After more than four decades in business, Louis Shuster and his team have mastered the art of delivering timeless interior design and impeccable service. His close-knit team of 10 professionals is like family; some have worked with him for as long as 25 years.
The firm’s most recent project is a perfect example of the signature Shuster Design approach, seeing through a client’s vision from start to finish. A couple with two young boys was looking to relocate to South Florida and bring with them all the colors, style and comfort of their life back home in South America. Their first task was to find a home near prestigious schools for their children, ideally in a country club, where they could take advantage of all that the club lifestyle has to offer—round-the-clock security, golf, tennis, a spa and an oversize swimming pool. While the couple was able to find the perfect lot, the existing 25- to 30-year-old home was dated. And, given their initial vision, the couple decided it was not worth renovating but instead demolishing and starting from scratch.
Both husband and wife did extensive research, conducting several interviews with different design firms across South Florida. Ultimately, it was Louis Shuster’s unique style and years of experience that stood out from the rest. Given his extensive work in the community, Shuster carefully handpicked his team to best fit the project, choosing Jay Colestock and Mark Muir from Colestock & Muir Architects, Terry Cudmore of Cudmore Builders, Krent Wieland of Wieland Design as the landscape architect, and Gage Hartung and Clayton Weidner from his in-house team to support him with interior design.
“Our process was collaborative from the start. It was extremely important to our client that we fully understood what their life was like in Brazil. We flew down several times to get an understanding of how they lived, how they slept, where the kids played, where they entertained their guests, how their clothes were organized. They wanted us to experience it for ourselves, so we could replicate the look and feel in their new home. Every step of the design process was calculated and collaborated on together, with their input and vision at hand. We shopped for specific pieces in the markets in Brazil, handpicking certain fabrics and textures and shipping them to Florida. From the laundry room to the kids’ playroom to the pool—carefully designed with young children and three small dogs in mind— every aspect of the home was made to capture their life in South America,” says Shuster.
Because the clients are avid art collectors, most of the architecture and lighting was done with the art in mind. “Even before we began to build, we knew where the important pieces would go and how they would be lit,” says Shuster.
Unlike most of the homes in the Boca Raton area, where tones are usually in the beige and neutral family, Shuster’s client wanted to use a tropical, colorful Brazilian vibe, like they had back home. Bold, contemporary colors are seen throughout the 13,000-square-foot home, complementing exotic woods, which include Brazilian rosewood and wenge. Bright-colored, textured fabrics and carpets are also found throughout the house.
Another vital aspect to the design was melding the indoors and outdoors, like their home in Brazil, where barbecues and cocktail parties were a norm. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors were designed to slide open in a way that make both spaces feel as one—where the outside comes in and the inside goes out. The fire pit and exterior kitchen are perfect touches to entertaining on cool fall nights.
The entire home is outfitted as a SMART home, with top-of-the-line appliances by Sub-Zero and Wolf, and speakers and electronics by A/V Works Fort Lauderdale. Custom lighting was provided by Delta Lighting and Wired Custom Lighting and was created to be energy saving as well. Given the couple’s affinity for art, many of the lamps double as sculptures, given their unique, artistic shapes.
Because both the husband and wife have extensive wardrobes, state-of-the-art his-and-her closets were designed. The process involved cataloguing every single item and accounting for them in the design. His-and-her showers feature exotic stone with slabs of onyx that are similar to an abstract painting.
“Every single item in the home was strategically placed before handing over the keys to the clients. From the wardrobe to the kids’ room to the last book on the coffee table, when they arrived the home was move-in ready, with their vision brought to life,” says Shuster. “With projects like these, where it is a harmonious collaboration between our team and the client, you form an extraordinary relationship by the time the home is completed, where you go from client to friend to family.”
Carolina Ramirez Herrera is an art- and design-obsessed travel and lifestyle writer who often contributes to blogs, city guides and lifestyle publications, sharing a page from her little Black Book of personal travels. Based in Miami but usually on a plane, follow her on @Lacarolinda.