Miami's Scenic Views

Overlooking Biscayne Bay And The Downtown Cityscape, Minimalist Chic Meets Eco-Friendly Whimsy In Designer
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From Gustavian to IKEA, Swedish design is an icon for timeless innovation and inspired creativity. And the latest name on the country's long list of style credits is Sweden-born designer Sofia Joelsson.

Upon moving to Miami Beach 10 years ago, Joelsson's first home was in the same building where her office is located. But the decision to put some distance between work and home precipitated a move to The Setai, where she lived until completing this penthouse unit in the Ana Capri complex of the luxury waterfront condominium building Capri South Beach. Joelsson purchased her new home as a raw space and personally directed the build-out of the 5,561-square-foot apartment and its 3,500-square-foot rooftop terrace with spectacular views overlooking Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami. "I remember a day shortly before I closed on the unit," the designer says. "The sunset was so amazing, with these incredible, 360-degree views, that I knew I'd made the right choice to make this space my new home."

"My previous place was all about glitz and glamour, but for this space, I wanted a feeling of solitude, calm and peace," Joelsson says.

With the views as her muse, Joelsson's monochromatic scheme and minimalist style artfully blend inside and out. Natural materials predominate, including stone, wood, leather and other organic elements, all carefully assembled to achieve a cohesive balance. From the entry foyer to the rooftop terrace, continuous flooring of vein cut travertine extends throughout to provide a seamless, cream-toned backdrop. "Instead of bold colors, I used textures in a layering effect to create depth," Joelsson says. "My goal was to make the view stand as the focal point with the waterfront itself as the primary artwork for the space."

In the living room, tonal shades of white and cream initiate the sense of serenity that prevails throughout the home. Joelsson's starting points for the room were its striking organic elements, a petrified wood-based floor lamp and a collection of petrified wood art accents.

The slight curvature of the seating area, designated by a circular area rug made of brick-patterned hide, complements the room's offbeat proportions, which feature an angular shape with an arced back wall.

The home's sleek style continues in the nearby kitchen, which is open to the living room. Here, white and cream repeat; this time countered by deep chocolate wood tones and stainless steel.

White also dominates Joelsson's home office, where the designer updated the trellis-based desk from her previous residence with a custom glass top and paired it with an ebony wood and leather armchair.

"The idea was to create a really fun space that has a whimsical feel yet is still highly functional and flexible," Joelsson says of the rooftop terrace.

Lush tactile elements, like the fluffy Kiwami area rug and natural linen headboard, counter glossy surfaces in the soothing master bedroom. Joelsson redesigned the original wall behind the bed to house Ornare's floor-to-ceiling closet system, now tucked behind custom sliding doors faced in matte white lacquer and accented with a middle panel of white crocodile leather.

Outside, the spectacular rooftop terrace, a space made for hosting a variety of gatherings with multiple seating areas, a fully equipped summer kitchen, bar and game area, and a Jacuzzi, is undoubtedly the home's main entertaining space. Pale shades of cream and cloudy gray lend a sense of calm and serenity, and provide continuity with the indoor decor. "The idea was to create a really fun space that has a whimsical feel yet is still highly functional and flexible," Joelsson says. And with Miami's skyline as a backdrop and the tranquility of the bay anchoring its views, it's easy to see why this South Beach penthouse is the perfect place to call home.

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Interior Design
Sofia Joelsson, SoJo Design, Inc., Miami Beach, FL

Joey Accordino, Miami, FL

Text by
De Schofield