Designer Jessica Helgerson gives an 80-year-old Pacific Northwest home an invigorating update—maximizing space, light, and views.
Designer Jessica Helgerson gives an 80-year-old Pacific Northwest home an invigorating update—maximizing space, light, and views.
I had an impression of Miami long before I ever visited. I grew up in Paris and loved hearing about the South Beach scene: Gianni Versace and his mansion, Madonna hanging out at the clubs.
When I first arrived here 10 years ago, I expected to find a sexy paradise with pastel-colored Art Deco buildings and convertibles cruising along the beach. And a lot of Miami Beach was exactly like that. But on that trip, I also discovered another side to the city at Vizcaya, the Renaissance-style estate built by the industrialist James Deering in 1916.
Designer Jean-Louis Deniot relaxes in the living room of a Miami Beach penthouse that he extensively renovated and designed. In the entry corridor, the wall panels are in polished brass, and the floor ball lights are custom.
Wandering through the villa and its gardens, I found that there was a link between European taste and American culture that was surprising to see in the midst of such an easygoing and cool vacation spot.
In the living room, the sofa from Deniot’s collection for Baker is in a Martyn Thompson Studio fabric, the 1930s Jindrich Halabala chairs are in a JAB Anstoetz fabric, the vintage cocktail table is by Paul Frankl, and the gold side table is by Hervé Van der Straeten; the 1920s bronze-and-alabaster chandelier once hung in the Villa Kerylos in France, the indoor-outdoor rug is by Galerie Diurne, the artwork is by Franz Kline, and the shelf holds a Roger Desserprit sculpture (center) and a French 1940s lamp.
Since then, Miami has become one of my regular destinations (I mostly divide my time between Paris, where my firm is located, New York, and Los Angeles). I am currently renovating a house here, and I have several client projects in the area, including the interiors of the Elysee Miami, a 57-story luxury condo tower that is being designed by Arquitectonica.
The master bath’s walls, vanity, and flooring are in a coordinating marble from Marble of the World, the R.W. Atlas fittings are from Waterworks, and the Jonathan Browning sconces are from Andrew Kornat Designs.
I renovated this striking penthouse for a tech entrepreneur from Los Angeles. I had noticed the apartment — in the 1995 La Tour building—from the street even before it was for sale. Through the massive glass windows, you could see into the living room, with its 20-foot ceiling; it had the look of an artist’s studio, which I thought was appropriate for the home of Art Basel Miami Beach. Its location in the Mid-Beach area known as Millionaire’s Row, between the Faena and Soho Beach House hotels, is ideal. When the penthouse went on the market, I convinced my client to buy it.
In the master bedroom, the headboard in an Aldeco pattern and standing lamp are both custom; the coverlet is in a Kirkby Design fabric. The armchair is 17th-century Spanish, the mirror is by R&Y Augousti, and the carpet is by Toulemonde Bochart. Deniot lined a wall in distressed stacked bricks and commissioned a hand-painted mural with a spiral motif to make the ceiling appear higher.
On our first visit, we found the place done up like a Spanish castle: tapestries, terra-cotta walls, fountains, columns, and a massive wrought-iron candelabra. I am not kidding. My client was living in a painted-concrete loft in L.A.; I told him I could peel off the drywall here and create a similar kind of Brutalist look.
One of my inspirations was the Brancusi atelier in Paris. In photographs of the studio, a monochromatic blue canvas is surrounded by sculptures, some on rough-hewn pedestals. Miami’s Art Deco scene was another influence; I gravitated toward the style of Gerrit Rietveld, a Dutch designer of the period, whose work was geometric and avant-garde. In the living room, the walls were stripped to the bare concrete, which was never meant to be visible.
In the breakfast area, a custom table is framed by midcentury chairs in a Romo velvet; a custom glass-and-bronze bar cabinet is topped with a 1980s cement vase, a French 1940s carafe, and a 19th-century Nigerian helmet; the pendant is by FontanaArte.
But once exposed, it looked like beautiful stone, textured and vibrant, and I left it untouched. I lined the entry corridor with brass panels to reflect the light; it makes the space look bigger, and the effect is pure sunshine. The flooring is newly installed terrazzo — a nod to classic midcentury Miami.
Everything in the living room needed to be on a huge scale to balance the room’s height. The sofa is giant, the concrete head on a pedestal is massive, and the 1920s Italian terrazzo fragment of a nose and mouth on the white shelf near the ceiling is much bigger than it appears — more than two feet tall. If decorating a room is like creating a story (and to me, it always is), then this living room is a tale of the sea.
The kitchen’s custom stainless steel cabinetry has been laser-printed with an abstract pattern, the sink fittings are by Dornbracht and Franke, the bronze pendant is custom, and the flooring is terrazzo.
I designed the cabinet in straw marquetry to hide the television set. It’s the blue of the deepest ocean, and it rests on lacquered wooden balls shaped like beach balls (the shape also references both Art Deco and Memphis design). On top of the cabinet, a row of onyx cones reminds me of shark’s teeth. The cocktail table has the form of a surfboard, and I designed the rug’s pattern to resemble sand and water.
The ceiling in the master bedroom is just eight feet high. To make it look loftier, I commissioned an artist in Paris to paint a canvas of a storm or massive wave. We put the painting on a boat to Miami and glued it in place in the bedroom. The swirling pattern almost appears like a dome. In the master bath, which has a bird’s-eye view of the Intracoastal Waterway, I wanted the marble to look like a landscape.
