11 Dec ReFashioning an Art-Collecting Couple’s Beach Retreat
There is no doubt that South Florida has a vibrant art scene that draws collectors from all over the world, including IDF’s chic community of readers. So it would only be natural that a New York art appraiser and her spouse would eventually seek a warm retreat for their frequent visits to this cultural and artistic capital. Settling just north of Miami in a luxurious 17th-floor condo residence that provides panoramic views, the couple set out to convert this new space into a contemporary home that complemented their taste and style. For this task, they looked to former colleague turned interior designer and friend, Sara Bengur.
“Anything by the sea is a great treat to work on,” says Bengur, who subsequently designed the couple’s Manhattan apartment. “For each client that I work with, I really tune into what they want.” And in this case, it meant taking into account their love of art. The client was looking to embrace color and allow it to create a haven for the whole family. To allow a blank canvas on which to build up with the couple’s art collection, the entire space was painted in a white palette and honed marble tiles were also installed which created a cloud-like airiness. The kitchen was enriched by placing beautiful mosaics and even the restrooms were given some slight upgrades.
It was important to the couple to stay clear of South Florida’s trend of being ultramodern in their aesthetic yet they also didn’t want their exotic and singular taste to appear stereotypical. Bengur thus drew from her own roots growing up in Turkey to incorporate patterns and colors in a modern way. To do this, she enlisted the talents of an all-women Turkish collective to create handwoven rugs and colorful textiles that were used in an array of accents for the home from the living room to the bedroom. In addition, she personally selected each piece of furniture, which included the systematic combining of both modern and vintage pieces. Of course, incorporated into the areas were selections from the couple’s art collection. This included an artwork bought in Paris, an amber glass sculpture, and a delicate glass chandelier in the bedroom.
Leaving no space unturned, the family area that seemed to present a unique challenge was again transformed by Bengur’s ability to play so well with patterns, colors, and fine lines in the furniture she selects. “I wanted to create something that was inviting and fun,” she adds. “The great thing is this space now gets used. It’s almost like a cozy little cave in the middle of the apartment.” Once again, art is key to how the room moves and feels, therefore, another great selection from the couple’s vast collection was chosen. ” I somehow wanted the furniture in this room to acknowledge and talk to the art,” reflects Bengur as she explains the pieces for this space.
With additional tactful embellishments being drawn from the lighting fixtures to the contrast of luminescent artworks, this beach haven comes together as an excellent complement to its oceanfront setting. “A lot of things that might apply to other residences or interiors didn’t apply here,” says Bengur. “This is very much a space unto its own and needed to be treated as such.”