Modern Maven

Transforming Mondrian South Beach Penthouse into Ultra-Modern Masterpiece

Story by Josie Gulliksen
Photos by Simon Hare

When a young couple from Monaco decided to buy a seasonal home in Miami they chose the Mondrian South Beach and went straight to the top – to the penthouse that is. The residence consists of two PH-level units that were combined to create a 4,500-square-foot space. The home features three bedrooms, four baths, an office, and formal and informal living rooms.

“The clients are a young couple with a fabulous baby boy; they are a lovely, beautiful family,” said Osirys Mendez, principal at Mendez Vela Design. “They’re a British couple who reside in Monaco, so this is a seasonal home for them.

The Mendez Vela Design team met the couple as a referral and quickly selected contractor Oscar Corral from Granhaus Corporation General Contractors to renovate and construct the new home from the ground up. “They worked with the clients before and they insisted we meet. It was immediately obvious that the couple was impressed by Granhaus’s professional and responsible business ethics. Oscar and his father and partner did all the construction in a coordinated and timely manner, in order to comply with the schedule. It was a success,” Mendez said.

For the interior design, the couple agreed on a modern look, except she preferred a classic modern approach while he leaned toward a more ultra-modern feel. Taking both into account, Mendez Vela Design went to work on designing a space that would appeal to both. It also helped that they were extremely easy to work with, and because they grasped their style instantaneously. Once that was established, “they approved everything from the first few selections we gave them. They are very no-nonsense,” Mendez said.

Enter this luxurious living space and the Fendi Casa obsession is obvious. The entrance foyer features an eggplant-colored Canova chest and crystal console where the pieces are layered, crystal decanters, mirror made of exotic Galluchat leather and Moreno lamp all from Fendi Casa and Luxury Living. The rich-colored 3-D wallpaper is from Club by Kenneth James.

To the left of the foyer is the kitchen from Ornare with LED lights. Very monochromatic with clean lines, white lacquer, stainless-steel, glass and white quartz countertops, it has a lot more depth than is visible to the naked eye. The stools were custom made in Milan and purchased by the Mendez Vela Design team on a trip to Europe. The kitchen appliances are all Miele and SubZero.

The kitchen flows into the open living space, where the dining room is the centerpiece between two sitting areas. The waterfront views are spectacular through the floor-to-ceiling glass that spans the length of the space.

Dining roomThe PPM Collections Italy and Swarovski Crystal Palace custom-made chandelier above the dining table is an instant conversation starter. Suspended with a trio of wires, it almost resembles a giant, yet simple elegant diamond wedding band. The high-back armless chairs were also custom and made in Italy. They are covered in aqua velvet fabric with chrome nail heads and surround the glass top Fendi Casa table. Keeping watch over the room is alligator sculpture Born to be Wild by William Sweetlove, which rests on top of a glass double-sided eye-shaped bar made of white glass which opens from both sides.

An avid art collector, several of the couple’s colorful pieces adorn the walls behind the Il Loft white leather sections by Giorgio Sabority. The colorful area rug by Kenzo at Luxury Living complements the color palette; the coffee table is burl finish gloss wood also by II Loft and purchased at the Milan Fair in Italy.

The opposite side of the living room is entirely Fendi Casa, including the purple rug, complemented by a cashmere and fur throw in camel tones, along with the clustered tables made of Galluchat leather and lacquer in off-white. And outside the living and dining area is the sweeping rooftop balcony terrace done entirely in Luminaire, featuring an outdoor shower, bar and Jacuzzi. Panoramic bay views of Star Island enhance and boost this piece of Miami Beach real estate.

Art plays a major role in the office décor as well, where a original Britto wall piece and desk sculpture are displayed. “The client is a fan and collects original Britto pieces as well as other artists,” said Mendez. The desk is custom-built glass and lacquer made in Italy while the white leather chair and side table are both Fendi Casa.

There’s a story behind the DeSede desk chair in that it’s the same chair seen in the James Bond flick Casino Royale. “Because he’s British, he is a huge Bond fan and when I mentioned the chair had been used in the movie he loved the idea,” Mendez said. The black-and-white patterned office area rug is by Kyle Bunting and made of pony hair.

bedroomThe master bedroom is again, homage to Fendi Casa with its purple bedding, chairs and eggplant-colored area rug. Ornare is represented in the custom-made lacquer and croco leather armoire with chrome accents. Italian matching nightstands with Murano glass handles and legs, lacquer and Carrara marble and the upholstered wall in champagne-colored damask print and Venetian mirror complete the room. The interior spares no detail.

The master bathroom, completely enclosed in glass, features a Roman sculpture mosaic mural in sky-blue tones with a free-standing tub and for dramatic effect (and function), a PPM Collection Italy crystal chandelier.

The guest bedroom mimics the master suite and features a spacious master bathroom also with custom blended Mosaic walls and wallpaper by Romo. The bedroom features custom built white leather beds with LED lighting meant to be used as one for a couple or separately. The white lacquer and chrome armoire and closets are also by Ornare.

The chic powder room, with matching black lacquer vanity and Baroque black lacquer mirror over a champagne metallic wallpaper from Club by Kenneth James, creates a dramatic effect while a Swarovski crystal ceiling lamp by Schoenbeck from PPM Collections Italy adds to the chic environment.

A vibrant color scheme of turquoise and orange with a touch of black and white and Hermes leather accents and throw are “fit for a little king,” Mendez said. “He truly is so adorable he takes your breath away.

This masterpiece penthouse is a haven of open spaces and modern touches in every corner with unexpected accessories like bathroom chandeliers along with a wide array of custom-made pieces in virtually every room. It truly is a vacation home the couple can look forward to visiting time and time again.

For the Mendez Vela Design team the project was a true pleasure. “The minute we met them we liked them. They had a special light. They are really a pleasure to work with and the day of the photoshoot we had just finished accessorizing and I loved the feeling I felt,” said Mendez. “I felt accomplished and both Sabrina and I said we like, we really like. We accomplished unwrapping the view from every room and we knew they were going to be pleased.”

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