Family Living Miami Style

Designer Jenny Carter Transforms An Oceanfront Condo Into A Chic Yet Fun Environment that Perfectly Suits Her Sophisticated Clients And Their Four Children
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When a native-Miami couple sought a vacation retreat for their family of six, their search led to the exclusive One Bal Harbour building and a 6,000-square-foot apartment that combined two neighboring units. "This apartment met every criterion in terms of size, location, amenities and view," says interior designer Jenny Carter, whose long-standing professional relationship with her clients spans more than a decade.

This project marks Carter's third collaboration with the couple, whom she describes as "married best friends, philanthropists and great parents." Carter designed their primary residence in Washington, D.C., and is currently overseeing a total renovation of their home in Jerusalem, Israel. For this project, as well as the others, the designer's familiarity with her clients' lifestyle demands and aesthetic preferences provided the groundwork for the decor — a practical space designed for ultimate comfort and family enjoyment. Many of the original room partitions were demolished to open up the space as Carter reconfigured nearly every inch throughout the four-bedroom unit, conducting a "forensic" investigation that yielded approximately 200 square feet of additional, previously unusable, footage. "They wanted modern, they wanted Miami and they wanted fun," she says. "The resulting style is pure urban beach chic … truly Miami."

The decor scheme unfolds with a sense of drama, starting in the elevator entry with a custom-designed art installation of white "coral" branches anchored by cabinetry in a bright red polyester finish that provides handy storage for the family's beach gear. Hand-selected Lagos Blue limestone from Portugal continues into the grand salon, where floor-to-ceiling water features in a colorful floral pattern stand in counterpoint to the all-white furnishings that reside in the combined living and dining space, cleverly delineated by twin recessed ceilings. Here, panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway are uninterrupted by low-slung leather furniture.

Characterized by the designer as the family's in-home sports bar, the cozy, combined home theater/media center fit with multiple flat screen TVs, game room and lounge features a Miami Dolphins palette of bright turquoise and orange. "This room didn't exist before the home's renovation," Carter says. "We created the space from an original hallway and some closet space." Being adjacent to the master suite required outfitting the entire room with acoustical wall compositions, coverings and carpeting to isolate the sound.

"They wanted modern, they wanted Miami and they wanted fun," interior designer Jenny Carter says. "The resulting style is pure urban beach chic … truly Miami."

The all-white palette of the grand salon returns in the master bedroom. "This room is the essence of the quintessential, restful bedroom palette," Carter says. "No jarring color, just texture and finishes for interest." An area rug featuring a koi fish motif rendered in muted tones of chocolate, silver and beige anchors the sleeping area, where a contemporary bed with padded leather headboard faces a wall of glass. White opulence continues in the master bath, where countertops of Valley Gold Colorado marble coalesce with white oak cabinetry finished in a shimmering silver-toned stain and walls clad in pewter-toned wall covering culminate in a "champagne bubbles" ceiling.

The designer attests that this particular apartment truly embodies the family's young, fun, high-energy vibe. "This is a very sophisticated, world-traveling family," she says. "But once their lives touch down at MIA, and by the time they reach their home, boots and scarves are replaced with bathing suits and flip flops."

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Interior Design
Jenny Carter, K2 Design Group, Inc., Bonita Springs, FL

Kim Sargent, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Text by
De Schofield