SoFLo HABITAT Spring/Summer 2023

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Custom Made For You In The USA Proudly


“I don’t design interiors, I design
k k en golen en golen 954-217-7388


t is a time for anniversaries. The iconic kitchen and bath fixtures and hardware company Kohler is celebrating its 150th. And with this issue, SoFLo HABITAT is marking its first.

For Kohler, this year celebrates its bold moves and entrepreneurial spirit that continue to push the company forward as they did back in 1873 when John Michael Kohler founded the company.

“As we celebrate our 150 years of achievements and growth, we encourage all passionate creators to join our pursuit of continuous improvement in providing gracious living for future generations through better design and innovation,” said David Kohler, the company’s CEO and great-grandson of its founder.

And taking a cue from Kohler to want to celebrate gracious living, great design and cool innovations, over the past year, SoFLo HABITAT has served to define and refine the definition of South Florida living in the grandest of style.

The magazine’s pages continue to showcase not only the beautiful and iconic residences in which we live, but also the luxurious lifestyle that can be had when residing in such a beautiful locale.

As you know, SoFLo HABITAT calls this Life.Styled.

And with this issue, the magazine expands its focus on lifestyle. The worlds of fine art and interior design have long been interwoven. Thus, the magazine has a new department — RED DOT: fine art + interior design – where the collaboration between the two will be showcased.

Another new department is HOMEWORK: designer details is we invite you inside the homes designers and architects create for themselves.

And to ensure that SoFLo HABITAT continues to keep you on-top-of South Florida’s design and décor trends and details, we are launching the biweekly newsletter SoFLo HABITAT: ABODE.

As the magazine’s publisher, I promise you that SoFLo HABITAT will continue to spark your imagination, rev your creative engine and heighten your desire for all that is showcased within its pages.

I know you will agree that SoFLo HABITAT is a well-crafted modern approach to design & decor and a highly curated source to SoFlo’s unique style of living.

In honor of its 150th anniversary, Kohler is embracing the rainbow and is showcasing vintage colorways for its award-winning plumbing fixtures. Shown here in lavender is the Veil (a one-piece floor-mount standard heigh toilet).

Sherry Goodman-Ash Photo Courtesy of Kohler PS: USE THIS QR CODE TO SIGN UP!
DESIGNING THE ART YOU LIVE IN... 954.652.1714 | causa design Full Design - Ground Up | Renovations | Hourly Consultation Lic #IB26000989




Using its great architectural foundation, Micheal Sandsman of Design West contemporized a classic Mediterranean-styled home



The house renovation completed by Joanie Anderson of Clive Daniel Home created a modern coastal vibe



Biophilic design influences interior design trends in a big way



Interior Designer Jackie Armour worked her magic to create a contemporary coastal dwelling


Tales about top talent & companies

As a partner with the 2023 Kips Bay Palm Beach Show House, The Shade Store collaborated with the interior designers to create handcrafted window treatments. Interior Designer Scott Sanders created the Palm Beach Modern family room with a celebration of Palm Beach’s iconic colors and materials but in a contemporary fashion. With the space’s incredible ceiling height, Sanders wanted drapes that went all the way to the ceiling over the French doors and eyebrow windows. The room’s custom window treatments are tailored pleat drapery in The Shade Store’s luxe linen fabric in oyster with trim by Samuel & Sons.

Photo Courtesy of The Shade Store
Trade Only Showroom | Custom Manufactured in the USA Woodworking & Cabinetry | Home Theaters | Acoustical Treatments | Electronics | 561-338-5545 | nordicgrp


INSPIRE ideas & trends


Interior inspiration from the Sixth Annual Kips Bay Palm Beach Show House


Japandi is the fusion of design aesthetics from different sides of the globe

PERIMETER exterior attention


Landscape Architect Christopher Crawley creates natural serenity


The Continuum adds greenery throughout its oceanfront footprint

REDO from drab to fab


Before & After: Kitchen Renovations Perfected


Before & After: Allied Kitchen and Bath


411 on residential real estate

BLUEPRINT commercial viability


When home & office mix

FLOURISH finishes & final details


Kohler offers vintage hues in new ways

FLOURISH continued


Kallista’s new finish is created with beautiful design and technology


Bakes & Kropp Fine Cabinetry creates high-end custom cabinetry



fine art + interior design


Designer Toby Zack uses fine art to add polish to her interior design


Owner of Miami’s Red Dot/Spectrum Art Fairs Eric Smith shares five talented contemporary artists

ACCENT MARK make a statement


Designer Ken Fulk knows more is more

HOMEWORK designer details


Architect Thomas Diverio gets personal about his residence

FINE PRINT design directory

LUST HAVE coveted item


Toto’s luxurious new offering

ON THE COVER The Oasis bathroom by Dornbracht with its
Created By: Mike Meiré, Dornbracht’s creative director
15 22 30 32 36 49 90
95 96
In his private residence, Thomas Diverio used the home’s tropical modern design and a trip to Bali as the inspiration for his master bath. “I just loved Bali’s lush landscape and I designed a wall of artificial greenery to give the bathroom a Ballinesian feel,” he said.
Photo Courtesy of Thomas Diverio

MEM Dornbracht Kitchen

Leading Designs for Architecture



Sherry Goodman-Ash Publisher

Sara Fiedelholtz Editor-in-Chief

Lourdes Guerra Art Director

Mariu Saralegui Emmons Marketing Director

Cover Image: Dornbacht’s oasis bathroom with CYO fixture in brushed dark platinum

Created By: Dornbacht’s Creative Director Mike Meiré

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dornbacht


Dawn Causa Principal Designer Causa Design Group

Christopher Cawley Landscape Architect Christopher Cawley Landscape

Eric Smith CEO Redwood Art Group

LuAnn Warner-Prokos Portraiture Photography Warner-Prokos Photography

Andrea Halley-Wright Founder Design Sense Public Relations

sara fiedelholtz chief content strategist publishing director/SoFLo HABITAT call/text: 847.736.1387

For advertising information contact: Sherry Goodman-Ash call/text: 561.809.5124

©2023 SoFLo HABITAT ispublished by thinkbox strategies llc. Any views expressed in advertisements do not necessarily reflect the position of thinkbox strategies or SoFLo HABITAT. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission.

DESIGN YOUR DREAM KITCHENS AND BATHS Nance Arce’ Interior Designer 954-772-7979 Family owned since 1980 1141 NE 45th Street, Oakland Park, FL 33334 NATURALLY CREATIVE 1/3SQ SFH0322.indd 1 3/19/22 12:09 PM
5940 SW 19th Street, Plantation FL 33317 954.967.8629 • Toby Zack 1/3SQ SFH0322.indd 1 4/24/22 11:49 AM

ideas & trends INSPIRE


The Sixth Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House made a big entrance with 21 top interior designers dressing the North Flagler Drive home in true Palm Beach fashion.

The Sixth Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House made a big entrance with 21 top interior designers dressing the North Flagler Drive home in true Palm Beach fashion.

Studio Thomas James designer Philip Vanderford presented White Lotus, his interpretation for the home’s entry. The architectural style of the home offered reminders of Italy and the Italians notable flare for mixing opulent materials. The ceiling commands attention with the custom silk scarf wallpaper by Porter Teleo. The dome entry is adorned with the Vetro Chandelier by Baker Furniture, handcrafted with Milano glass. The sculptural Memphis-Milano style bench by Luigi Saccardo sits on the Cocodrilo rug designed by Charlap Hyman and Herrero from Schumacher which invokes a whimsical mood with its toothy grin. Photos By Nickolas Sargent
The Palm Beach Modern family room designed by Scott Sanders celebrates iconic Palm Beach colors and materials in a fresh approach. A Pierre Frey fabric serves as the room’s foundation and inspiration for the color palette. The custom light blue Saccro carpet and a Philip Jeffries grass-cloth wall covering celebrate Florida’s signature indoor/outdoor lifestyle. The welcoming rattan of the furniture combined with the LeJeune suede sofa, pops of glass and shiny materials complete the room. The artwork by Lisa Ann Auerbach completes the room’s desire to mix the old with the new.
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For the exotic Welcome to the

Jungle guest suite, interior designer Mabley Handler went with a mix of colors and patterns for the bathroom. It features Arabescato porcelain from Primestones used in slab form to frame the tub, shower walls and floor. The Kohler plumbing fixtures and floating vanity are accented by a custom handmade shell mirror by artist Wexler Robichaus for Palm Beach Home Style.
FOUR AWARD-WINNING FINE ART GALLERIES IN SOUTH FLORIDA 518 E Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33483 561 774 2928 390 SE 2nd Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33483 561 332 3352 833 NE 4th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 954 990 5420 4601 Military Trail #101, Jupiter, FL 33458 561 429 4829

With minimalism as the catalyst, a new design style has come from the fusion of Scandinavian design’s simplicity and practicality with Japanese design’s aesthetic.

Japandi emphasizes clean-line design with a sprinkling of natural elements.

The outcome of blending these worlds apart styles is very contemporary. With its elements of clean lines, functional and minimal furniture/accessories, decluttered spaces, natural

materials, comfort and the combination of contrasting colors designers are using Japandi to create spaces with the perfect mix of form and style.

The growing interest in Japandi has even influenced Miami’s newest culinary offering. Petite Comite is a Japandi-style bistro that combines Scandinavian simplicity with Japanese elegance.

Owner Adriana Benatar uses the Japandi concept of simplicity and contentment to the bistro’s dining experience.

2929 Biscayne Boulevard, 305.909.8544,

INSPIRE/ideas & trends


The Place for Kitchens and Baths offers eco-friendly products that qualify for LEED certification. The GREEN kitchen of your dreams is within your reach. We can also design for clients who keep kosher. Turnkey Remodeling available.


The Place for Kitchens and Baths offers eco-friendly products that qualify for LEED certification. The GREEN kitchen of your dreams is within your reach. We can also design for clients who keep kosher. Turnkey Remodeling available.

