Make-over: Miami Penthouse Before & After

Don't you love a great before and after? I always find them so inspiring, but I rarely show the 'before' on My Scandinavian Home. So I thought I'd turn over a new leaf. So friends, welcome to a new mini series exploring home make-overs at the hands of some of my favourite interior designers and the likes of you and me! Firstly, a HUGE thanks to Builders Bay for sponsoring the series (check-out their site if you're in the middle of a renovation - it's every builder's little black book!).

I felt we needed something kind of fabulous to kick off the series - and this beaaaautiful home in Miami which has been given an overhaul at the hands of Avenue Design Studio  fits the bill perfectly. The design process was a year and a half in the making (imagine?!) - and involved a  tear-out, renovation and redesign of a two bed, three bath penthouse apartment! Wow! I caught up with my friend Holly Marder (one half of the talented design duo) to find out more.

What was the brief?
"The style direction for this Miami abode was fresh, contemporary and clean with a classic twist. We wanted to breathe new life into the space as a whole, open it up but at the same time ensure our client was left with a liveable, functional interior."

Open-plan dining and living area

What did you have planned for the dining / living area?

"As you can see we had mostly cosmetic changes to make, but I also felt that we needed to open up the spaces even further to allow for more light and a general flow. The living and dining area was large and spacious but the kitchen was small and the ceiling was low. We pulled out a wall or two, raised the ceilings in various places and then got started selecting all the finishes that would lay the groundwork for the renovated space, and overall the results are much fresher and lighter."


Can you tell us more about THAT fab storage unit?!

"To tackle our clients’ request for plenty of storage, we designed a wall to wall built-in cabinet flanking the dining table to house her dinnerware and glassware, linens as well as provide an interesting backdrop to her dining space. The goal with this design was to integrate it with the wall, as opposed to being a separate entity of its own and be ‘busy’ in the space. We wanted it to be streamlined and as flush as possible, and therefore opted to paint the whole unit the same colour as the walls (Origami White by Sherwin Williams) which turned out whiter than expected due to the finish applied to it. That said, it is fresh and clean and allows the accessories, and beautiful oak pulls from our friends at Design Studio NU, to pop off it while the large wooden table and sculptural Lambert et Fils pendant can stand out against a calm yet interesting backdrop."

Such a perfect dining area, don't you think? I especially like how the open shelves allow for displaying items you love and then you can shove less pretty / more practical things in the cupboards and drawers (also keeping them free from dust). Perfect!

Living room

What was your thought process behind the living room area? 
"We wanted the living area to be a central part of the room, without being ‘heavy’ . The goal here aesthetically was calm, inviting, organic. We brought in many different materials including walnut and other woods, marble, wool and leather to provide interest and contrast. While we used many beautiful pieces that are noteworthy in the living room, the splurge piece of furniture was the walnut sideboard by German furniture label Zeitraum."


Loving this! I've so got my eye on that coffee table - and the side cabinet (can totally understand the splurge, can you?! 


What did you have in mind for the kitchen? 

"For our function savvy client we designed an all-American kitchen, featuring custom cabinetry, tons of storage, a breakfast bar and lots of light and flow. I worked with Aukje Schukken on the designs and sketches here in the studio, and after selecting the materials in person in Miami and ironing out the details, Dan’s Carpentry expertly carried out the designs locally."

The design

What were your goals for the kitchen?

"For the countertops our client wanted practical but didn’t want to skip out on looks. And why should she? We hand selected a beautiful piece of Macuava Calacutta quartzite that has the most gorgeous soft green-blue vein through it, much the way calcutta marble would. We looked at whiter marbles but couldn’t get past how pretty this one was in person so after our arduous and thorough search inside the stone supplier in 38 degree Miami heat, it was a done deal. The colour we used on the cabinetry is City Loft by Sherwin-Williams. We removed the wall adjacent to the front door and created a breakfast bar there.  We also raised the ceilings throughout the entry, kitchen, halls and bathrooms."

Oh yassss! I think they nailed it, do you? Plus I could totally see myself with a morning coffee and a magazine at that breakfast bar, how about you?!

Tell us about the master bathroom re-design? 

 "The master bathroom was one of 3 bathrooms we designed, though due to time constraints we only shot the one. It was all cosmetic changes for the master suite as the existing layout worked well. As you can see from the below before shots it was a bit of a circus in there, or a zoo to be more specific. The previous owners had some fun with the walls and while we think a lot of creativity went into the monkey forest scene, we couldn’t wait to clean the space up and give it a fresh injection using quality materials, custom cabinetry and warm wood tones."

What were your plans?

"We continued the wood tile that we used throughout since it was so practical but still added such warmth to the space (which has no natural light). Seeing it in the bathroom I am still so pleased with the choice of wood tile we made. It was a tough task because most of them look manufactured but the movement, grain and colour of this one is so natural and in the bathroom is looks fabulous. We used a large polished stone tile on the walls around the bath tub, shower walls and baseboard, plus a beautiful striped matte tile on the wall between the bath tub and shower (that doesn’t show up as nicely in the image as it does in person – the texture is so beautiful in the space), polished quartz cararra  counter top, custom walnut door and drawer pulls, and custom cabinetry painted in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove in the same ‘contemporary shaker’ style as the kitchen cabinetry featuring a walnut divider with integrated back and front storage."

And the result...

Oj oj oj (as they say in Sweden!), what a transformation! It just goes to show that it's amazing what you can do with a little vision (and the help of Avenue Design Studio!).

That's one lucky client, wouldn't you say?! Plus they have Miami on their doorstep too.... want to swap?!

Have a lovely day!

PS  Do you have a make-over you'd like to share in this mini-series? If so drop me a mail!

