A Work Of Art
Redefined With A Design That Softly Complements The Owners’ Artwork Collection, This Elegant Fisher Island Retreat Celebrates Their Passion For Art
Stuart Geller, Geller Design Group, Hallandale Beach, FL
Robert Catasus, Miami, FL
Callum Gibb, Callum Gibb Architects, Coral Gables, FL
James Fitzgerald, DBK Industries, Inc., Plantation, FL
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To say the owners of this striking Fisher Island condo have an affinity for art is an understatement. A seasoned passion richly cultivated over the decades is more accurate. The couple’s private art collection isn’t just a mere grouping of paintings and sculpture that they enjoy viewing from time to time. They call some of the works old friends, pieces that compile a visual diary of their life together and a respect for the art that they have been acquiring for more than 30 years. “My wife and I have been to about 70-75 countries and in each place we go we always come back with a work of art from that country,” the husband says.
The owners’ vast collection embellishes their spacious 5,000-square-foot condominium on Fisher Island, a peaceful private island just minutes from Miami Beach. Recently, they enlisted interior designer Stuart Geller and his talented team in what he describes as a joint project for a couple that he has tremendous admiration for. “To have the ability to work with discerning clients in a collaborative way with such an amazing collection was truly an honor,” he says. “Their passion for art and their methodical way of doing everything is to be admired. They really put themselves into the design process.”
Passing through the entry, the gallery intersects just before the living area. As its name suggests, the corridor is a platform of simplicity punctuated by pieces of art and sculpture that tell stories to announce the interior scheme. The neutral palette, tastefully reflected in the living area, flows throughout the home to establish a foundation for welcome bursts of color. “My clients requested an interior that spoke ever so softly so that all of their art could be noticed,” Geller says. Minimalist furnishings, textiles and fabrics were chosen so as not to compete with the artwork. “We laugh now because only we know how much time and effort went into creating this ‘effortless’ look,” the designer says.
Color is introduced in measured, purposeful doses. A large Lino Tagliapietra blue and yellow glass piece, titled Dinosaurs, signifies entry into the living area. Another brilliant focal point is Broken Mold Monkey, a statue by ceramic artist Scott Causey. It is poised atop an oval cocktail table custom designed by Geller to blend in with two sofas clad in Nancy Corzine’s wool chenille, and a Tai Ping wool-and-silk area rug.
The dining area is an extension of the living area and is anchored by several robust elements. Beneath a sculptural glass chandelier, custom designed by Andrew Bott, is a dining table — conceptualized by the wife — with three panes of pickled metal supporting a large glass top. Positioned around the table is a grouping of the owners’ original chairs that date back to the 1970s. Incorporating them brings a sense of familiarity and nostalgia to the space. Geller had them reupholstered with ultra suede in the same vibrant apple green fabric as the originals.
Unmistakable threads of elegance continue in the family room, where several design tenants boldly anchor the space. Most notably, sculptor Deborah Butterfield’s bronze horse statue mimics the rustic nature of wood behind a plush modular sofa. Its simplistic outline is emboldened by a circular recessed panel of light that brings the piece to the next level.
The master bedroom exudes understated luxury. “We just love this space,” the wife says. “It’s enormous, comfortable and exciting.” Situated beneath a quatrefoil ceiling with an artistic pendant custom designed by Matthew Miller, a bed floats out from a curved custom headboard. Designed by Geller and clad in a pale-blue shagreen, it recalls 1930s design. Gradually, the headboard tapers and curves around to embrace a pair of oval, white-lacquered bedside chests topped with blue marble.
Even the master bath exhibits art pieces purposely placed. A metal sculpture hangs on the wall above a tub accented with striking green marble. “The sculpture is stimulating to look at directly — it changes with the light at different times of day,” the wife says of sculptor Steven-Doussou-Yuva’s intriguing work. Overhead, a pendant from Farreys Lighting & Bath provides ample illumination to accent the couple’s artwork and a custom vanity finished in elegant silver leaf.
Ocean views provide an artistic backdrop on the covered terrace, where a custom glass cocktail table designed by artist Eric David Laxman adds a sculptural element to a simple rattan seating ensemble. On one end of the terrace, two glass doors fabricated by glass artist William Carlson cast fanciful prisms of color onto the space. Even with a condominium on a private island, the owners didn’t rely solely on the external views to define the interior scheme. They incorporated their passion for well-chosen art to tell a story that is unique only to them. Their home — and art collection inside — is truly one of a kind.