Urban Oasis - New York or Miami?

Transplanted from the frozen streets of NYC, the movers delivered furnishings that looked completely foreign in my new tropical surroundings. My NY living room is at left.

Characteristic of homes in Florida, my apartment has magnificent views, and connects to the outdoors with 400 sq ft of wrap around balcony and a corresponding breadth of floor to ceiling windows. It’s flooded with light, has more interior open space than my NY home, and the atmosphere is more informal and relaxed than corresponding apartments in NY.

Florida homes and apartments are built to work with and embrace the southern climate, while those in the northeast protect against the intense heat in summer, and frigid temperatures in winter. In the south, designers control light and heat with loggias, breezeways, awnings, umbrellas, and other creative sun-shielding products.

With the new visual connection to the outdoors, 
rather than protection from exposure, I
had to rethink color, and develop color palettes vastly differently than those created for my NY clients. I use a great deal more white walls for waterfront residences, especially if clients want to feature artwork. Bedrooms and baths are usually decorated in soft pastels. I use far more gray in the south – up north, gray can look drab and depressing if it’s not exactly the right shade.

Wall space is sparse. On average, 75% of walls in a given room are glass. I decorate interior walls very sparingly since views are often spectacular and sufficient. I arrange furnishings and flow to draw the eye to the view, using walls to feature works of art, house a media center, or provide storage.

I furnish my Florida projects with curves and 
soft angles more than with hard lines.
Upholstered headboards, ottomans as coffee tables, furry pillows, and loads of texture reflect the more relaxed, easy going lifestyle. While chrome and stainless remain high on my clients’ list of preferences, I incorporate wood throughout the home.

Wood adds natural beauty and an organic aesthetic. For most of my finer contemporary projects, I make extensive use of exotic woods to add a rich modern character to the design scheme.

Getting back to my own space – this month I’m celebrating my third year in Sunny Isles Beach. And as the shoemaker whose children go barefoot, the progress of my own home’s transformation is far from complete. My resolution for the New Year is to finish the project. Photos to come.

Each locale has its own unique appeal.
I'm having a grand time collaborating
with clients, creating comfortable, unique, and beautiful spaces wherever - be it Florida, New York, or the Hamptons.

Robin Lechner Interior Designs

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