The Place for Kitchens and Baths Come Visit Our Showroom 285 SE Mizner Boulevard, Royal Palm Place, Suite 43, Boca Raton | 561.338.7171 By Appointment Only Servicing the continental U.S. & Caribbean Explore Our portfolio at The Place for Kitchens and Baths
Come Visit Our Showroom 285 SE Mizner Boulevard, Royal Palm Place, Suite 43, Boca Raton 561.338.7171 By Appointment Only Servicing the continental U.S. & Caribbean Explore Our portfolio at We Feature

exterior attention




The landscape design for this new contemporary home on Miami Beach’s Prairie Avenue was designed to wrap its architecture with lush native plantings and vegetation in order to create a sense of serenity.

“This residence is a little jewel. I wanted to give the front of the home different layers and textures; the selected plantings soften its crisp and minimalistic style of architecture,” said Christopher Cawley, the home’s landscape architect.

The design of natural gardens with big grasses, lush foliage and large green leaves has become very popular. The lack of flowering plants, elimination of the traditional mowed lawn and tailored shrubbery creates an environment that is not only modern and fresh but also is an ever-changing piece of living art.

At the entrance of the residence, Cawley planted Pgymy Date Palms with a mixture of Lady Palms and Swiss Cheese Plants around the base. Two Sable Palms (Florida’s state palm tree) were strategically placed to create an artistic composition at the home’s entrance. Tropical Philodendron with Elephant Ears were placed along the front wall to set the mood for the dwelling’s grounds.

This type of lush vegetation was used in different areas of the property to create intimate garden spaces perfect for different types of use. Other native plants used in and around the property include Coconut Palms, Thatch Palms and Spanish Stopper Shrubs. Around the lap pool, Traveler’s Palms, Alexander Palms, Red Ginger and Elephant Ears. All were planted to soften the home’s modern exterior as well to provide privacy.

An interesting thing that Cawley pointed out about building or renovating a home in Miami Beach is that a landscape architect is a necessity not a luxury. This is due to the approval process established by the Miami Design Review Board and its requirement to have well-documented and detailed plans for a home’s exterior and environmental components.

Photo by Paul Stoppi
Greenscape Greenscape
PERIMETER/exterior attention

Greenscape Greenscape

Because South Florida is surrounded by beautiful oceans and waterways thinking about greenery is usually an afterthought. But the iconic Miami Beach’s oceanfront Continuum has redeveloped its 13-acre property to have a greenscape that dresses up its oceanfront vistas.

Under the direction of ArquitectonicaGEO, the property’s grounds were beautified with functional green environments that enhance living in this resort-style location.

“We wanted to create grounds and gardens with native plants that can withstand the natural elements of salt and wind. We have more trees than the neighboring South Pointe Park,” said Rishi Idani, Continuum’s managing director.

“We wanted to ensure we had lots of green areas that offer natural shade. We worked diligently to properly use greenery at this coastal property.”

from drab to fab


When it comes to renovating a kitchen Elliott Landman, founder of Kitchen Renovations Perfected, isn’t afraid to share the dos & don’ts he has gleaned from his more than 45 years in the business.

His trademark is to redesign a kitchen in a better way than his clients have likely been living with for the past 10-20 years. Here are just a few of Landman’s Dos & Don’ts:

When it comes to upper cabinets, DO make them L-shaped because then you can fit a complete set of dishes.

Lighting plays an important part in a kitchen. DO create one continuous light source, i.e., on a wall and/or on top of the cabinets, as it makes a great accent and creates a softer look.

DON’T use door cabinets for lower storage spaces. Drawers are best as they make it easy to remove pots and pans and have plenty of room for tall pots.

DON’T make pantry shelves deep. It is easier to find what you are looking for on shelves that are narrow in depth.

DO put in a kitchen island. Islands are essential because they are so versatile. They can become the buffet, bar not to mention the great prep space they offer.

When it comes to flooring, DON’T buy porcelain from China as it likely will absorb water and warp. There are many beautiful porcelain stone floors from Turkey, Italy and Spain.

When it comes to cabinetry, DO go for hickory or pine because they have minimal grain and are available in many variations. DON’T use natural maple because coloring can be very inconsistent.

DO only buy appliances and cabinetry from manufacturers that offer lifetime warranties.

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The renovation of this bathroom required completely tearing it out due to its rotting trusses.

But this negative was turned into a positive because it allowed Bill Feinberg and his team at Allied Kitchen and Bath to move the placement of the shower and toilet from one end of the bathroom to the other.

By moving their location, Feinberg was able to transform the master bath into a contemporary spa-like environment.

“I can move something just three feet and create a completely different design for the space,” he said.

He intentionally designed an entire wall of cabinetry to enhance the bath’s feeling as well as to provide a great deal of storage while keeping the space very open.

“The client wanted to have a bathroom like the one she experienced while staying at The Ritz Carlton South Beach,” said Feinberg.

To create a very luxurious experience, Feinberg backlit the mirrors and ensured they wouldn’t steam up by putting in a special ventilation system over the tub to easily allow the steam from the shower to escape.

The shower itself offers three different shower heads – rainforest, regular and hand – this gives the use of the shower great flexibility. It was intentionally made larger with a low entry point and a wide bench was attended to make it both luxurious and practical. The shower’s ceiling is similarly tiled as the backsplash for the floating vanity.

When it comes to renovating a bath, Feinberg said that the biggest thing clients want is a separate toilet room. And now with the multi-functional smart toilets there is no need to have a toilet and bidet. He also pointed out that the private toilet room is an amenity that today’s homebuyers look for when buying a home.

When thinking about how to budget a bathroom remodel, Feinberg said that moving plumbing and electrical wiring can add significantly to the costs.

But regardless of the budget, Feinberg isn’t going to cut corners. He always pulls the appropriate permits, only has licensed professionals on his team, has a specific protocol to limit dust and dirt during remodel and before tiling a shower always puts up orange board from the Schluter Waterproof Shower System to ensure it’s truly is waterproof.

“When it comes to remodeling a bathroom what is most important is not how beautifully it is designed, but making sure what is underneath the tiles and behind the floors and walls is installed properly,” said Feinberg.

REDO/from drab to fab
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According to new data from Opendoor, here are the 10 most active zip codes or the areas where the most residential sales have taken place in early 2023:

1 34953 Port St. Lucie (Lucie County)

2 33319 Lauderhill/Lauderdale Lakes (Broward County)

3 33467 Greenacres (Palm Beach County)

4 44437 Western Boynton Beach (Palm Beach County)

5 33446 Delray Beach/Kings Point (Palm Beach County)

6 33321 Tamarac (Broward County)

7 33442 Deerfield Beach (Broward County)

8 33411 Royal Palm Beach (Palm Beach County)

9 33063 Margate/Coconut Creek (Broward County)

10 33149 Miami Beach (Miami-Dade County)

NOTE: To calculate the most popular zip codes, Opendoor looked at transactions over a three-month period from 12/7/22 – 3/7/23 and ranked zip codes by the amount of transactions that took place.

There are some interesting differences between the zip code ranking of zip codes (above) and those that are the most popular among home shoppers. The zip codes that are the most popular with those looking to purchase a home:

34953 Port St. Lucie (Lucie County)

33160 Sunny Isles Beach (Miami-Dade County)

33411 Royal Palm Beach (Palm Beach County)

33321 Tamarac (Broward County)

33139 Miami Beach (Miami-Dade County)

33319 Lauderhill/Lauderdale Lakes (Broward County)

33467 Greenacres (Palm Beach County)

33446 Western Delray Beach (Palm Beach County)

33063 Margate (Broward County)


Median Sale Price Of A Home In Palm Beach County: $565,000

Median Sale Price Of A Home In Broward County: $540,000

Median Sale Price Of A Home In Miami-Dade County: $500,000

Source: RedFin, 2023


Highlights Of Single Family Homes In The Town of Palm Beach for 1Q 2023:

Market remained robust, despite lack of inventory leading to a substantially lower sales volume

The average sales price increased 33% to $21,559,000.

The average price per square foot rose 8% to $3,497

At Close: The price paid for 1495 North Ocean Boulevard, $155 million; 550 South Ocean Boulevard, just under $45 million; and 930 South Ocean Boulevard, just under $37 million

Highlights Of Condos In The Town of Palm Beach for 1Q 2023:

Average sale price rose by 16% to $842,000

The average price per square foot increased 26% to $490

At Close: The price paid for 1100 South Flagler Drive Unit 1901, $21 million and 1100 South Flagler Drive Unit 1701, just over $11 million

Source: Brown Harris Stevens, 2023

411 on residential real estate
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With the continued focus on and investment in home offices and live/work spaces high-end furnishing lines that were once thought to be exclusive to commercial spaces are finding their way into residential interiors – creating the resimercial trend.

Brands like Steelcase and Herman Miller which are synonymous with commercial spaces are now making significant entre into residential interiors.

Understanding the rise in hybrid work/life spaces and the demand for innovative home office solutions, the designers at Herman Miller took the opportunity to reimagine the role of the height-adjustable table, resulting in a solution that is both effortlessly useful and endlessly flexible.

Its new Passport Work Table is compact in design but large enough to hold the essentials and small enough to fit in tight spaces. Its most notable features are its untethered design (allowing for easy mobility) and expansive height ranges.

“The future of work is a trending topic; and the convergence of work, life and play is central to how we design our products,” said Herman Miller President Ben Watson. “The Passport is the addition to our portfolio that seeks to offer furniture solutions that are agile, efficient and fit for a variety of environments.”

commercial viability BLUEPRINT


In 2023, Steelcase reinterpreted and reimagined the classic furniture designs that celebrate an icon who pioneered a new way to work. The Frank Lloyd Wright Racine Collection, guided by Wright’s design principles, has been relaunched and expanded for today’s work life.

“Frank Lloyd Wright used design as a means of deepening the relationships between people, nature and place,” said Stuart Graff, president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “With the Racine Collection, we’re excited to expand his vision of an architecture for better living.”

As Steelcase draws on the foundation’s archives and Wright’s designs for aspiration and inspiration future collections will include additional lines of furnishings, textiles and wallcoverings.

The Racine Collection also introduces a lounge chair Wright designed for the SC Johnson building, but to date has never been produced.

“From its beginnings over 80 years ago, Steelcase’s relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright has helped to

The desk comes in new sizes (broader dimensions and proportions) and an expanded material palette to provide more design choices for the signature furniture Wright designed and Steelcase produced in 1939 for the SC Johnson Administration building.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Racine Collection is the first of the new collaboration between the foundation and Steelcase, which is expected to be sweeping in scope as the organizations reflect on the past to continue Wright’s legacy and inspire future collections.

revolutionize design for work,” said Steelcase’s General Manager Partnerships Meghan Dean.