Photography & Design: Avenue Design Studio

Thank you so much to Builders Bay for sponsoring this make-over series (if you're in the process of renovating or carrying out any DIY work, I can wholeheartedly recommend this site!). 

* All words are my own, and I only ever work with brands and services I feel are of interest to my readers. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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Deep Hues in a Calm Swedish Apartment

When I arrived in the Gothenburg archipelago to visit Carpe Diem Beds yesterday it was bright sunshine - I thought 'I can't wait to get my camera out tomorrow'. And guess what? I woke up this morning (at the beautiful - Strandflickornas Havhotel) and there was a howling gale outside! I'm all cosy in my room drinking coffee and tapping away at my laptop, so it's all good anyway! And I've even managed to find a home tour to match (or should I say 'embrace') the beautiful moody notes of the weather. Think green-blue, deep purple and greys, luxurious velvet and a plenty of books and magazines to hand! What a perfect place to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm?!  

Stylist: Emma Fischer  Photography: Alen Cordic for Bjurfors

What a perfect oasis. All that's missing is music from a gramophone and you're sorted!

Coud you imagine rocking about here?

If you're curious about achieving a similar look, here's our round-up of lovely pieces....

Get the look

1. Emery Linen/Cotton Pole-Pocket Drape
2. Mark Eden Schooley Lamp
3. Sculpt Pod Vase
4. Bourne Dimpled Glass Vase
5. Southern Enterprises Full-Length Leaning Wall Mirror
6. Javiel Coral Decoration
7. Pedrera Coffee Table
8. DWR Diamond Quilt
9. DWR Linen Pillowcases
10. DWR Sateen Duvet Cover
11. Kaiser-idell™ Tiltable Table Lamp
12. Zeus Handmade Vase
13. Colette Desk
14. Spectrum Throw
15. Heart leaf plant
16. Nelson™ Daybed

Right, time to wrap up warm and head out with my camera (I've heard photographers love a 'moody sky' so perhaps it'll only add to my pictures anyway!).

Have a lovely day!

PS See more homes decorated in rich, dark colours here.

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A Family Home where Nordic meets Bohemian Style

Hej heej! How are you today? I'm on a mini road trip with my friend Linda to the beautiful Gothenburg archipelago on Sweden's West coast. I've never been in the winter before and I'm really curious to see what it's like - plus I'm a girl on a mission (to be revealed later over on Instagram stories!). Since I'm feeling kind of relaxed today (and relieved to have got through my twelve BBC live radio shows yesterday - yes twelve!), I thought I'd share the vibe here on the blog with this lovely house in Maplewood, New Jersey belonging to Tanya Meda of @houseofsixinteriors. I caught up with her to find out a little more about her home.  Pour yourself a coffee (or a cheeky glass depending on what time it is where you are), put your feet up and enjoy - there's so much to look at!

Who do you share your home with?
My husband Carlos and 4 kids - Dylan, Emerson, Beckett & Peyton.

How did you come up with the name @houseofsixinteriors for your instagram feed?
From the very beginning, my family has always been my inspiration. My goal is to create spaces that are family friendly but don't skimp on style.

Tell me about your style?
I would describe it as Nordic meets bohemian.

What is the most important thing to you when it comes to decorating?
My goal is to create a space that's cosy and inviting. I try to do this using textiles, plants and art.

What do you love most about your home? 
Honestly, I love that our family was created here. Carlos and I bought this home when it was just the 2 of us and we filled up the rooms quickly and happily. I have such as emotional attachment to our home... it's more than just a house for us. 

How would you describe the atmosphere in your home?
I think that the love we share comes through as soon as you walk in, creating a warm and welcoming home. At least, I hope that's what everyone feels when they walk in!

I can well imagine that warm and welcoming feeling just by looking at the pictures, how about you?

Here's a very quick guide on where to find some of the pieces: Maroc tribal sells beautiful beni ourain and vintage kilim rugs, macrame wall hanging, peacock chair, sputnik chandelier - check out the tags on @houseofsixinteriors if you're looking for something specific.

Thank you so much for inviting us into your home Tanya (& Co!).

If you'd like to see more of Tanya's feed it's well worth checking out her daily feed! And there's also this archive (packed with 'bohemian style' homes) to work your way through too!
Have a lovely day / evening! 

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The man - and a Special Offer From TRIWA!

Sponsored post: 
Men can be so tricky to buy for, don't you think?! My (Swedish) husband mercifully puts down experiences for most of his present ideas which means I get to enjoy it too (who's complaining?!). But this year I thought I'd go that extra mile for St Valentine's Day and get him something longer lasting: the Smoky Nevil watch from Swedish brand TRIWA! If you love the look of it too, I've got great news: the fab team at TRIWA are offering you the chance to buy the Smoky Nevil timepiece with Swedish organically tanned leather strap and get a stainless steel mesh-silver strap worth $69 for free (to redeem enter the code 'MESH' at checkout until end of Feb)! This meant that my husband got to open his two weeks early on one condition: he model it for us..... he here is!

And this is the Smoky Nevil timepiece with the stainless steel mesh-silver wristband... pretty smart, don't you think....

Photography: Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home. 

Ahhhh, I think he did a pretty good job with the modelling, don't you?! Look out LFW! And he is seriously pleased with his watch too! 

In fact I'd quite happily wear this watch myself if I wasn't already attached to my Dixie Aska (seen here)! I love how the watches combine classic silhouettes and contemporary Scandinavian simplicity - so perfect! How about you?

If you're curious to know more, you can check out their mens and womens watches and find out more about the innovative Stockholm based company here.

And don't forget to make the most of the special offer (Smoky Nevil + mesh wristband with code 'MESH'!). 

Have a lovely day!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with TRIWA. However all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I absolutely love and think you will too! Thank you for supporting the businesses that help make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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