Now that we’re spending more time at home, the idea of a freshened up space is more desirable than ever. These Miami designers share how they’re revamping our spreads, discovering their muse in 9 top industry trends.
Thomas Fuchs, Thomas Fuchs Creative
With his husband, Michou Mahtani, by his side, Fuchs designs out-of-the-box creations for the home. In his experimentation with glass, he fell in love with Murano glass and works hands-on with Italian artisans to ensure his line includes only the most authentic and beautiful pieces. “We produce all over the world — Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Turkey,” he said of his collection. “It’s all about the crafts...and we visit every single factory.”
When Fuchs left New York City for Miami, he enhanced the natural light pouring into his apartment by using glass decor—from skull-stamped glassware to ornate Murano glass chandeliers. “I always think the chandelier is one of the most important pieces in the house,” he said. “It’s basically a piece of jewelry in the house.” He recommends going big and hanging the fixture about 30 inches above the table for maximum impact.
Back to the Future
When designing his own home, Fuchs mixed antiques with new pieces of furniture and decor. One of his favorites is a 12-foot-long antique refectory farm table that now serves as the dining table, which contrasts beautifully with his colorful glassware. “I really feel like antiques are coming back,” he said. “There was a point where it was fading away and people were more about the dark furniture with its clean lines.” So, get that ornate mirror or gilt chair to mix it up.
Lindsay Pumpa, L. Pumpa Designs
You might recognize her as the lead designer on HGTV’s “Urban Oasis.” The local designer founded her firm in 2013 and has specialized in residential projects, taking her to clients in Boston, Nashville, New York, Atlanta and of course, South Florida. While many of her clients veer toward modern design, she’s starting to see more transitional requests. “It’s nice to develop into different worlds of design,” she said.
Writing on the Wall
Wallpaper has made a comeback, and with so many designs to choose from you’re bound to find one that suits your style. Especially in bold Miami, anything from animals and tropical prints to watercolor and stripes will do. “Wallpaper has come so full circle; it’s so much more fun to look at,” Pumpa said. For those not ready to take the plunge, she suggests trying a smaller room or a statement wall.
While an all-white kitchen is a classic, Pumpa believes this is a lost opportunity to introduce color. Her clients have trusted her to utilize navy, sage green and slate blues to widen the color palette. “While it’s color, it’s not color that’s so in-your-face that you’d get sick of it.” Plus, refinishing cabinets is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to revamp a space.
Paint it Black
While Pumpa mainly works with modern design, she’s found that a black light fixture can make a statement in any style. “[Gold] is still very much on trend, but black lighting fixtures make such a visual impact,” she said. “What I also love about them is they run the gamut of styles.” So whether you lean toward modern—like this piece by Hubbardton Forge —or farmhouse, a black light fixture that’s minimalist or a traditional candelabra is out there for you.
Ruben & Katie Gutierrez, Errez Design
Ruben Gutierrez believes home design should tell a story of who you are. “We extract these stories from our clients of who they are, why they enjoy, the places they like to travel, even their fashion preferences, and make spaces that are uniquely tailored to who they are,” he said. He founded his firm a little over 10 years ago with his wife, Katie, and with every residential and commercial property, the couple infuses their method of “biographical design” into every project.
Prior to a project, Gutierrez has a long conversation with clients to get a sense of their personality and needs. One of his latest projects was redesigning the foyer and great room of a Miami client, who wanted her love of bright colors and tropical living to guide the design. For the foyer, he set the tone for the rest of the home by creating a mix of Havana and Key West, saturating the area with color. “Forget about all the rules. Forget about all the trends or whatever is in style.”
Even before we spent all our time at home, Gutierrez designed rooms to meet the wellness needs of his clients. His favorite tricks include using lighting, aromatherapy, music and color therapy to help homeowners relax. This can be as simple as hanging black-out curtains in bedrooms or installing a system that will automatically bring down shades, dim the lights, or play music at set times of the day.
Marianna Dubinsky, Nouvelle Home
After working for a high-end developer, Dubinsky created her own firm this summer. Using her experience creating homes for all-star athletes like David “Big Papi” Ortiz and Ray Allen, she buys lots, designs and builds the home, and then puts it up for sale. “I think my personal style is more modern, very clean, but I have to say my clients land all over the place because I do work with international clientele,” she said.
Thanks to quarantine measures, offices have turned into the most-used room in a home. With so many virtual meetings, Dubinsky is seeing her clients add better lighting as well as creating a backdrop worthy of a Zoom call. “Usually it was an office-den combination; now clients actually take a bedroom and convert it to an office,” she said. For her own home office, she created a modern workspace with a visually enticing bookshelf with a modern chandelier overhead.
Keep it Clean
People are striving for cleanliness in their homes. To achieve this, Dubinsky has been installing synthetic and naturally antimicrobial materials for her clients. This means steel kitchens, trading out quartz for marble, bamboo islands, and even laying an antimicrobial film over surfaces. “They want the ease of maintenance,” Dubinsky explains.