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02 Sep 2014 Last updated
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A Miami holiday home with a Hollywood touch

A vibrant home that evokes the bygone glamour of Tinseltown's favourite vacation retreat

By Ayesha Khan, InsideOut magazine
Added 00:00 | June 15, 2012
  • A holiday home in Miami

    “The Fishels needed an outdoor space where they could sunbathe, eat, read and lounge,” says Karina. Her solution was a Brown Jordan furniture set in the same white and teal colours as the adjacent living room.

    Source:DKOR Image 1 of 8
  • The lift lobby offers a sunny welcome.

    Source:DKOR Image 2 of 8
  • A holiday home in Miami

    Symmetry reigns supreme in the living room, with the geometric pattern on the ceiling echoed in the bold patterned rug.

    Source:DKOR Image 3 of 8
  • A holiday home in Miami

    An authentic 1970s dining table from Master Craft in Italy is illuminated by a 1960s Murano glass artichoke chandelier.

    Source:DKOR Image 4 of 8
  • An authentic 1970s dining table from Master Craft in Italy is illuminated by a 1960s Murano glass artichoke chandelier.

    Source:DKOR Image 5 of 8
  • A holiday home in Miami

    “I wanted to recapture the mood and flavour of Miami Beach during the 1940s and 1950s, when Frank Sinatra and Jackie Gleason entertained."

    Source:DKOR Image 6 of 8
  • A holiday home in Miami

    The master bedroom has a regal scheme with ruby red and crisp white, while Ken’s daughter’s room is a vibrant hot pink.

    Source:DKOR Image 7 of 8
  • A holiday home in Miami

    “We wanted the powder room to feel like you were hidden inside a jewellery box.”

    Source:DKOR Image 8 of 8

The azure shores of Miami have always been tempting to those who spend winter after winter snowed in further north in New York City. The Fishels are one such family. Their vacation home in Miami is a colourful, vibrant testament to the city's year-round joie de vivre.

"I wanted an interior done in the Hollywood Regency style - the mood and flavour brought to life in Miami Beach during the 1940s and 1950s when Frank Sinatra and Jackie Gleason entertained," says owner and real-estate developer Ken Fishel.

Interior designers Ivonne Ronderos and Karina Donadel of DKOR made Fishel's vision a reality. "Ken brought us a photo of this door that he had found somewhere in New York," Karina recalls. "It was Tiffany blue and had applied mouldings. We also knew that he had an appreciation for mid-century modern pieces and that he was willing to buy vintage pieces." With the design direction set, the duo had a few short months to create the desired look for the family's getaway home.

The cornucopia of colour and design flair begins in a seemingly insignificant lift lobby. But the team at DKOR decided to inject a punch of sunny yellow to warn visitors to expect the unexpected. A rain boot umbrella stand adds a touch of whimsy, while a Jonathan Adler light fixture completes the space. After this attention-grabbing first impression comes the serene, ethereal living room set in white.

"The home has amazing ocean views, so we wanted to give the main living space an overall white colour scheme with teal accents, which were derived from Ken's initial inspiration - the door he showed us," Karina explains. Everything from the TV wall unit to the Regency-style sofas with special nail-head details and the pillows that sit on them were customised for the Fishels. One of the most stressful moments of the project came with the stunning hand-blown glass chandelier. Ivonne recalls, "The chandelier is a vintage 1940s piece made of Murano glass all the way from Italy. It really is exquisite. When we went to assemble it, the stem was nowhere to be found. So they told us that in order to redo the stem, they'd have to sell us an entire second fixture. I couldn't sleep for days. Finally, we found a local glass blower here in Miami. Thankfully he was able to re-create it and make it so that the chandelier hangs a little lower than the original."

The adjacent dining room features an imposing John Richard painting entitled Jin Lu and a 1960s Murano glass artichoke chandelier. A plush black area rug serves to ground the space. "Ken wanted to bring black in somewhere, so we thought this was a good place to do that," says Karina. "The black Designers Guild rug anchored the dining table and chairs very well." The dining table is an original from the 1970s by Italy's Master Craft, and an array of Jonathan Adler sculptures evoke the subtle marine theme.

Transitioning from public to private spaces, each bedroom features a colour scheme that reflects its inhabitant's personality. The master bedroom was given a deep, warm red colour scheme, offset with bright white. A larger-than-life quilted headboard and massive mirror add drama, while a Rug Company area rug, Andrew Martin side tables and a custom-made chaise bring the room a touch of class.

Melissa, Ken's daughter, chose pink for her room. A velvet headboard, Kartell lamps, which sit on deliberately mismatched night tables (white lacquer and nickel plated) evoke playful femininity. The theme in Ken's son Bradley's room is James Bond with a 1960s leather chair from Arne Norwell and Andrew Martin table lamps. The end result is a glamorous home away from home that fuses the allure of old Hollywood with Miami's laid-back luxury.

By Ayesha Khan, InsideOut magazine

By Ayesha Khan, InsideOut magazine