Florida Design's Miami Home & Décor Summer/Fall '11 "Mixing Style & Substance"
pages 88-95 Text by De Schofieldl, Photography by Robert Brantley
Designer Joe Nahem combines South Beach glam with practicality in reinterpreting a beachfront condo to suit family-friendly living.
After viewing countless South Beach spaces in search of the perfect seasonal getaway for their young family of five, New York City-based homeowners Luigi Caiola and Sean McGill found this spacious, oceanfront condo in the highly desirable Continuum building. “With three small children, we desired a place that was beautiful yet also functional,” Caiola says. “The complex has everything we need for a family lifestyle, plus the apartment itself is incredible with fantastic views.”
Purchasing this 2,300-square-foot unit plus terrace as finished space, Caiola and Mcgill then called upon their longtime friend and designer Joe Nahem. “Their original intent was to keep the floor plan status quo and just install new furnishings,” Nahem says. “After careful inspection, however, my honest opinion was that they would be much happier living here if we did some major renovation work.”
The complete turnkey project proved a challenging endeavor, including outfitting the place with everything from furnishings and artwork, to flatware and bedding, but was successfully completed within three months. The resulting makeover found nearly every room experiencing some change, from opening up closets and eliminating drop ceilings, to all-new interior finishes including lighting, draperies and wall coverings. Only the original terrazzo floors remained intact.
This project marks the fifth collaboration of Nahem and his clients, including the homeowners’ permanent residence in Chelsea, as well as offices for Caiola’s real estate development firm and two vacation retreats. Understandably, once Nahem showed his clients a plan of how he envisioned the space, they readily agreed to a complete makeover, giving the designer and his team carte blanche in creativity. “We wanted it to have a real sense of place,” McGill says, “a home where we could just open the door, enjoy the view and have everything for a relaxed, casual stay.”