood links beautifully with the pendant lighting, adding visual and tactile elements to the room. Fabulous outdoor space beckons the homeowner to relax by the pool, take in the sounds of birds at play, and listen to the swaying palm trees and the soft ripple of the pool. The natural driftwood table pairs impeccably with the outdoor atmosphere, and the smell of fresh air rejuvenates the soul. A beautiful bouquet of scented florals complements the muted and chic design of this well-appointed master bedroom. The mixture of darks and lights adds visual beauty that mingles well with the floral arrangement. Bold bedding and accompanying elements delight the soul and pique the visual, forcing the viewer to smile at the brilliant pairings in arresting patterns and colors. The homeowner said she wanted something “unique and extraordinary � for her home, and the design team chose bright pinks and contrasting oranges to achieve the goal. Dynamic elements add a marvelous sense of touch to an entryway. The unexpected concrete wall entices visitors to run their hands along it, exploring the texture. This exceptional look and feel create a natural atmosphere and bring the outdoors in. Design + Decor

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space must be attractive as well as practical. Molly Hoover of Molly Hoover Design Group believes this is best achieved by weaving the five senses within a comforting space that makes her clients feel good.

“Interior design is a unique blend of creativity and functionality,” says Molly. “We must not only create a space that is pleasing to the eye, but a space that is comforting, both physically and mentally. To achieve this ultimate goal, we as interior designers need to address all the senses. I’ve never used the term ‘sensory design’ in my philosophy of design, but it does encompass everything we do. A visually beautiful space is obviously incredibly important, but creating a space that the client feels good in is far more rewarding and successful.” Her success at achieving this balance is exemplified by this stunning spec house in Naples, FL, with its vibrant textures, play of darks and lights, and array of exciting elements that treat the visual and tactile senses from top to bottom. Molly and her team created impressive and bold architectural details, but also ensured that any possible echoes resulting from the remarkable vaulted ceiling were tempered by large window panels, lots of upholstery and rugs, and an exciting sound system that transports soothing music throughout the house. And since an abundance of natural light shining through the upper windows and wall of sliders brings in the heat, Molly installed roll-down shades to keep the indoors pleasant to the senses. Her team enhanced the sense of smell with an aromatic bouquet of flowers, and employed the visual with a profusion of textures, patterns, soothing colors, mixed media and a blend of unique accessories. “Because this is a spec home, we needed to accomplish two things,” Molly explains. “Visually, it needs to look inviting in marketing photos. But when potential homeowners walk into the space, they need to envision themselves living in the home.” Design + Decor

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cozy corner for quiet conversation in a home in Old Naples, FL, radiates warmth, comfort and a sense of peace as the fire crackles and Spanish guitar music floats softly in the air. The heightened senses notice the visual strength of the limestone fireplace; the eight-foot-high antique mirror and its purposeful, yet subtle reflection of the second-floor balcony; and the iron sconces with rock crystal drops that flank the mirror and twinkle in the low light. “The smooth plaster walls are painted a creamy white that contrasts beautifully with the mahogany woodwork,” says Laura Parsons of Pure Design, the room’s designer. “The swivel club chair wears a lush teal velvet damask, which feels so wonderful on your skin.” Tactile delight is offered to the feet, as well, with a hand-knotted wool and silk rug that artfully balances the plush, putty-colored chenille wing chair and Aegean blue leather ottoman. Laura also designed a glamorous bar in Port Royal, Naples, which she calls a “study in contrasts” by being cool and warm, hard and soft, and conveying both masculinity and femininity. The diverse elements and materials include a marble floor paired with smoky velvet drapery, and a digital abstract print on silk paper that highlights the wall’s grand curve. The shapely bar seats, made from bomber jacket leather, contrast flawlessly with the glossy brass stiletto legs. The sense of taste is intensified by the outstanding Napa Valley wines stowed at the bar. A stunning water view brings in all the natural sights and sounds of the gulf from this seventhfloor beachfront condominium. Asked by her clients to create a Spanish Colonial vibe, Laura achieved the look through rounded corners, arches, warm white stucco walls and dark stained oak floors. The outdoor area, resplendent with Saltillo tile, creates an inviting oasis, accompanied by the sound of crashing waves and the invigorating scent of salty sea air. Luscious coral peonies attract attention the moment one enters this captivating upstairs balcony, designed to elicit quiet conversation during a large gathering. Sunlight streams through the large windows, which blend flawlessly with smooth plaster walls and the mahogany flooring. A hand-knotted area rug adds visual and textural interest with its duck-egg blue coloring. It juxtaposes naturally with the reupholstered chairs in casual Belgian linen and fine gimp cord. Design + Decor