“Now we continue that mission into the home, as there’s never been a better time to revisit design principles that have always been ahead of their time.”

Under his philosophy of organic design, Wright’s merger of beauty and function for this collection demonstrates why he continues to be an icon of modern work, past and present.;

C O M P L E T E R E M O D E L I N G & D E S I G N S E R V I C E S 6 1 6 W O a k l a n d P a r k B l v d . F o r t L a u d e r d a l e 9 5 4 . 5 6 4 . 1 6 1 1 | w w w . a l l i e d k i t c h e n a n d b a t h . c o m L i c e n s e d a n d I n s u r e d R e s i d e n t i a l G e n e r a l C o n t r a c t o r 8 5 C G C 1 2 2 5 C X celebrating Y E A R S 39

finishes & final details


Kohler is bringing back vintage hues in new ways. And although color options abound in today’s home design that wasn’t always the case. A century ago, Kohler debuted matching colors in cast-iron enamel and pottery glaze, a technological first that led to its inclusion in an exhibit about the evolution of home design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1929.

To commemorate its 150th anniversary, Kohler combed its archives for six heritage colors to consider for its most iconic, signature and best-selling designs. It asked customers to vote for their two favorites – spring green, lavender, peachblow, sunrise avocado and pink champagne – all previously only produced between 1927 and 1979.

And winning colors for the heritage collection are:


Inspired by the blue-green waters of a cool northern spring, this historic hue from 1927 has modern relevance in today’s kitchen and bathroom designs, as a complement or bold standout.


An original pastel shade from 1934, Peachblow was a bold complement to common browns and taupes of the time. Today, the vintage color is still a bold choice to complement natural tones.

Kohler Signature Miami Store

10025 South Dixie Highway, Pinecrest 786.220.9665

ROOM FOR ALL OF YOU ©2023 California Closet
Inc. All rights reserved. Franchises independently owned and operated. FL036_Habitat_MakeRm_L1_9x10.8_0323.indd 1 2/25/23 4:47 PM


Kallista is Greek for most beautiful and is also the name for a leading designer of luxury hardware for bathrooms and kitchens.

And with the debut of its newest finish, Brushed French Gold, Kallista continues to further define beauty with the finish’s warm-tones, subtle texture and distinct glow.

Using the power of design, this upscale collection is the company’s first faucet designed using physical vapor deposition technology. This precise application ensures the finish will withstand the test of time due to its hardness, adhesion, uniform coating and wear resistance.

The finish continues to capitalize on the reinterpretation of beauty by combining design, style, form and function with cutting-edge technology. The Brushed French Gold finish is exactly what Kallista’s founders, Anthony Pontin and Norman Bell, set out to achieve when they started the company in 1979; their goal to go far beyond the standard white and chrome offerings has certainly been achieved.

Allied Kitchen and Bath

616 W. Oakland Park Boulevard

Fort Lauderdale


FLOURISH/finishes & final details

Reimagine Modern Living

Scan the QR code and learn more about our latest contemporary project.

We pride ourselves on being a full service company. From design concept to renovation and new builds, at Sklar Furnishings we have a team of ASID Award winning designers to complete any size of project. Scan the QR code above and discover how we used coastal contemporary design styles to create a space perfect for our client in our latest case study.
N. Federal Hwy. Boca Raton, FL Open Mon–Sat 10–6, Sun 12–6
appointment Telephone 561.862.0800
Carolyn Gross Interior Designer

proper place proper place

When it comes to kitchens, there is no doubt that part of their beauty is making sure there is a place for everything and everything is in its place.

Founded by Bob Bakes (design expertise) and Paul Kropp (craftsmanship knowledge) and their combined 50-years of experience in the home industry, Bakes & Kropp Fine Cabinetry is known for its high-quality custom cabinetry that features functional design and timeless beauty.

And with its expanded Palm Beach showroom, the company offers the best in ultra-luxury kitchen design and custom cabinetry.

The showroom’s design vignettes serve to inspire what can be done when it comes to kitchens, pantries, libraries, vanities and wine cellars. The looks go from the classic to the cabinetmaker’s signature soft modern style.

FLOURISH/finishes & final details
3085 South Dixie Highway West Palm Beach 561.593.4828

WELL FURNISHED: The family run Home Design Store offers high-quality well-designed furniture. It travels the globe to find handmade, one-of-a-kind furniture that resonates with its customers. It also has a large selection of Buddhas and accessories that bring warmth and good energy to the home.

3750 NW 46th Street, Miami 305.633.1355,

ARTIST BY DESIGN: In her work, artist Gala Oelsner likes to take things from their original environment and use them in a different environments. She likes to use nature’s transformation as well as the themes of the ever-changing body of girls and women in her artwork. “What I see inspires me and how I observe things is what I want to bring into my work,” she said.

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fine art + interior design



What dons the walls of residential spaces has grown in sophistication from just having decorative art to match the sofa to using fine art to give polish and punctuation to the space.

“Art is the third dimension. It is the first thing you see when you enter a space,” said interior designer Toby Zack. “The selected art brings a space to life. It illuminates it.”

This can easily be seen through the artwork Zack selected for the contemporary condo at Akoya Boca West she designed.

“When you design a contemporary space with clean lines, good artwork adds so much from color to playfulness to personality. Today there is the expectation that interiors will include fine art as homeowners understand that sophisticated design includes art that adds textures and layers,“ she said.

“The true talent of a good designer is someone who has a good eye and a firm understanding of what people see when they first enter a space.”

Each side of the bed has half of the color etching Untitled by Pablo Reinoso. One side of the bed also features Alan Hester’s Carnival, a relief screen print and acrylic paint collage. Photos by Daniela Valencia

RED DOT/picture perfect

The home office packs a punch with Brush Bear a unique monograph by Austin Lee. In the master bedroom, Timothly Curtis’ lithograph Untitled is cut in half with each piece framed and placed above the bedside tables.
One of the walls of the monochromatic living/dining space is punctuated by two Roy Lichtenstein woodcuts on handmade Iwano Kizuki Hosho paper, Apple and Lemon and Red Apple The master bedroom’s seating area is enhanced with the abstract aquatint and etching on paper by Victor Pasmore.

FLOURISH/finishes & final details RED DOT/fine art + interior design


As the CEO of the Redwood Art Group and owner of Miami’s Spectrum Miami and Red Dot Miami art fairs Eric Smith has an eye for finding artistic talent.

As the publisher of Art Business News magazine and an art world insider, Smith uses his expertise to revolutionize the fine

art market through his abilities for forecasting the market, defining trends and identifying talented up-and-coming contemporary and modern artists.

Here, Smith selects five artists who were included in the premiere of his various art fairs in 2009 and continue to be relevant and very much part of today’s the contemporary art scene.


Smith believes one of the reasons Micha Kuechenoff and Grant Rosen are successful is because of their stories. “Collectors love to retell the stories about the pieces,” he said.

Artnwordz is the brainchild of Kuechenhoff and Rosen and blends op-art, graffiti and impressionistic styles into their art. Their works are most definitely conversation-starters designed to make viewers smile, laugh and think.


MALCOLM SMITH Montreal, Canada

Malcolm Smith’s painting style derives from 1960s romance comics incorporating bright bold colors and are dramatic in scope. Smith is fascinated by the Ben-Day Dot process (where equal sized dots are equally spaced or overlapped). His works are hand-painted acrylic on canvas using mostly primary colors.

It is possible to see influences from many of the great pop artists – Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein – but Smith certainly gives his work his own personal flair.


As a self-taught artist, Walter Redondo appeared on San Diego’s art scene in 1998 with his experimental abstract techniques that were influenced by Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly and Joan Mitchell. These techniques are no longer experimental and have become the trademark of his artwork.

Smith said he likes the zen-like quality of Redondo’s art. Redondo envisions a world where it is safe to express ideas, thoughts and personal experiences that will lead to relationships of comfort and unity.

RED DOT/artful talent

ERIK RENSSEN Amsterdam, Netherlands

Erik Renssen likes to paint a world where both vibrant and subdued colors coexist in harmony. He is most definitely inspired by his fervent admiration for Pablo Picasso.

Although Renssen works in the figurative tradition, his imagery always has a level of abstraction. He works to interpret and transform everyday objects, landscapes and people into new subjects; his works range from classical portraits, still-lifes, reclining nudes to the occasional landscape.

Smith said he admires Renssen’s painting style, animated displays of color and interior design philosophy.


This powerhouse couple is known for their large format contemporary works with themes of strength and beauty.

Smith met the Gebhardts 10 years ago when they began exhibiting at his art fairs and admitted their work is not for everyone. Their canvases project reality with no sugar coating.

Kris Gebharts’ gritty mixed-media pieces are candid depictions of the human condition revealing pain, heartache and the search for strength.

Angela Gebhart served as Kris’ muse and after seeing her physical form interpreted by her husband’s deft photographic touch she returned to painting and creating large-scale contemporary pieces as well as figure paintings with bold and surreal messages woven into their compositions.

Smith said that the Gebhardts were one of his first exhibitors and that he purchased a piece of their artwork in 2016 as wedding gift for his wife Kelly.


make a statement


For interior designer Ken Fulk more is more and more is never enough.

“On every project I envision a movie in my mind, a mental reel of inspirational references,” he said. “All of these images come together to inform the look that we will be projecting.”

Fulk is known for his signature blend of cinematic flair to create magical and delightful spaces. He sees the process of designing interiors like producing a movie.

This certainly holds true for Fulk’s recent SoFlo project—the restaurant Carbone Miami (of which he is an investor).

When thinking about the design for Major Food Group’s Miami Beach Italian-American establishment, Fulk said he missed bars and the ritual of a cocktail getting made and taking time to savor something.

This literally set the stage for what Fulk wanted for Carbone. He reimagined the columns with antiqued-mirror panels, painted

the beams with a malachite motif and draped the walls with velvet damask. At the restaurant’s center is its seductive bar filled with two types of antiqued mirrors, vintage Venini sconces and bespoke plush damask stools.

