Sleek And Unique

While College Students May Head To Fort Lauderdale's Beaches To Celebrate Spring Break, It's In One Lovely Las Olas Neighborhood That This Sophisticated Couple Found Their Home Year Round
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What do you do when one has a high-pressure career in finance; the other is a world-traveling executive in the aviation industry; both of you are busy raising three active sons; and you want to leave your traditional home for a sleekly modern condominium in another city?

Having found the perfect 3,300-square-foot, three-level townhouse in a five-story building in Las Olas — Place des Arts, a boutique-filled "Paris in the Tropics" designed by architect Shabe Aimes within Fort Lauderdale's city sphere — this busy couple knew they needed to find a designer and fast. To their surprise, their old house had sold in record time and they now needed to move within eight short weeks.

Without thinking twice, the couple called on interior designer Joseph Fava. "Well, something like that," Fava laughs. In fact, the owners had called Nessen Showroom at the Design Center of the Americas for a referral. It just happened that Fava was right there working on another project. Pure serendipity.

"But it only took us meeting Joe once," the owner says. "Seeing some of his ideas and how carefully he listened to what we had in mind, we decided immediately that he was the one. Now, looking back, we know how lucky we were."

Diverting from their traditional house in beiges and browns, the couple asked Fava for a contemporary streamlined scheme — whites, metals and woods. "I travel often to Germany and love the clean European modernism there," the owner says. And with the condo's unusual configuration of walls and windows, the designer's imagination was off and running.

"The building's architecture drove a great deal of the design decision," Fava says. A kitchen, dining area, living area, den and a guest room are on one level.

A sweeping circular stairway leads to another bedroom, the master suite and laundry room above. Yet another stairway opens onto the third level with its striking penthouse view west to the Intracoastal Waterway and east to the Atlantic. And it's only occasionally that one finds a straight wall in this townhouse.

Curvilinear lines are everywhere. Behind the living area's cream-leather sofas, Arabel's ivory sheers subtly drape toward the kitchen. And bumping out from the other side, a dining area's corner has been omitted in favor of a luminous glass block wall that curves to become structural sculpture. Nubby silk brown and cream chairs from Artefacto face a generously sized wood and chrome cocktail table with intricate geometric inlays.

Family time moves from the kitchen with its rounded soffits and curved absolute black granite countertops to the living area's coziness provided by a lightly floating wall-hung entertainment center with mirrored folding doors and display shelves. "With all the rounded lines, I wanted to keep the furnishings angular," Fava says. "It provides a balance and a visual respite."

"Staggered sophistication" is how Fava describes Nuevo Living's crystal drop track lights in the dining area. They act as a counterpoint to the powerful lines of the recycled wood table in stacked bars of parquet. Simple taupe leather chairs don't distract from the table or the dramatic cascade of colors in a painting by Reynolds from Rosenbaum Fine Art.

Yet nowhere is as dramatic as the master suite. White on white, simple lines and dark woods float toward the watery light. Windows, covered by stained-glass paintings that when illuminated let each floor of the building appear to be a Monet watercolor shimmering in the night, force the rest of the room into a peaceful serenity.

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Interior Design
Joseph C. Fava, Fava Design Group LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Craig Denis, Miami, FL

Text by
Marina Brown