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e it dramatic wallpaper for an accent wall, an exciting and unexpected skylight effect on a ceiling, a kitchen designed for gathering and memory-making, or a living area crafted for a tactile homeowner, multisensory design is at the forefront of the stunning projects completed by Nan Wright of Wright Interior Group. “Creating a richly designed interior should always incorporate and enhance all the senses,” says Nan. “By doing so, you are heightening the richness of the room elements to a new level.” Nan created a fun visual in a bedroom by fashioning a skylight effect using a photorealistic sky and cloud image. The design breaks boundary images by actually giving the viewer a sense of looking outside. The visual play continues with custom headboards reminiscent of netting, delivering a coastal feel to the room. The sense of touch is heightened with rough-hewn rope mirrors nested into the headboards. Vetrazzo countertops provide an opposing texture from the shared nightstand that is swathed in grasscloth. A touch-friendly family area for a tactile client offers a clean monochromatic color scheme that incorporates a variety of fabrics, finishes

and trims, supplying a different type of tactile experience with each element. The space’s light palette plays perfectly with the classic visual of water and palm trees. Water is a calming element, Nan explains, whether it’s from the ocean or a pool water feature. Coffered wood wallpaper creates an accent wall in a master bedroom that tricks the eye into thinking the wall is dimensional—a smile-inducing treat for the eye. The observer can’t resist the urge to touch this attention-grabbing visual. “It is an optical illusion: the inlayed wood wallcovering is comprised of tonally different wood pieces that give the impression of a 3D wall,” Nan says. “The wallcovering behind the bed was selected for dramatic effect when looking into and entering the room.” Designing a stunning and inviting kitchen and dining room area is vital in a home that revolves around entertaining friends and family. This open area easily conjures up mouthwatering aromas, both from the preparation of gourmet foods and the boutique wines in the temperature-controlled wine cooler. An oversized island is roomy enough for buffet-style eating, to be enjoyed amid the tranquil water sounds from the outdoor pool and spa. Design + Decor

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ilfredo Emanuel of Wilfredo Emanuel Designs creates with the senses. His beautiful and diverse projects incorporate eye-catching elements, bold colors, fantastic textures and unique elements that employ the senses at every turn. “I have all the senses in mind when creating a design,” says Wilfredo. “It is the only way to have a connection with the design intent, and it enables the client to enjoy all we are trying to communicate in our interior designs.” Wilfred’s remarkable use of the senses is captured by these photos of his projects. In the kitchen, Wilfredo integrated the senses by using light tones to ensure a sparkly and sanitized look. A clean canvas enabled him to create a spotless environment for the homeowners to prepare dinner or get ready for a party. The juxtaposition of lights and darks play enticing games with the eyes, allowing for a beautiful visual and textural interest. The outdoor space boasts a bevy of fun sounds, including waterfalls and a crackling fire to create a relaxed and restful environment. The pops of color offer aesthetic eye candy, and the various seating arrangements encourage memory-making conversations. The wine cellar captures the imagination through visual and tactile elements. The color on the walls “enhances the glass and appeal of the bottles,” explains Wilfredo. The stunning piece of art is a wonderful surprise, catching the eye before the visitor turns to the vast wine selection, suddenly feeling thirsty for a glass of vino. A tactile master bedroom has a unique “ wow” factor, with attention-grabbing artwork and silk upholstered walls that provide a luxurious feeling. Bedding, pillows and draperies with different textures allow for an eclectic experience. Wilfredo also incorporates flowers, candles, perfumes, fruits, fountains and other pleasing scents, sounds and suggestive elements “to give the feeling of the different senses as you move from room to room,” he explains. “These selections were made to ensure that the client fully enjoys and experiences all the effects of the senses that surround them.” Design + Decor