Interested in a peak behind the curtain to understand the man behind the magical and visually stunning spaces then pick up a copy of his new book Ken Fulk: The Movie In My Mind (Assouline) which captures his creative process for 30 of his most extravagant endeavors.

And when it comes to creating his signature looks, Fulk begins with visions that tell a story. He will tell his next story, this summer, at Casadonna, a coastal Italian inspired restaurant to be located in Edgewater. The restaurant will include an elaborate indoor-outdoor space, a covered high-ceiling atrium, paned and vaulted glass window and the original gates and chandeliers from the historic Mediterranean Revival building.

Carbone Miami’s bar designed by Ken Fulk Douglas Friedman


The Mediterranean architecture popular throughout South Florida during the 1920s and 1930s gets updated for the 21st century

Using the good architectural structure that Mediterranean-style homes are known for designer Michael Sandsmark of Design West updated the interiors of this Naples-home with a blend of transitional and contemporary design.

“The key to the design of this home is the proper use of scale and proportion because of the changing ceiling heights throughout the home,” he said.

Photos by Venjhamin Reyes Photography

For the open living space, Sandsmark used a cool-toned monochromatic palette. For the arched windows, he painted a stark white trim to give them a fresher look. The use of high reflective paint immediately gave the home a sense that it was built 10 years later than it actually was.

The large kitchen island was created using two slabs of quartz but was designed at a lower height to allow it to easily blend with the great room.

The dining area features one long custom-made wooden table with silverleaf trim to complement the silver accents used throughout the home. The chandelier is from John Richard Chandelier. It is hung rather low to give more of a dramatic restaurant feel to the space.

For the home’s overall interior design, Sandsmark mixed the old with the new to modernize traditional Mediterranean style.

The most dramatic update to the home was taking its Tuscan fireplace and designing a bar and storage space for wine. This is the first thing you see when entering the home.

The Jonh Richard Chandeliers add a dramatic touch as does the Italian marble flooring.

According to Sandsmark wine storage has become an important artistic element within residential homes.

The seating creates the perfect setting for cocktailing. And nothing makes a better statement for a cocktail lounge than a piano.

The powder room was made by redesigning a built-in cabinet. Because the created space is very small, Sandsmark designed the vanity to float off the floor. He said floating cabinetry is much more contemporary and assists to make a room feel larger. The sink is made of blue glass. Sandsmark selected multi-finish satin and polished nickel fixtures to complement the hardware and metal materials used throughout the home.

For the chilled wine storage unit, Sandsmark selected Lucite hardware to complement the design of the adjacent bar’s custommade floating glass and metal shelving. “I love designing something that is worth the wall space,” he said.

Throughout the home chandeliers from John Richard Chandelier are used to create harmony between old-world design and a more contemporary aesthetic.

On the other side of the bar and wine storage unit, there is a pool table and mini cocktail bar. The bar stools are Lucite and metal. Sandsmark selected these stools because he likes to have a specific element that is used and incorporated within every room of the house.

The area below the narrow bar rail was created by layering a textured Phillip Jefferies wallpaper. The oak floor was stained to pick up on the shades of blues and brown used throughout the space.

The footprint of the actual kitchen is rather small; thus, Sandsmark created a triangular design where he corner-clipped the sink across from the cooking area and refrigerator. Beneath the sink is a mini-fridge and an ice maker that makes three different types of ice. The cabinetry is white painted oak; and the backsplash is made with crackled porcelain subway tiles.

The backsplash’s contemporary herringbone mosaic with marble frame was designed to bring in warmer tones and to provide a nice contrast to the stark white cabinets. The all-metal hood was made with polished chrome rivets and a high-gloss painted accent border.

“I selected this specific height for the island’s stools because I didn’t want them to stick out when you looked across the room,” said Sandsmark. They are covered in a multi-dimensional fabric by Kravet which is graphic and velvety to the touch.

For this coastal property Joanie Anderson an interior designer with Clive Daniel did an extensive renovation to create interiors with a more contemporary and sophisticated vibe.

Photos by Venjhamin Reyes Photography

A big part of the renovation was the design of the custom-built sweeping staircase with its strong architectural elements. Anderson specifically designed the staircase as a statement piece with its matte-black iron spindles and distressed-brown tone wood for the stairs. The custom forged ironwork and woodwork is unique to this property.

The monochromatic hues of grays, taupes and creams were used in variation throughout the home. This allowed the shades of blue used as the accent color to really standout against the selected color palette.

The living room’s curved sofas and coffee table are designed to emphasize the home’s strong architectural aspects. The idea was to create a space that easily incorporates the large windows on both ends of the room. Anderson wanted to create a space without any sharp edges and that flows from the entry way directly to the back of the house with its outdoor vistas.

She likes to add color to parts of a ceiling to highlight different spaces; here, she used a partially painted ceiling to emphasize the room’s seating area.

The rugs throughout the home are custom- and hand-made in India by Clive Daniel. The company has its own rug expert, Moeen Mehri, who travels to India to work one-on-one with a network of local makers and sellers.

The wine cellar is a major focal point in the home’s design. Although the wine cellar was already in the home, Anderson did modifications to modernize it by changing the way the bottles are displayed and updating the lighting.

When it came to creating a formal dining room, the only space that worked within the home was in front of the wine cellar. And as such, Anderson wanted a dining table that followed the line of the wine cellar without taking away any of its drama. The shades of blue on the dining chairs punctuates the hues used as an accent color throughout the home and add interest to the space.

The chairs have a printed fabric on the front and a solid fabric on the back. Anderson likes to do this when covering chairs as she thinks it is a great way to showcase the fabric, textures and provides additional interest to the overall design. The room’s plantation shutters were already present but were freshly painted to give them an updated appearance.

The renovation of the kitchen was a big undertaking because the original architecture of the home had elevation changes throughout and these needed to be corrected to be able to change the look and flow of the home.

The countertops are quartz. Anderson extended the same quartz up the backsplash. This is something she likes to do in order to have continuation of the stone; she thinks that this type of design elongates the space and makes it appear larger since there isn’t a break. She also thinks that this countertop/backsplash design is more contemporary but maintains a classic feel that never goes out of style.

The hood is a two-toned mix of golds and silvers and works to incorporate the mixed metals that are used throughout the home. The barstool chairs have the mix of solid and patterned fabrics in the reverse of the dining room chairs; here, the solid pattern is on the front and the textured pattern is on the back of the chairs.

Again, the selection of hues of the home’s accent color worked well and the fabric used for the back of the stools was also used to make throw pillows for the couch in the adjoining great room.

Anderson selected pendant light fixtures Pendants light fixtures because she wanted to make sure that the visual line is kept intact and doesn’t call too much attention to this area rather than the overall open floorplan space.

For the 2023 Kips Bay Palm Beach Decorator Show House, Interior Architect Megan Grehl created the design concept of tranquility and coastal serenity with The Silent Coast for the home’s guest bedroom and bathroom.

Her architectural vision was to bring the ocean and coastal feel to life. With Grehl’s design, this was the first-time pieces from ARCA’s NUDO Collection in collaboration with Kelly Wearstler Studio was shown publicly in a residential interior.

With ARCA’s access to the largest marble quarries around the world, this piece was made from an individual block of natural stone, 3D-rendered and hand carved by master craftsman into the distinctly softened form that embraces the beauty and fortitude of the material.

The Shade Store sheer linen drapes in an ivory finish with a central curved section creates a warm and inviting ambiance. The placement of the drapery added to the artful composition of the space.

Photo by Nickolas Sargent

Biophilic Design Moves In

nterior designers and architects continue to embrace the blurring of the indoors with the outdoors. Biophilic design’s purpose is to bring the outdoors in to enhance connectivity to the natural environment.

Its goal is to enhance well-being and health by creating relaxing environments with visual links to nature. Through design there is the ability to create harmony with the natural elements and to resonate our desire to connect with them.


Biophilic design continues to become more popular – it is no longer a trend but a movement. And it is projected to be one of the most significant looks going forward.


Interior Designer Sarah Zohar has based the work of her interior design firm Sarah Z Designs on her belief that bringing nature and natural elements inside transforms the space into an oasis.

For the past 10 years, Zohar has specialized in modern biophlic design, which connects the outdoors with the indoors. It incorporates organic elements and emphasizes natural light with the goal to enhance the residents’ mood and health.

For this dining room, Zohar incorporated a variety of natural elements from the natural stone dining table to the wall unit with special lighting. The selected wallpaper not only mimics the colors of the ocean, but the texture also has a wave like effect.

The chairs’ smooth cream color reflects beach sand. And the linear pendant light over the dining table resembles dew drops onto the leaf-shaped bowl placed in the center of the table.

The room’s interior design represents elements found in the natural world.

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Z Design

Mike Peterson, founder of Science in Design Summit believes that impact of Biophilic design goes far beyond just creating beautiful and serene interiors. He has established Design Harmony and the Science in Design Summit to educate and inform interior designers, architects and homeowners about the science behind the use of beauty, nature and design to create home environments that nurture and encourage health and wellness.

For the past 35 years, neuroscience and the medical industry have been documenting the emotional, physical and health benefits generated by beauty and design.

“The convergence of science and design into a new field of study ‘neuroaesthetics’ is fueling the interest in biophilic design,” said Peterson. “Neuroscience confirms our need for pretty and attractive environments is hard wired in our DNA.”

Biophilia is important because it describes our innate love of nature. “As a species, we were born into nature and its natural beauty, and we remain in nature. Yet, the built environment of today is anything but natural,” said Peterson.

“Today, we are the only natural species no longer living and nourished by our natural environment. Fine design, nature and

beauty are the antidote to much of modern architecture and design. They are fundamentally needed to balance the world in which we live today.”

Thus, in design, biophilia is all about allowing nature indoors to enhance our connectivity to the natural environment … the great outdoors


resources & sources

Sarah Zohar

Sarah Z Designs



Oasis Bathroom/CYO Fixtures

Cocoon Gallery


Design Harmony/Science in Design Summit

Mike Peterson

Dornbracht’s Creative Director Mike Meiré believes the bathroom is a living space. Here, the oasis bathroom design creates a place of wellness by bringing inside the outside world. Mieré reinterpreted the archetypal C-shaped spout and finds the perfect combination of form and function with Dornbracht’s CYO bath fixtures.

