Colors Of Aruba

When Miami designer Juan Poggi got the call from his clients inviting him to design their Aruba get-away … he wasn't surprised at their caveat: "We're going to work with color!"
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"Typically, I use color in subtle splashes," interior designer Juan Poggi says. "But these clients were totally fearless." And the resulting color palette is a cartwheel of magentas, purples, reds and greens — all artfully grounded by hues of linen, white and cream.

Poggi was first called to Aruba, the smallest of the "ABC" islands — Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao — three years ago when the condominium was but an empty shell. "I had the ability to place walls so that the resulting living space is simply filled with tropical light." With such carte blanche, the designer opened the main living area to the second level via a soaring balcony and blurred the boundaries between kitchen, dining and living areas below.

But let's start from the top. Just steps from the aqua waters of Eagle Beach, this three-story, 5,000-square-foot penthouse looks out to the Caribbean, most stunningly, from its rooftop terrace. "The wind is ever present on Aruba," Poggi says. As a result, the seating areas are divided into enchanting cabanas with creamy but weather-worthy Sunbrella fabric curtains that give privacy and protection. Paola Lenti magenta-and-coral sofas, rope sphere chairs and pouf cocktail tables from Luminaire are beautifully designed — the woven-cord fabric impervious to the weather. Nearby, an eight-person hot tub hides behind one of Poggi's signature sculptural planters, while rich, red custom-designed tiles run the expanse of the stainless steel outdoor kitchen.

Just off the entry hall, one wall of the jubilant guest room is literally circled with color. A vibrant red "Egg Chair" by Arne Jacobsen adds to the fun.

As if a respite from the blinding blue of the sea and color-soaked sunsets, the main living area is a study in calm. White walls and pale marble flooring team with Poggi's custom linen sofas and quartz-stone tabletop in a trance of tranquility. A sisal area rug, nesting teak cocktail tables and a wood-slat chair by B&B Italia all lend the feel of outdoors-in to the living area.

Across the space, Poggi did not forget the dictum to play with color. Dramatic, purple-linen sofas and their generous beige pillows may suggest 'don't sit on me in a wet swimsuit,' but "this is a family who loves the beach and wants a home in which they feel comfortable," he says. "And the durable Perennials fabrics don't mind a bit."

But nowhere is the ambiance of Aruba more on display than dining alfresco in the sweet, soft air of a tropical night. Sheltered beneath a simple Lucite canopy, the Parsons-like teak table is surrounded by aluminum geometric chairs by Roda as large lanterned candles sparkle in the night.

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Interior Design
Juan Poggi, Poggi Design, Coral Gables, FL

John Stillman, Hollywood, FL

Text by
Marina Brown