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usan Petril of Interiors Group of SW Florida loves to design with natural elements in mind. She applies natural linens, cottons and wool that assuredly give the space a well polished and striking look. Her link to the environment is palpable in her projects, whether it be a stunning outdoor space filled with low lighting, designed to entice discreet conversation; a magnificent kitchen awash in clean neutral colors with a sweet-smelling bouquet of flowers; a cozy family area with breathtaking floor-to-ceiling window views; or a fantastic bedroom with an obvious nod to the outdoors. “You can usually tell a design that Interiors Group of SW Florida did by looking at the application of natural elements,” she says. “You’ll almost always see these designs have an organic flavor down to the wood flooring/stone, the many architectural features, the millwork, the applied moldings and the natural fibers of the fabrics.” Susan uses a combination of hardwoods, plush area rugs and superb window treatments to ensure the sense of sight and sound are well balanced. She typically employs the colors of blues and whites: soft and neutral tones of blue to invoke a relaxing atmosphere and to help “ease a busy mind,” she says, and bold and vibrant blues to stimulate. White is her predominant background color. She also uses soft organic fabrics to offer the cozy texture needed for serenity. The design team takes its cues from the natural elements. “My designs almost always mesh with our Naples environment,” Susan explains. “I am truly a designer of impression: If a home sits near a water feature, the draw is toward the serenity that water evokes. Same goes for a home surrounded by a canopy of trees: the design will reach out toward what is seen in the windows, and that will be a cohesive element in my design approach.” Design + Decor

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LIVING COLOR Designer Jackie Armour creates a personality-filled family home that’s as playful and fun as it is stylish. Story by Jean Nayar | Photography by Brantley Photography

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rom the moment interior designer Jackie Armour met the owners of this new home in Jupiter, Florida, she knew their working relationship was meant to be. “I’m all about color and pattern on a personal level,” says Jackie, the principal of JMA Design, which has offices in Palm Beach, Jupiter and New York. “The wife immediately made it clear that she really loves color, but when she pulled out a Lee Jofa fabric sample designed by the American painter Hunt Slonem, it was like kismet. I collect his art and had just ordered a bunch of samples of his fabric designs myself. We hit it off immediately.”

The homeowners had recently moved from New York to Florida to raise their three young children closer to their grandparents, who also live in the area. To reinforce the active, indoor-outdoor lifestyle the couple craved, they purchased a one-acre lot along the scenic Loxahatchee River in Jupiter and set out to build the family-friendly home of their dreams. They began by enlisting Dan Reedy of Jupiter-based Onshore Construction to build the home, and he recommended Jackie to design the interiors before construction got underway. As a result, she was able to collaborate not only with the builder, but also with the architect, Brian Collins of Boca Raton-based Affiniti Architects, and the landscape architect, John Design + Decor

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Lang of Lake Worth-based Lang Design Group, to help craft the interior layout from the inside out. “Being involved from the beginning allowed me to be heavily involved in shaping the interior architecture,” Jackie explains. “I created all the interior elevations and developed all the millwork profiles during the design phase.” Collaborating closely, the team designed the 8,500-square-foot, five-bedroom home in an updated classic British Colonial style that ideally suits its South Florida waterfront environs. While classically inspired elements—such as a triple set of double cypress entry doors, white-painted millwork and columns, wooden brackets and ceiling beams, and a pair of dramatic staircases—contribute to the character-rich backdrop, a mix of comfy furnishings, artful accents, and vibrant colors and patterns enliven the traditionally inspired interiors with fresh notes of contrast. “The wife has a fun personality and didn’t want the house to be too serious, even though the architecture is,” says Jackie. “She was fearless about color and wanted to push the envelope, so I was like a kid in a candy store.” The emphasis Jackie and her client placed on color is apparent from the moment one enters the foyer, where a pair of benches upholstered in a boldly patterned fabric brimming with bright blooms flank the front doors and hint at the profusion of rainbow hues that energize the doubleheight living space and adjoining dining room beyond. Setting the tone in the living room are flowing curtains made from the zesty Hunt Slonem-designed fabric that initially inspired the color scheme and frame the double-height windows overlooking the spectacular Design + Decor