Mother Nature’s talent and man’s ingenuity create beautiful objects for the home

itchell Siegel has created a well-curated offering of modern organic objects, furnishings and decorative items at Cocoon Gallery


As a licensed holder for exporting exotic woods from Southeast Asia, he imports raw materials from nature; and he and his team transform them into one-of-a-kind modern works of art for the home at Cocoon’s 25,000-square-foot woodshop (which is within walking distance of the gallery).

Seigel pointed out that no live trees are harvested for the items Cocoon produces. It only uses wood that is sustainably harvested; only fallen trees are sourced. He may discover a piece of petrified or dead wood with interesting characteristics that will make for beautiful tables and sculptures (And a tree is planted for each tree harvested.)

“We use what nature gives and make functional pieces of art for the home. It may be exotic wood, a palm leaf or a coconut,” said Siegel. “I like to take damaged wood and turn it into something beautiful.”

Inspired by nature and crafted by hand, Siegel and his team of artisans have become internationally well-known for their ability to transform these woods into one-of-a-kind works of art.

Cocoon’s artisans work with clients who may select their own wood slabs, some measuring up to 20-feet long. The woodshop has a multi-step process that combines science and art to dry, flatten, bleach, pigment and cover the exotic woods from which Cocoon creates furnishings and décor.

Referred to as functional art, the gallery has a splendid array of live-edge tables, towering root sculptures, live-edge mirrors and wall art.

Originally founded over 20 years ago in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 2022, Siegel decided to relocate, and put down roots for his woodshop and gallery in Naples.

And for those who would like to experience Cocoon Gallery a little closer to home, it plans to open a Miami location by the end of 2023.

Siegel understands true art is found in nature; he uses his creativity to only enhance Mother Nature’s talent and gifts.

5th Avenue South


Interior Designer Jackie Armour worked her magic to create this new beach-chic cottage located in the Haven at Jupiter Beach.

By answering our questions, she shares her secrets to creating this chic and contemporary coastal dwelling.

SoFLo HABITAT: How would you describe the design aesthetic of the cottage?

Jackie Armour: The cottage style home creates a cozy, inviting and familiar place to unwind. The key to this style is to create a space that feels lived in — a place that feels like it’s been your home for a long time, even though it is a new construction or renovation.

Cottage style homes, while inspired by cottages of yesteryear, are here to stay in all of their variations, due to their warm and inviting ambiance.

SoFLo: For the cottage, how important was the creation of the outdoor space with a complete kitchen?

JA: The loggia on the lower level with a covered roof is integrated within the main structure, blending the indoors with the outdoors. In this coastal cottage, the outdoor space is used as a living/dining area that appreciates the fresh air and the views of the gardens and waterway.

SoFLo: How did you incorporate the outdoor area with the indoor dining space?

JA: The bifold glass doors provide the flexibility to extend the living space and blend the home’s indoor and outdoor environments. The neat folding of the doors allows them to completely fold into the edge of the frame, in order to optimize the space; they open the home to natural air flow and light.

SoFLo: It appears that the use of the color white was important in this design project, why?

JA: The client loves white so from the conception of the cottage’s renovation we provided a white backdrop with a natural palette. The white walls are intended to highlight the extensive millwork.

Photos by Brantley Photography

SoFLo: Talk about how textures, patterns and designs were incorporated into the cottage’s walls, window treatments, and accessories?

JA: Because we had a neutral palette, we needed to use texture to create warmth. The color scheme tends toward neutrals like creams and pastels with pops of blue and green. Playing with color and pattern is encouraged in the cottage design, like the floral wallcovering in the powder room. This makes the aesthetic especially homey and personable.

By embracing natural elements (wood flooring throughout the cottage), colors, combining patterns and florals and incorporating comfortable furnishings, we created the ultimate in cottage style.

SoFLo: Talk about your interesting use of tile in the bathroom and on the backsplash of outdoor kitchen.

JA: The bathroom’s glass tiles are by Lunda Bay and are handcrafted by artisans who pour, shape and blend molten glass to create the sensual colors and finishes in a myriad of shapes. The goal was to create a jewel box aura.

The outdoor kitchen backsplash was made with 8” by 8” customcolored handmade ceramic patterned tiles, which adds a level of chic and sophistication.

SoFLo: What were the most important design elements for this project?

JA: The millwork is like the details on a fine piece of furniture. Whether you prefer clean lines or elaborate ornament, millwork in a variety of designs and applications can add flourish to any room.

Millwork is the dramatic detail that gives a spectacular custom look and complements the overall architectural design of the cottage.

We used grass cloth wallcovering on the back wall of the dining room and in one of the bedrooms as well as wood paneling in another bedroom both of which provide texture and character.






When it comes to LuAnn Warner-Prokos’ portraiture, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

But she doesn’t strive to just capture her subjects, but through masterful use of lighting, scenery and photographic techniques, WP Portraiture creates beautiful pieces of art.

For the past 10 years, Warner-Prokos has focused on portrait photography and her new Boca Raton studio to create the perfect environment to practice her craft of fine art portraiture.

She is known for her editing and is an expert in the techniques to best create an image be it on hand-made paper, framed perfectly or designed as part of an album, all of which are certain to become treasured family heirlooms.

LuAnn Warner-Prokos

Warner-Prokos Photography/WP Fine Art Portraits

Award-winning accredited master fine art photographer 751 Park of Commerce Drive Boca Raton FL 33487


Call today about WP Portraits special Inner Beauty: Celebrating South Florida’s Women Over 40 photo sessions

Warner-Prokos Photography


With the fusion of different design aesthetics, mix of bright hues, combinations of patterns, various selection of finishes and layers of texture, Perla Lichi designs interiors with both a definite point-of-view and a desire to push what is typically expected for a space.

What is your design style?

I am very versatile. I have created beautiful interiors in many different aesthetics – you name it, I have designed in that style. Currently, however, most clients are looking for modern interiors. My designs are unique for each project, yet always created with comfort in mind. I would say we create warm contemporary interiors.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients?

For the most successful results, a close relationship between myself and the client must be developed. It is essential to select a designer who you feel comfortable with. My clients embrace my style and point-of-view. They give me the artistic freedom to design and create what is best for a given space.

How do you begin a new design project? Measure, measure and measure! Rooms, floors, doors and windows—everything

must be measured. And, once we understand the space we are designing, we need to understand the clients. What is their lifestyle? How often do they entertain? Do they have a large extended family? Or are they professionals who are still involved with their careers? What type of artwork do they like? Are there any special needs that the design needs to address? The more we know about our clients, the better we can design their homes.

How do you approach making interiors both functional and beautiful?

I like to use the principles of Feng Shui in my designs combined with my 41 years of design knowledge and experience.

In addition to my work creating beautiful and functional residences around the world, I also keep up on the latest products, innovations and material advances to create interiors that reflect today’s lifestyles and the way people are choosing to live.

73 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 DESIGN STORY/interior design FL ID 1727 2101 W. 33rd Street, Ste 300 Pompano Beach FL 33069 954.726.0899


It would be hard to find someone more passionate about his work than Elliott Landman. It can be said that interior design is in his blood, as his parents were in the fine furniture business. For the past 35 years, Landman has used his talents and creativity to renovate and remodel kitchens and baths throughout South Florida. Landman’s completed projects and client testimonies make one of the most in demand kitchen remodelers in the area.

What is your design style?

Our goal is to provide clients with the kitchens of their dreams. Because there are so many variables when remodeling/renovating a kitchen, it is important to not only be able to create a beautiful kitchen but also to understand what is involved with the plumbing

and electrical behind the pretty tiles and beautiful appliances in order to make sure the kitchen functions properly.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients? Take time to read the book. Each client of Kitchen Renovations Perfected receives a binder filled with all the details and specifics for the project.

How do you begin a new design project?

We understand a kitchen remodel may be daunting as there are many decisions to be made. But with our extensive experience, we have created a logical planning process to accomplish the project with minimal surprises and/or challenges. We coordinate and oversee every step from start to finish. We work to educate our clients about appliances, lighting, cabinetry and ways in which to create the desired kitchen within the established budget and timeframe.

How do you approach making interiors both functional and beautiful?

A kitchen must be well-thought out and organized. For instance, it is better to make lower cabinets have drawers than shelves. The induction cooktop should be next to the oven, because when something hot is removed from the oven the best place to put it is on the cooktop. It is essential to have a good understanding of how a kitchen functions and to design it with a pragmatic layout.

5250 Town Center Circle

Boca Raton FL 33486


74 DESIGN STORY/kitchen & bath designs


For over 22 years, Trish Beaudet has owned Cashmere & Vine Interiors. Using her passion and flair for design, she works with clients on both commercial and residential projects. Beaudet loves the results when she uses opposites in her design – light and dark, soft and textured – to bring different elements into the space to create balance and beauty.

What is your design style?

While I am well versed in all types of design and focus my designs on my clients’ preferences, I would describe my design style as casual beach elegance. I love mixing styles and lines; I feel this adds depth and interest to any room.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients?

The best advice I give to my clients is to not focus every aspect and detail of the project. Too often, clients overthink the small decisions, when they really should be focused on the overall aesthetic. What is most important is the feeling or vibe they want the space to exude.

How do you begin a new design project?

Every design project begins with an in-depth fact-finding mission. I spend a great deal of time discussing the project in detail with my clients. I use these conversations to fully understand the functional desires the project needs to meet, how they want their space to function and what is the overall design or look they want to achieve. My designs are always based on the wants, needs and desires of my clients.

How do you approach making interiors both functional and beautiful?

The art of making interiors both functional and beautiful is to create a fine balance. I begin with the function and devise a plan to include these functional elements within the client’s desired design. There are so many products and materials on the market today that address functionality but do not hinder the design of a beautiful space.


75 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 DESIGN STORY/interior design


The definition of a well-designed home is a masterfully crafted kitchen. Certified kitchen and bath designer Barbara Geller, owner of The Place for Kitchens & Baths, has extensive experience designing and creating kitchens. And during this time, Geller has never created the same kitchen twice. Her design talents combined with her in-depth knowledge, extensive professional experience and hours she has accrued as a home chef allows her create beautiful kitchens; and to Geller, the definition of a beautiful kitchen is one in which the space functions beautifully.

