When you think of a beach home, you may begin to picture nautical rope décor, blue and white color palettes, and lots of shell accents that while charming, read a bit cheesy. But one look at this picturesque Miami Beach home is sure to change your perception of seaside design—for good.
The design duo behind Calimia Home, husband and wife Gustaf Svensson and Monique Miller, renovated this 1930s home to showcase their client’s extensive art collection, the standout furnishing selections, and the home’s picture-perfect outdoor space.
This 5 bed, 4 bath home (with an office space included) comes in at 3,500 square feet and is set on the Sunset Islands of Miami Beach, Florida. “Our clients were coming from New York and were used to walking everywhere, so a central location was important,” Miller says. “Sunset Harbour is not only waterfront, but walking distance to shops and restaurants too.”
In all our South Florida designs, we pay attention to the lush surroundings of the home, the architecture, and the personality of the clients.
Because the clients were moving from a small apartment in NYC, their new home would now comfortably fit the family of four—and include accommodations for the kids. For example, though beautiful, the existing marble floors were sacrificed in order to find a more “kid-friendly," alternative.
“I wanted to warm up each room with rugs from our favorite Aussie brand Armadillo + Co. after removing the marble floors,” Miller notes. “We wanted this home to feel warm and inviting, but also give a nod to its art deco, Miami roots.”
Read on to get the full scoop on this Miami renovation and see how Calimia Home transformed this space into a waterfront oasis.
The design duo defines their style as a bit Scandifornian, a combination of Miller’s laid-back Southern California roots and Svensson's Scandinavian background. This design style shines in not just this home, but every home Calimia tackles.
“We love bringing in natural elements while incorporating layers with vintage textiles,” the duo shares. “Our aesthetic is clean, eclectic, and fresh, and is evolving with each of our designs.”
When approaching this home’s design, the duo kept in mind that the client was not looking to take on any major remodels or knock down any walls. After all, the original curved staircase and the waterfront backyard were already picture perfect.
“Our client did not want to do any major renovations, but just wanted to furnish, paint, and take advantage of the outdoor living,” Miller says. “They wanted the home to be ‘turn-key,’ hoping to arrive with their suitcases and settle into their new life in Miami. Although we did not do any major remodeling to this home, we were able to transform it with furnishings and décor for this young family.”
Before the pair could get to the actual transformation, first came the inspiration. They gathered plenty of ideas for this home off of Instagram, from old design books, and the pair’s past travels. “Although we have not traveled in a while, I still look to my phone for photos from our travels that inspire me,” Miller says.
Although we did not do any major remodeling to this home, we were able to transform it with furnishings and décor for this young family.
This home features stunning original details, like the art deco exterior and curved marble staircase, while also incorporating some Florida coastal details in the shutters. “The exterior set the tone for the rest of the home,” Miller notes. “In all our South Florida designs, we pay attention to the lush surroundings of the home, the architecture, and the personality of the clients.”
When it came to a color scheme, the goal was to stay neutral but still visually interesting by incorporating different textures and natural woods. The house boasts lots of windows, letting in beautiful light and views to the lush yard and waterfront, and so the Calimia team cited the surroundings as a complement to the design.
The design plan began outdoors with the exterior of the home. All of the landscaping was cleaned up, and the Calimia team added two beautiful pots with fan palms. “I worked with plant designer Hilary Bailey at Studio Madre Selva on all the plants interior and exterior, which really brought all our spaces together,” Miller says. “Fun fact: we found all the exterior pots on the side of the house, they were a brown color that we limewashed white.”
Upon entering the home, you are greeted by the curved stairs in the entry and a pedestal table with fresh flowers. The entry embraces an elevated beachy vibe with whitewashed woods and a round, textured jute rug.
Moving into the dining and living area of the home, the former dining room is now a playroom, and there is an added, casual dining space that flows into the living room. “We added some oak spindle chairs with linen cushions, and since there was no electrical for a chandelier, we instead went with a wall-mounted swing light,” Miller says. “The fireplace and mirror originally offended me with the floors, but after all our furnishing came in, it fit perfectly.”
The living room was cut in half to allow room for the dining nook, but it still had plenty of room for a deep, cozy sofa. The sofa is paired with an ottoman from Amber Interiors that gives a pop of pattern to the space paired with a Spanish leather chair.
One of the standout rooms of the home is the office, where the client can successfully run her jewelry business. "This room got so much natural light, and I thought it would make a perfect creative space,” Miller notes.
Featured in the space is an unused CB2 dining table from the client as a desk with a hole cut in the center for the wires. “My partner and I got real DIY in here with the linen pinboards made from soundboard, selfie mirror, and Instagram-inspired gallery wall,” Miller says. “I worked with Alexa on her favorite images and quotes to create a cohesive story."
Another stunner in the home is undoubtedly the backyard space, which embraces all that is Miami living. Basket pendants hang overhead of the teak dining table accompanied by lightweight white chairs with custom perennials stripe cushions. The lounge area is the Mesa Teak collection from Restoration Hardware, and with its linen weave perennials, it feels lived-in and relaxed.
The kids of the family have several places to unleash their playfulness and creativity in this home, starting with the dining room-made playroom. “I am a firm believer about using every space in your home and making it functional,” Miller says. “I love the original corner arch built in, and it made for a nice styling moment. We used the little play mat tile to basically cover the whole room, added some storage with baskets, and colorful artwork.”
Both kids' rooms received a limewash and wallpaper combination, which transformed each space. And over in the baby boy’s nursery, a playful wave-looking wallpaper from Magnolia Home is on full display. “We added these cute open shelf units from Crate & Barrel Kids to hold all his trucks and books, Rejuvenation plug-in sconces over the shelves to make the wall complete, and added a cozy rug that fit in perfectly,” Miller notes.
This home perfectly blends personal touches with the historical, pre-existing architecture for an end result that feels modern yet classic. Miller worked off her own personal design philosophy with this project, which she says is, “Listen to your gut and don’t overthink it. Often I will get in my head and second guess, but my first intuition is always right.”