Perched above the sparkling blue waters of the Atlantic, just minutes from the chic Bal Harbour Shops, known for drawing a well-heeled crowd, is an oasis evocative of the pristine water below. Bought as a summer home for a family hailing from abroad, the three-bedroom, 4,300-square-foot condominium in the South Tower of the shiny new Oceana Bal Harbour feels like a luxury vacation stay at a swanky hotel. It wasn’t always this way—like the ocean waves shape a shoreline, it took a strong vision from architect and interior designer Federico Teran to form this sanctuary in the sky.
“When we first saw the unit, we knew there were many things we needed to change,” says Teran, founder and CEO of Fede Design, who immediately tore down the dull wall that greeted you upon entry and replaced it with an airy, custom-made wall divider made of bleached walnut with open slats. “I love walnut because it looks homey, and it’s not too dark. And I like open spaces. I also wanted to give a little privacy to the dining room and offer something more interesting than just a view of the beautiful Costantini Pietro dining table and chairs. It’s like an art piece.”
When crafting the condo’s aesthetics, Teran harnessed the same strategy he uses with every project: start from the bottom up. “My inspiration always comes from one of the most important elements in a home—the rugs,” explains Teran, who adds that the owners wanted the space draped in a calming palette of white and blues. The designer chose floor tiles that mimic the look and texture of sand and a large, custom-made rug from India set in different hues of blue to conjure up feelings of the sea. “It’s like walking on water,” he says.
While shades of blue reign supreme in the home, Teran punctuated the dining and living rooms with artwork splashed with bright red. The dining room features a red-hued painting from artist Carmen Izurieta from Mexico. “What I like about her technique is that she paints with wax. She used 10 different colors to capture that red.” To balance the red, he chose a dramatic blue painting in the adjoining living room made by his favorite artist, Fernanda Meirelles, who is from Brazil but resides in Florida. “Everything I do is custom, from the artwork to the furniture. We rarely buy anything from shops,” the designer shares, pointing out that every door was custom made with bleached walnut and leather strips. “Some of the furniture we did ourselves, so I have full control of what the piece looks like.”
In the living room, Teran strategically moved another wall, creating two sections for a formal and casual sitting area, but with couches and chairs that mirror one another for a symmetrical look. As a teacher of fêng shui, Teran makes sure every room flows with good energy. “I don’t do interior design, I design lifestyles,” he says. The designer also dotted the space with elemental sculptures by Puerto Rican artist Manuel Colón, for more good energy.
Unlike the living room, the family room offers a more relaxed vibe for the kids and grandkids to gather. It has an expansive sectional equipped with a king-size bed and a fireplace for a warm glow. In classic Miami form, the kitchen is decked out in all white, but it also features a mixture of textures, like bleached walnut, a Calacatta marble island with a waterfall edge, and white-lacquered cabinet panels.
Teran’s motto is: “Why live simple, if you can live fantastic.” With this in mind, he also dreamed up key areas meant to surprise, such as the powder room, which showcases a video wall that plays a video loop of transfixing jellyfish and spa music upon entry. A sleek bar, which used to be an empty space, also catches the eye. Closed, your attention is focused on a trio of high-end liquor bottles on display, awaiting the perfect celebration; when open, an icemaker and beautiful glassware meant for a fun evening are revealed.
Except for accent colors (blue for the owners’ son, coral for their daughter), a pair of guest bedrooms mirror one another. And once again, more walls were removed to expand the tranquil master bedroom and bathroom. The master bath is distinctly contemporary, with deep German-made sinks set into concrete quartz countertops and teak accents in the shower for a more spalike feel. To gain the added texture that Teran covets, he turned a column in the bedroom that he considered an eyesore into another piece of art by wrapping it in organic, handmade wallpaper in five different patterns. “I always find ways to turn around my problems,” he says, with a laugh. Other focal points in the room are a wall made of Japanese hand-hewn stone that mimics waves, and a Peter Lik photo of a boating drifting in the ocean. Aiming to create the feeling of a sumptuous hotel suite, Teran chose custom-made furniture and linens, and a TV screen that dramatically extends from the ceiling, so as not to block those epic ocean and city views. “It encourages you to stay in bed and fall in love with those views,” Teran says.
Angela Caraway-Carlton is a Miami-based freelance writer, travel and lifestyle expert, and television producer. Her works have appeared in Indulge Magazine, Time Out, Elysian, Aventura, South Florida Luxury Guide and Modern Luxury Weddings South Florida & the Caribbean. Caraway-Carlton has covered lifestyle trends in South Florida and beyond for more than a decade.