What is your design style?

My educational background is in the fine arts, so I like to use my designer eye and artistic talents to put all the elements together for clients, regardless, if they want modern with clean lines, traditional with molding and corbets or transitional design.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients? I tell them to love what we choose and to choose what they love. But, I remind them it is important to stay focused and to always be mindful of the budget.

How do you begin a new design project?

Because I do a lot more remodeling projects than new construction, I like to meet the clients in their space and discuss what can and can’t be done to the existing space. Then we can begin to discuss how they want to use their kitchens and design the new space.

How do you approach making interiors both functional and beautiful?

I design kitchens with a focal point. I make sure that the kitchen is laid out, so it functions for the cook(s) using the space. I don’t want my clients to have to be on roller skates to get from the refrigerator to the prep area. I work to give my clients a designed kitchen that provides the most advantageous floor plan with the best designed cabinetry and properly selected appliances.


76 DESIGN STORY/kitchen & bath design


ometimes when visiting a large furniture retailer, its choices, wide selections and plethora of design styles create a blessing-and-a-curse scenario. Just trying to understand the different styles from Coastal and Modern to Casual and Contemporary makes it difficult to make furnishing decisions.

For over 50 years, the Florida-based retailer CITY Furniture has been on a mission to change the way people with live with beautiful furnishings. And as it continues to evolve to bring it customers the best, the furniture company has relaunched its CITY Interiors program.

The free design service allows customers to work one-on-one (be it online or in person) with an experienced and knowledgeable designer. The designer provides the client with complete mood boards, floorplans, color palettes and hand-picked furnishing selections in order to ensure that the client’s vision for a space is achieved.

And it couldn’t be easier, because the CITY Furniture team will manage the order process, delivery and installation, allowing clients to sit back (on that new chair or sofa) and enjoy the transformation of their living spaces.

CITY Furniture’s Managing Director of Services & Contract

Paige Thies provides additional insight into CITY Interiors:

What makes CITY Interiors unique?

Our free design service is soups to nuts. We want to make being able to use an interior designer accessible to everyone. We offer this service regardless, if a customer is looking to redo a single room, set-up a nursery or redesign their entire home. At the initial appointment, the designer and customer will discuss timeline, budget and begin to reimagine the space. (Our designers are even happy to assist with even choosing paint colors if requested.)

How does CITY Furniture & CITY Interiors handle clients differing design styles?

We cover all the design styles. We believe we have something for everyone and something for every aesthetic. All our designers are well versed in the different design styles, latest trends and current furnishing offerings.

What is the best way for a customer to use CITY Interiors?

The idea behind CITY Interiors is to instill confidence in our customers. After a home and a car, furniture is the largest purchase a homeowner will make. And we understand that for those who aren’t creatively inclined designing a living space, selecting furnishings, accessories and wall art may be

overwhelming. We want to assist customers in creating beautiful homes that work with their needs. Our designers understand that when it comes to creating an interior space it isn’t only about beauty but also functionality and high-quality furniture that will last.

If the customer just wants to update a space with a few accessories is the use of CITY Interiors service still free? Yes. It doesn’t matter if you just want to update a piece of furniture or just moved to Miami and need to furnish an entire house, the services provided by CITY Interiors is free. It is suggested that the customer talk to a designer about their ideas and project and see how the service can be of assistance. And if the customer decides to go in a different direction that is okay. There is no charge for the design services provided. CITY Furniture wants to give its customers access to full-service interior designers. It is determined to not only give customers the best shopping experience but also make it easy and pleasurable.


Boca Raton: 3350 North Airport Road, 561.750.5200

Cutler Bay: 18750 South Dixie Highway, 305.255.3538

Doral: 1450 NW 117th Place, 786.264.9513

Fort Lauderdale: 3501 North Federal Highway, 954.564.7700

Hialeah: 5250 West 20th Avenue, 305.825.2065

Hollywood: 3800 Oakwood Boulevard, 954.266.1384

Midtown Miami: 3635 NE 1st Avenue, 305.573.9125

Naples: 14250 Tamiami Trail North, 239.513.1535

North Miami: 1500 NW 167th Street, 305.628.9714

Pinecrest: 9255 South Dixie Highway, 305.662.1076

West Palm Beach: 2121 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, 561.684.3560

Photo Courtesy of City Furniture


lthough she pushes her clients beyond their comfort zones, Annie Santulli and her eponymous design firm create the most beautiful and comfortable interiors for their clients. But Santulli admits, that regardless of the space, a little glam is always required. “It may be sprinkled in with the use of certain fabrics or with an amazing light fixture because it is important to have a few glamorous touches,” she said.

What is your design style?

Luxurious, glamorous and unique aren’t words used to define a design style, but they are the words I like to use to describe the spaces I create for my clients regardless of the design aesthetic. The surrounding landscape becomes an integral part of my design plans be it the vistas of a golf-course estate or the views of an oceanfront penthouse. My interiors always compliment what is beyond the windows. Because I do not have a signature design style, I work with a diverse clientele.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients?

As a designer, I give a lot of advice. (It is usually the reason why people hire me.) The advice I give most often is for the client to be open minded about new ideas. Rather than just show photos or slides, I like to bring my clients to various showrooms so they can see, touch and experience the actual products. I do this whenever possible and believe it really assists with the design process. I need and want my clients to trust me while being fearless and taking a leap of faith.

How do you begin a new design project?

Of course, all design projects begin by assessing the space and learning about the needs of the client. Then begins the next phase of the design journey where I get inside my clients’ heads. I spend a lot of time getting to know who they are, how they use their space and especially what they find comfortable. Spending personal time with my clients works to not only inform my design choices but also assists to break down barriers and build trust. And trust is essential for when I want to push my clients’ boundaries.

How do you approach making interiors both functional and beautiful?

Here, in SoFlo, we are so lucky to have such stunning surroundings with an unusual combination of lush foliage and beatifull ocean. Any interior design project begins with this beautiful backdrop. I believe true functionality starts with comfort; but the definition of comfort is different for each client. I create beautiful interiors by looking at the space through the eyes of my clients.

78 DESIGN STORY/interior designer
116 Playa Rienta Palm Beach, FL 33418 561.630.8976


Afine home has plenty of fine art. The artwork placed on the walls of the designed interiors acts as the polish, gives the finishing touches and punctuation of personality for the space. The selected works of art should be pieces that homeowners like and speak to them in some way.

New York-based Israeli artist Gala Oelsner understands that most of the homeowners who purchase her art want beautiful things for their homes. They want to use art to enhance their vision of the spaces in which they live.

How do you describe your artwork?

I don’t like to define it because as an artist I always like to discover new channels. My goal is to incorporate as much as I can in my sculptures, photographs and paintings. I want to compose a work that allows me to channel what I want to say. I want to be able to transfer these ideas to the viewer when he/she sees the piece. I feel art is something that needs to move you. It needs to change you as you view it.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by nature and its transformations. I like to use natural and sustainable materials in my work. I also see a lot of parallels between my own life and my artwork. I use the themes of motherhood and womanhood a lot in my work. I also like to take images and things from their original definition and place them in different environments. For instance, in my photography, I take pictures of different flowers, cut them up and create new floral collages.

What do you think is the connection between fine art and interior design?

When you surround yourself with art, you are giving meaning to your surroundings. When we talk about interior design, we talk about creating something that is beautiful. I believe art is beautiful. You should want your spaces to have beautiful things because these things become part of you.

79 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 DESIGN STORY/artist/artwork
A HUG, handbuild whitestone ceramic


Sarah Zohar’s love for Mother Nature is what drives her interior design. She and her firm believe it is essential to bring nature and natural elements into the creation of living spaces. Zohar specializes in modern biophilic design which connects the outdoors with the indoors. It incorporates natural light and organic elements to enhance a home with not only beautiful interiors but spaces that are also designed to be positive and restorative.

What is your design style?

My design style is transitional biophilic with a modern touch. I understand how to play with materials and textures. I know how to mix elements. I then use my creative vision to transform a spaces.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients?

Trust the process. Often clients will drop by the job site and start to panic. Trusting the process is essential, as the result is ALWAYS spectacular.

How do you begin a new design project?

I like to start by brainstorming with clients. I want to learn what colors they like, material preferences, etc. It is important for me to get an understanding of what they want to achieve with the design of their living space.

How do you approach making interiors both functional and beautiful?

I love to utilize empty space. I love to incorporate hidden storage areas and use the space strategically. For instance, I have used Murphy Beds on many projects because they are convenient and functional. They allow a room to go from a game room to a guest room in seconds. I believe the key to good design is to make things look timeless, not dated.

2605 NE 189th Street

Miami FL 33180


DESIGN STORY/interior design DESIGN STORY/interior design


For over 20 years, Sklar Furnishings has been assisting South Florida residents in filling the homes they have created in both renovations and new builds with its team of full-service designers. Regardless of the size and scope of the project, Sklar works with its clients to create custom living spaces that suit their individual lifestyles.

Sklar’s Architect and Design Director Camila Harasic provides additional details about its curated showroom that showcases the latest design trends and newest furnishing styles.

What makes Sklar Furnishings unique?

Sklar Furnishings is a hybrid between a design studio and a curated showroom of modern and contemporary furniture. It has a talented team of international designers who work with clients to furnish their dream homes.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients? Design is not an easy or one-step process! It takes a vision and time to create beautiful spaces.

What is it that you want the Sklar design studio to be known for? We create unique spaces for each of our clients. No project or design is ever the same.

What is the first thing you do when working with a new client? We ask for a home visit. We want to understand how our clients utilize and live within their space and what they are looking to change.

What do you want people to experience when they walk into Sklar Furnishings?

The philosophy of Sklar’s buying team is buying to inspire – not to sell. We want everyone to feel inspired and invited to explore the endless possibilities of furnishings and designs we offer.

How does Sklar approach the various design aesthetics?

The vignettes we create throughout the showroom all have different personalities. We like to showcase how design can be fun, colorful and customized while embracing different design styles in harmony.

Does Sklar like to focus more on trends of lifestyle? Why?