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water view. While the curtain fabric precipitated the palette, the coastal setting also influenced the color scheme with a surprising twist. “Being that the house on the water in a coastal beach town, the ocean was a point of inspiration, but not in the typical ways,” says the wife, who had no interest in the predictable shades of blue and sandy beige that often characterize coastal retreats. “I wanted to represent the ocean by taking color cues from the deep coral reefs. The bold, bright sea life that exists there inspires us to look for beauty in all places—even the unexpected.” Since the curtain fabric makes such a bold statement in the living and dining rooms, Jackie used some restraint and turned to softer shades for furnishings and finishes in these open spaces. “We didn’t want to be over-the-top with color here, so we chose a solid fabric in a subtle peargreen hue for the sofas, and the other colors just fell into place,” says Jackie. She chose to finish the double-height walls flanking the living room fireplace in a soothing, lavender-colored Venetian plaster, and upholster a pair of pretty armchairs here in a pale pink cotton velvet. She also relied on the same pastel pink fabric to cover the 134

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chairs around the table in the adjoining dining space, which unified the open areas and established the connecting tissue from room to room. Materials and finishes also brighten the classic backdrop with a youthful spin. “The owners suggested using polished concrete on the floor, but to avoid issues of cracking as the floor settled, we opted for a large-scale cement look-alike tile that provides a durable, low-maintenance neutral surface underfoot,” says the designer. And, instead of deploying a traditional book-matching technique to install the marble mantel above the fireplace, she had slabs of travertine laid horizontally along the wall, with the veins running like shallow waves across the surface. “It gives the room a contemporary vibe and strikes a different chord that provides a nice contrast with the traditional woodwork,” says Jackie. A stunning work of art by local artist Maureen Fulgenzi hangs over the fireplace as a spectacular focal point and finishing touch. From the living room, a pop of vivid fuchsia on the walls draws the eye upward toward the upper level, beyond the custom railing that encloses the open workspace where the wife works. Beyond this simple work area, a profusion of color and pattern unfolds in the children’s wing on one side of the upper level, with lollipop hues saturating the furniture, rugs and walls of play areas and bedrooms. Wallpapers patterned with butterflies, florals and tropical fronds add lively notes of surprise to the powder rooms and laundry. In contrast to these spaces, the master bedroom, bathed in a soothing Design + Decor

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coral color on the opposite wing of the upper level, is an oasis of calm. The family room and adjoining breakfast nook extend the livelier colors to the lower level. A turquoise hue on the walls of the family room serves as a prelude to the colors of the lawn, pool and river beyond the double doors leading to the patio outside. It also sets off the bevy of colorful cushions on the oversize sectional and trio of poufs that link the space to an adjoining breakfast nook next to the kitchen. The only vintage furnishings 136

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the family brought with them from their former home—a bamboo bed, a pair of metal side tables and a rattan chair—were gathered together in the guest room. To connect them with the rest of the home, the designer suggested painting the tables white and the bed a periwinkle blue, and reupholstering the chair cushions in a sunny yellow fabric. “Life isn’t taken too seriously in our home, and the design we implemented definitely tells that part of our story,” says the wife. “For us, the combination of colors and patterns mimics the idea that we all have different sides to ourselves,

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and that juxtaposition in our home creates a lively place to be.” The only concession to neutrals was made in the husband’s office, where rich browns and earthy taupes and tans fill the space with a masculine air. However, curtains printed with bold graphic spheres reminiscent of sea urchins add a lively touch in keeping with the playfulness of the rest of the home. Color was also used sparingly in the extra-large kitchen, where the designer and client chose a pale-green tile as the only touch of color amid the creamy white cabinets. “The kitchen is like a palette cleanser,” says Jackie. While the home was designed to be beautiful, and it features compelling furnishings and stunning light fixtures—including a hammered gold pendant in the foyer and spectacular blown-glass chandeliers in the dining room and over the tub in the master bath—all the fabrics and furnishings were chosen to be as pragmatic as they are stylish. “Functionally, we needed a home that could withstand the day-to-day of child play,” says the wife. “Upholstery that can be easily cleaned and withstand hard love in the main rooms was a necessity, so we decided on indoor/outdoor fabrics on the furniture and rugs. It’s much more forgiving of spills and everyday messes.” Now that the home is complete, the owner marvels at the good fortune of collaborating with a designer who understood her family’s vision. “We aren’t a family who relishes the ordinary, and Jackie was able create a space where the entire color spectrum is on display, yet feels cohesive throughout,” she says. “Every morning I wake up in a home that exudes happiness through color and beauty. I love that every family member is able to live comfortably and carefree because, by refusing to forsake form in the name of function, we created a beautiful home that can truly be lived in.” Design + Decor