We like to show the latest trends, but we will always prioritize each of our clients’ lifestyles and their needs. Most of the time, we can merge both trends and lifestyle to create up-to-date spaces that perfectly align with our clients’ styles of living. Our designers always strive to live up to the Sklar tagline … Your Space. Your Lifestyle. Your Choice.

6300 N. Federal Highway Boca Raton FL 33487 561.862.0800

DESIGN STORY/furnishings


Tokan Construction and Design is a boutique luxury interior design-build firm owned by Heather Ferreras-Tokan. The cornerstone of her approach to design is creating harmony between simple aesthetics and efficiency. This is the easiest thing to remember but one of the hardest things to attain. But it is aiming high that drives all that Ferreras-Tokan does.

What is your design style?

I am a modernist with a minimalistic design approach. Clean lines, monochromatic palettes and simplicity allows our eyes to devote more attention on what we want them to see. I even take a minimalistic approach with my wardrobe. Typically, I wear neutral-colored clothing because I want people to interact with my personality rather than focus on the colorful blouse I am wearing.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients? It is essential to trust the process. .

How do you approach making interiors both functional and beautiful?

During the consultation, I learn how my clients use the space in their home. Understanding my clients’ lifestyle allows me to plan and design with purpose.


DESIGN STORY/interior design & construction
Photos by 3Dography The bathroom was designed and constructed by Shawn Tokan, Heather’s husband and the person behind the construction side of the Tokan Construction and Design.


MAC Art Galleries is more than a gallery; it is a brand. It has a huge network of today’s leading artists and curators and maintains one of the largest and most diverse fine art collections in South Florida. Currently, it exhibits this thoughtfully curated collection of over 100 internationally acclaimed artists in over 20,000-square-feet of gallery space in its four South Florida galleries. In 2021, it opened its world-class Delray Beach gallery where it shows its most exclusive collections and hosts its exhibitions. It recently opened a new retail space in the heart of Delray’s downtown district, 518 East Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, 561.774.2928.

How does MAC Art Galleries determine the artists it will represent?

The most important element in determining which artists to represent is to select artists who create artworks that speak to us; we intuitively know will feed our clients’ souls. Since we have rather eclectic taste, we offer a wide selection of artistic styles, mediums and techniques. We exhibit art with a high level of sophistication for content and execution.

What is the connection between fine art and interior design?

Today, most spaces are contemporary, and clients are looking for statement pieces that not only define and reflect their feelings and desires but also make sense within the design of the space. We find that most people need assistance when selecting artwork from multiple sources; so, we assist in navigating the global art marketplace to source artwork. The goal is to carefully curate the art so it is part of the refined and finished interior design.

What does fine art add to well-designed interiors?

Fine art is the heart and soul of any interior. It elevates space to an entirely new level of sophistication. Our efforts ensure that the artwork our clients select not only inspires and reflects their personal aesthetic but also looks amazing in their surroundings. We pride ourselves on transforming spaces with fine art.

Who are some upcoming artists MAC Art Galleries thinks people should pay attention to?

We love the works of Walter Redondo, Jason Myers, Rene Romero Schuler, Bruce Rubenstein, John La Huis, Ed Nash, Frank Arnold, Esteban Leyva and James Leonard, plus many others who are internationally recognized by not always available in South Florida. We provide direct access to the best contemporary artists.

DESIGN STORY/art gallery
Painting by John La Huis
390 SE 2nd Avenue Delray Beach FL 33483
833 NE 4th Avenue Fort Lauderdale FL 33304 954.990.5420
Military Trail Jupiter FL 33458
Painting by Frank Arnold; glass spheres on wall by Thor & Jennifer Bueno



s a mainstay in South Florida’s interior design scene, Toby Zack has honed her talent for creating contemporary spaces with an emphasis on clean lines (because they never go out of style). Zack believes what makes a great interior designer is a good eye and an innate understanding of scale and proportion.

What is your design style?

Some people define it as minimalism, but I like classic contemporary. I like to start with the architectural elements of a space and then use my talents for space planning to create clean, linear, well-defined and well-designed interiors.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients?

The interior design must work for them. The space needs to be what they want and how they are going to use the home. Is it a vacation or primary residence? How do they expect to entertain? It is so important for them to share how and for what purpose they want to use the space.

How do you begin a new design project?

I start with getting the floor plan and looking at the space. It is essential to have a good floor plan. Then we define a scope of project, develop an understanding of the budget and go from there. I listen to the clients and get inspiration from what they want. I like to show lots of different fabrics with different textures but prefer to use more neutral colors. Then, I use rugs, artwork, decorative items to add color, whimsy and a little of the unexpected.

How do you approach making interiors both functional and beautiful?

My clients come to me because they like clean classic design. I often walk into a home that I did 25-years-ago and the interiors still look contemporary and current. I don’t like fads because they go out as quickly as they come in. If you buy things that are clean, simple with good classic design they will last forever. When it comes to contemporary furniture, I do like to buy the originals, but these can be expensive, so we often work to find something that has been more recently produced but provides the same aesthetic. The most important element of both function and fashion is space planning, scale and perspective. You must understand what will work within the space.

5940 SW 19th Street

Plantation FL 33317


DESIGN STORY/interior design


Antonini Modern Living makes it very easy to find and furnish a living space – everything from dining rooms to rugs – with modern and contemporary furnishings. The well-curated showroom makes it easy to create well-designed interiors with a cohesive look and feel.

What makes Antonini Modern Living unique?

Antonini Modern Living offers high-quality, handcrafted Italian furniture, accessories and rugs. It specializes in luxury, high-end furnishings this are designed to last. Its team of experienced designers work with clients to execute their personal vision and custom-look for their homes.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients?

It is important to invest in high-quality furniture that with its timeless contemporary design will last despite everyday wear-and-tear.

What is Antonini design studio known for?

It is known for its well-designed handcrafted Italian furniture. At its Boca Raton location it offers clients high-end and stylish furniture that not only looks good but is also durable and long lasting.

What is the first thing you do when working with a new client?

When working with a new client, Antonini’s designers strive to get a foundational understanding of his/her needs, desires and preferences. They will ask lots of questions about a client’s lifestyle and tastes to be able to design rooms with the proper furniture and best accessories to create the desired spaces.

What do you want people to experience when they walk into Antonini?

The Antonini Modern Living showroom is both welcoming and luxurious. The space should inspire clients with its well-curated and elegant design vignettes. With its experienced and talented team, clients should also feel confident that they are working with a knowledgeable team who will assist them in creating the perfect look for their homes.

How does Antonini approach the various design aesthetics? Although Antonini Modern Living has “modern” in its name, it offers furnishings and accessories that span a wide range of design aesthetics. Its complete collection offers looks that in addition to modern are contemporary and transitional. It believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to design and every client’s desires and preferences should we the focal point when creating their homes’ interior spaces.

Does Antonini like to focus more on trends of lifestyle? Why?

Antonini Modern Living focuses on both lifestyle and trends. It believes that furnishings should be selected based on a client’s vision for his/her own but also ensure that the chosen items are on-trend and contemporary for today’s living. The goal is always to create beautiful interiors with an approach that creates timeless designs that remain current for years to come.

85 SPRING/SUMMER 2023 DESIGN STORY/furnishings 9465 Glades Road Boca Raton FL 33434 561.757.6988


Design NS is a well-respected manufacturer of high-end custom-made leather furniture. Products include sofas, motorized sectionals, theatre seating, accent chairs and European sleepers. .

Nordic Group with its full architectural department creates and installs full-home projects. All millwork done on premises from custom designed kitchens, closets, complete home theater media cabinetry, acoustical wall panels and ceiling treatments. Audio-video technology packages available including professional installation offering total inhome cinematic experience.

These sister companies create beautifully detailed, comfortable and functional interior spaces. The Boca Ratonbased showroom and manufacturing facility are owned by the Makela family who are masters of their crafts, which began five generations ago in Scandinavia.

What trends are designers seeking in custom furniture?

Today, the trend is for simplistic clean furniture with neutral-colored imported leathers and textured fabrics. Design NS/Nordic Group custom builds hardwood furniture frames by hand using state of the art technology. Motorized seating with interchangeable features is integrated into its contemporary designs. According to Kai Makela, the furniture is still made with the original craftmanship.

How does Design NS/Nordic Group meet the demand for in-home theatres and entertainment spaces?

We have established a reputation for building custom and contemporary home media rooms/theaters from design to completion. Custom theater cabinetry, acoustical wall panels, ceiling treatments, custom power recliners and sofas. Complete home theater audio/video technology packages including professional installation is available to offer a total in-home cinematic experience.

What is the aesthetic of Design NS/Nordic Group?

Our collection of contemporary furniture is designed with an artisan aesthetic and crafted with excellence, made with the same spring and frame construction used since the company was founded. Our sleeper sofas feature European mechanisms and can be customized.

What does it mean to be only open to the trade?

Although the 40,000-square-foot showroom/factory is trade only serving professional interior designers and other members of the trade, we encourage homeowners to come with their designers. Design NS and Nordic Group proudly showcase high-end materials and a wide selection of custom furnishings all made in the United States.

Trade Only Showrooms
DESIGN STORY/interiors
Design NS
Nordic Group
1080 NW 1st Avenue Boca Raton FL 33432 561.338.5545


ith her eponymous design firm, Kendall Marcelle designs innovative interiors that reflect the individuality of each client. She and her team strive to create design options to epitomize each client’s style. And if she had to describe her design aesthetic, Marcelle would say it is quality and designs that are informed by the past and inspired by the future. Marcelle believes that quality design knows no boundaries.

What is your design style?

I consider my design style to be inviting and approachable with a sense of timeless elegance. I like to stay current but not be trendy. The details must be pragmatic and purposeful. I follow my creative nesting instincts and add various elements of surprise.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients?

Design is a process to embrace. If you allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone you will undoubtedly heighten your creative senses and become more open to new ideas. It’s important your home reflects your personality, lifestyle and experiences. Most importantly it should become your peaceful sanctuary.

How do you begin a new design project?

I set my projects up for success by listening to my clients’ ideas, thoughts and inspirations. I engage. I determine my clients’ style and expectations and then proceed with the creative process. My imagination becomes my pallet along with my clients’ criteria. We proceed with plans, renderings and samples for review. I like to make the experience memorable.

How do you approach making interiors both functional and beautiful?

Does the existing space function well-based on my client’s needs and lifestyle? Does it work? If not, I introduce architectural details and elements that will improve the flow of the space. The aesthetic and decorative elements follow with comfortable seating, textural fabrics, wall treatments, wood finishes, personal art and more. I have no limits from where I source my merchandise. This quest always leads to intrigue and success.

W1241 Stirling Road Dania Beach FL 33004 954.367.6170 DESIGN STORY/interior design


As a licensed interior designer, Dawn Causa prides herself on the hands-on, detail oriented approach that her firm Causa Design Group provides to both her commercial and residential clients. Causa doesn’t believe that a one-size-fits-all approach works when designing spaces; rather she believes that each home must work specifically and uniquely for each client.

What is your design style?

My design style is timeless with a focus on functionality. The design aesthetic must reflect the client’s lifestyle and personal needs.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients?

I have two pieces of advice. Be candid and open throughout the design process as this helps make the design journey go smoothly and give the stress and worries to me.

How do you begin a new design project?

Listening is the key to a happy client. Not only does listening allow me to learn the clients’ priorities, time frame and budget but also allows for the less obvious things such as the clients’ sleep habits, hobbies, family dynamics and/or love for a particular color to be heard. It is the subtleties of these conversations that can show up in the interior design.

How do you approach making interiors both functional and beautiful?

My approach is to offer a delicate balance; the importance of functionality can’t be understated. Once functionality is established beauty is defined by the details incorporated into the room. Never compromise one over the other.

954.652.1714 DESIGN STORY/interior design


When it comes to the contents of our homes, we all aspire to have our spaces and closets as neat as those of the Kardashian clan. And thanks to Lori Hoyt and her team at California Closets this can become more than just an item on a wish list. For the past 39 years, she and her siblings, Patti and Scott, have been assisting Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton homeowners with designing practical, pretty and custom storage-solutions.

What makes California Closets unique?

Our designers are trained to design not sell. Our experienced staff knows how to create not only beautiful but also practical and functional storage solutions. We also change our style and color offerings annually to remain current and on-trend.

What is the one piece of advice you give to all your clients?

Although we can create great storage spaces, clients must purge and clean out some of their stuff. Also, the suggestions we make about hangers and how to organize and store the contents of a closet/storage space should be taken seriously. We can create the most beautiful and functional closet, but if its contents aren’t arranged and organized in a pragmatic fashion, the closet’s design really doesn’t matter.

What do you want your team at California Closets to be known for?

After almost four decades of experience, I consider us the experts when it comes to closet design and storage solutions. We understand that closets have become more like rooms with pieces of furniture. We only use premium

materials and hardware. With our team of experienced designers and installers, we can create functional closets/storage solutions that go from the simple to the sublime.

What is the first thing you do with a new client?

We like to arrange a one-on-one consultation to get an understanding of the client’s needs and wants.


Fort Lauderdale Showroom: 1904 North Federal Highway

Boca Raton Showroom: 302 South Federal Highway

DESIGN STORY/closet design

designer details HOMEWORK

designer details HOMEWORK


Architect Thomas Diverio gets personal about the design of his family’s home

There is no doubt that when it comes to his work as a designer and architect, Thomas Diverio is comfortable putting his money where his beliefs are.

Diverio’s goal for the home he built for his wife and two children was to create the perfect tropical modern design living space.

“To me when I think of contemporary modern design, I think of a white box. I like to design architecture that is warm and inviting but still has clean lines with modern millwork,” he said. “I like tropical modern which is a blend of modern with a warmer feel.”

Diverio designed the house with a flat roof which he felt gave it a more modern design but used bronze window frames to create a warmer aesthetic. He used decorative slats that added to the design but also provided the home with more shade. He designed the slats from original home’s roof trusses from the house he torn down and he had them cut and milled.

“As an architect and designer when you go to design your own home you want to include as much of what you love as possible, but you must be practical. In my case this meant kid friendly. I had to make sure that the finishes and materials selected weren’t delicate and couldn’t be anything that could easily break or get stained. Everything had to be very durable and easy to clean,” he said.

Photos Courtesy of Thomas Diverio

The main living space of the home is an open-floor concept. Diverio loved creating a space that had a great indoor/outdoor living area.

“I like seeing the greenery and having a connection to outdoors. I designed the home with large windows and big sliding doors to easily extend the living space,” he said. Because Diverio and his wife like to have parties he wanted a space that had a great amount of openness and allowed for guests to hang out in the kitchen or around the pool and still be part of the action.

The dining area was designed to be casual in feel. “I like to design in efficient and functional ways and a create spaces for how we are going to use them,” he said.

Diverio used dark wood to complement the dark windows and louvres. He continued to use dark wood throughout the house.

The goal of the kitchen was to have it open out into the dining/great room. Diverio worked with Mia Cucina to design and build the kitchen.

The island is designed to look like stone but is made with porcelain. The breakfast table is dark wood and adds warmth and texture to the space. The upper cabinets are lacquered in a combination of finishes.

“I really wanted a clean and modern kitchen. It isn’t very large but it is efficient,” said Diverio. “It has storage that goes from the floor to the ceiling. I also didn’t want to have the appliances exposed so I hid the handles except for the ones on the refrigerator. I wanted to make the space very minimalistic.”

One of the great opportunities of designing his own home was that Diverio was able to really understand how the elements and materials he used (and frequently uses in his clients’ homes) allowed him to see how they really function and perform.

“I used most of my budget on the materials. I spent money on the flooring, the house’s doors and the kitchen cabinetry. These are the things you touch and feel all the time and are worth the added expense,” he said.

Diverio said his favorite room in the house is the great room because he loves to see the sun and shadows the louvres cast into the space.

He made the room’s fire place functional and decorative. The fireplace goes from floor to ceiling. At the bottom is a stone box and above is dark wood paneling.

It is interesting to note that Diverio recently sold this house and is now building a bigger home for his family.

“While designing the new house, I thought I wanted it to be different, but I keep coming back to the design of this house. I see the new home really as the evolution of what we started here,” he said.

“The new home’s great room is very similar in style and I again designed the kitchen to flow into the great room space.”

When designing homes, be it his or his clients, Diverio said he creates architecturally driven homes.

“The home’s architecture is very important. I find that I always design homes from the inside out. First I do the floorplans and focus on function and how the space is to be used. I know the specific design style I want to create it is just a matter of working with the layout of the house,” he said.

“Often I know the great room is going to be the focal point so I start there. Then, I begin to figure out the different rooms and the elements of the architecture.”


21065 Powerline Road, Boca Raton 561.702.0413

ALLIED KITCHEN AND BATH (showroom) 616 W. Oakland Park Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale 954.564.1611

CLIVE DANIEL HOME (interior design/home fashion retailer) 1351 NW Boca Raton Boulevard, Boca Raton 561.440.4663 2777 Tamiami Trail North, Naples 239.261.4663

CUSTOM DOOR SHOP (showroom) 4900 Linton Boulevard, Delray Beach 561.494.0820 126 Center Street, Jupiter 561.741.0603

DESIGN NS (showroom) 1080 NW 1st Ave. Boca Raton 561.338.5545

DORNBRACHT (kitchen & bathroom fixtures) Decorator’s Plumbing 3612 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami 305.576.0022

ANNIE SANTULLI DESIGNS (interior design)

ANTONINI MODERN LIVING (home fashion retailer) 9465 Glades Road, Boca Raton 561.757.6988

CALIFORNIA CLOSETS (home fashion retailer) 302 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale 1904 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton 954.946.2218

CASHMERE & VINE INTERIORS (interior design) 248.760.5037


HOME DESIGN STORE (home fashion retailer) 3750 NW 46th Street, Miami 305.633.1355

KENDALL MARCELLE DESIGN ASSOCIATES (interior design) 1241 Stirling Road, Dania Beach 954.367.6170

KEN GOLEN DESIGNS (interior design) 1290 Weston Road, Weston 954.388.7261

design directory

MCMOW ART GLASS (showroom) 811 N Dixie Highway, Lake Worth Beach 561.585.9011

NATURALLY CREATIVE (showroom) 1141 NE 45th Street, Oakland Park 954.772.7979

NORDIC GROUP (interior design) 1080 NW 1st Ave. Boca Raton 561.338.5545

THE PATIO SHOPPE (home fashion retailer) 7355 Sample Road, Coral Springs 954.752.0161

11268 Legacy Avenue, Palm Beach Garden 561.776.9980

CAUSA DESIGN (interior design) 954.652.1714

CITY FURNITURE/CITY INTERIORS (interior design/home fashion retailer)


5250 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton 561.372.9044

MAC ART GALLERIES (art gallery) 390 SE 2nd Avenue, Delray Beach 954.990.5420

PERLA LICHI DESIGN (interior design) 2101 NW 33rd Street, Pompano Beach 954.726.0899

THE PLACE FOR KITCHENS AND BATHS (renovations/remodels)

285 SE Mizner Boulevard, Royal Palm Place, Boca Raton 561.338.7171

SARAH Z DESIGNS (interior design) 305.906.5500

SIMPLITFY (IT Support) 561.425.6100

SKLAR FURNISHINGS (home fashion retailer) 6300 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton 561.862.0800

TOBY ZACK DESIGNS (interior design) 5940 SW 19th Street, Plantation 954.967.8629

WARNER-PROKOS PHOTOGRAPHY (portrait photographer)




a coveted item


There is no doubt that Toto’s new Neorest LS is flushed with beauty.

The high six-figure toilet from the global brand rooted in Japanese culture offers award-winning engineering, an edgy shape and the ultimate in simplicity.

But there is nothing simple about this toilet. Toto is known for its powerful flush system, which uses a pressure-assisted flush to effectively clear waste from the bowl. The system not only prevents clogs but also reduces the amount of water needed for each flush, making this toilet an environmentally friendly indulgence.

The Neorest LS expands Toto’s line of premium smart bidet toilets and adds a bit of glamour with the design’s accentuated metallic decorative trim (silver, nickel or black) and matching stick-style remote control.

There is no doubt that the luxurious experience of sitting on this throne will make anyone feel like the king or queen of the castle.; Available @ Allied Kitchen & Bath, 616 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, 954.564.1611,

ID# 1727 2101 NW 33

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