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Resources: Architect: Affiniti Architects 6100 Broken Sound Parkway Suite 8 Boca Raton, Florida 33487 561.750.0445 Interior Designer: JMA Interior Design 1907 Commerce Lane Suite 103 Jupiter, Florida 33458 561-743-9668 Builder: Onshore Construction 938 North Old Dixie Highway Jupiter, Florida 33458 561.744.8331 Kitchen Design: S. Oscar Urreiztieta Planning and Building 11199 Polo Club Road Suite G Wellington, Florida 33474 561.795.1036 Landscape Architect: Lang Design Group 1820 2nd Avenue North Lake Worth, Florida 33461 561.688.9996 Landscape Installation: Blue Water Landscape 11110 SE Federal Highway Hobe Sound, Florida 33455 772.546.7773 Design + Decor

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Internationally celebrated Aldo Castillo Gallery to open on 5th Avenue South in Naples, Florida


ifth Avenue South in Naples, Florida, will be the new home to internationally well-known art gallery – the Aldo Castillo Gallery. The debut on Naples’ 5th Avenue South will introduce Neapolitans to the Aldo Castillo Gallery as one of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries offering paintings, photography, drawings, sculpture, works on paper, digital art and new media installations.

ting-edge contemporary art. He has achieved prominence as the organizer of numerous prestigious international art shows and art fairs in China, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the United States. Castillo is the recipient of numerous awards in the art field and has been recognized in a myriad of publications recognizing him as a prominent leader in the international art community.

The new gallery, located at 634 5th Avenue South in Naples, Florida, represents established international artists, and serves private collectors, museum collections and design professionals. The debut of the gallery will showcase special commissioned art works by prominent artists known and sought after in the international art markets.

Castillo founded his first gallery in Chicago in 1993 and was a former member of Chicago Art Dealers Association. In 2011, Aldo Castillo Gallery relocated from Chicago to Southwest Florida and for the past nine years has operated in the Miromar Design Center in Estero, Florida, a new and upcoming area of Florida.

“The Aldo Castillo Gallery will bring internationally known artists’ works to the Naples community and be an exciting asset to the shopping mix on 5th Avenue,” says David Hoffmann, chairman of Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate and the founder of Osprey Capital, a private equity company. “I’m excited to have the gallery located in one of the Hoffmann properties; it’s a great fit and I know it will attract people from all over the world.”

The Aldo Castillo Gallery currently occupies seven gallery spaces at the Design Center and will continue to be open in addition to the new 5th Avenue gallery. Naples clientele will also be encouraged to visit and explore the most amazing works by international artists there too.

In this new move, the Aldo Castillo has gained the support of Mr. David Hoffmann who relocated from Illinois to Naples, Florida, in 2015. He has since become one of the largest commercial real estate property owners in Naples. Some of the Hoffmann Family of Companies include Hertz Arena and the Florida Everblades, The Bevy restaurant, The Naples Princess and Miss Naples boats and Naples Transportation and Tours. Castillo is elated to have Mr. Hoffmann’s support during this new gallery opening. The Naples’ 5th Avenue gallery will serve as a backdrop to showcase the many years of experience and accomplishments of its director and founder, Aldo Castillo. An international art dealer, curator, artist, and human rights activist, Castillo is recognized as a leading promoter of international cut144

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“When Aldo first opened his gallery at the Miromar Design Center in 2011, I knew he was going to bring the contemporary art scene to another level,” says Lynne Groth, former marketing and business development director for the Design Center in Estero, Florida, and local writer and consultant. “He is a pioneer in his field bringing both established and emerging international artists to the forefront while working with both private clients and trade professionals.” Castillo’s creative vision for his galleries are based on art’s humanitarian perspective and the economic impact of the art business. He dedicates much of his energies to promoting art education, art exposure, and cultural tourism.

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