I found a stone in Miami with beautiful veining — it looks very Art Deco—and covered every surface in it, along with the vanity, and even designed a matching marble waste bin.
The living room’s midcentury chair and stool are in a Kirkby Design fabric, the custom television cabinet has doors in straw marquetry, and the marble side table and vintage cones are from a Paris flea market. The artwork above the cabinet is by Jérôme Robbe, and the French 1930s table lamp is from Teo Leo.
In this penthouse, 26 stories above the ground, you feel as if you are floating above the beach, the neighboring buildings, and even the clouds. You can see birds flying by. It’s a very poetic, serene, and some might say surrealistic way to live.
This story was originally published in the April 2018 issue of ELLE DECOR.
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In the master bath of an Art Deco pad in Chicago, the Waterworkstub has fittings by Barber Wilsons & Co., the circa-1905 Viennese stool by Julius and Josef Herrmann is from Bernd Goeckler, and the room is sheathed in Calacatta Capri, Grigio Carnico, and Belgian Black marbles; the abstract plaster sculpture is unsigned and from the 20th century.
The bathroom’s walls, shelves, and vanity in this Jaipur Farmhouse are sheathed in red Indian limestone plaster from Rajasthan. “It’s a very old, traditional technique that is easy to maintain,” says the home’s owner, Siddharth Kasliwal. His father purchased the circa-1900 mirror from an antiques shop in Jodhpur.
An Ibiza beach house serves as a serene family retreat designed by Cabinet Alberto Pinto. In the bathroom, Almaviva tiles in a blue-and-white stripe amplify the turquoise glow of the subterranean room, where a porthole over the Villeroy & Bocsinks provides an underwater view of the pool.
The walls in the master bath of a Manhattan apartment belonging to PR maven Christina Juarez are sheathed in a wallpaper, available through . The stool is from , the white vase is from the , and the photograph reflected in the mirror is by Dariusz Klimczak.
In Andy Cohen’s newly-renovated Manhattan duplex, the master bath’s tub is by . The sinks, fixtures, and sconces are by . The counter and window surround are in Statuary White marble. The wall and hexagonal floor tiles are by .
In the master bath of a French countryside duplex, floor-to-ceiling galvanized-iron bookshelves are accessible by way of a metal library ladder. The sculptures and paintings are by Astuguevieille.
The sink cabinet in the upstairs bath of John Robshaw’s country house is from Syria, the shower curtain and rug are his own design, the sconce is by , and the 19th-century Spanish encaustic floor tiles are from Michael Trapp.
Amanda Seyfried’s Catskills country house is filled with rustic decor, which extends into the stunning master bath. Inside, you’ll find a custom vanity with fittings by the sconce is from , the floor tile is by , and the beadboard is painted in .
In the bathroom of this Swedish farmhouse, the vintage tub features fittings by Mora Armatur, and the floor is tiled with Carrara marble.
A chair by Huniford Collection, photographs by Nicholas, an antique sink, and vintage ship lights in the bathroom of this Upstate New York home; the medicine cabinet is made of reclaimed barnwood, the walls are waterproof Venetian plaster, and the floor is polished concrete.
An Art Deco Chinese rug adds a lively touch to the marble-clad master bath of this Park Avenue home in New York City.
A drawing by Robert Longo hangs in the powder room of this New York City home; the sink is by Toto, with Lefroy Brooks fittings.
The tub in the master bath of this French home is by Jacob Delafon, with fittings by Waterworks, the sconces are by Niermann Weeks, and the Veere Grenney chair is covered in an Armani/Casa fabric; the chandelier is by Tony Duquette, and the vanity, mirror, and marble flooring are all custom designs.
The tub in the master bath of this Utah home is by Kohler, the stool was made by a local craftsman, and the Navajo rugs are from 1910; the copper sconces and pendants are original to the house.
In a guest bath of this Hollywood home, the tub is by Randolph Morris, the sink is by St. Thomas Creations, and all of the fittings are by Kingston Brass. The vintage sconces and Emil Stejnar pendant are from Orange and the 19th-century mirror is Chinese.
In the guest bath of this Cape Cod Cottage, the painting is by John Dowd; the walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Chappell Green.
In this Manhattan apartment, the sink is from Urban Archaeology and the fittings are by Waterworks; the cabinets are black glass with brass trim, the walls are clad in Saint Laurent marble, and the flooring is limestone.
In actress Lori Loughlin’s bathroom, the vanity and chair are custom designs, the tub is by Waterworks, and the floor is tiled in Super Thassos marble.
Custom-made cabinetry, sink fittings by Rohl, and a silver-leafed mirror by Eloquence in the master bath of this Florida home; the chandelier is Venetian glass.
In the master bath of this Madrid home, custom-made moldings of carved walnut, steel, and silver leaf replicate an original motif in the Art Deco apartment building. The sink is custom-made, and the towel rack and shower and sink fittings are by Devon & Devon.
In this Connecticut home, the circa-1850 marble tub is from Water Monopoly, with fittings by Barber Wilsons & Co., in the master bath; the chair is Regency, and the 18th-century vanity is French.
The tub and sink fittings in the guest bath of this Manhattan loftare by Barber Wilsons & Co., and the paint-on-mirror artwork is by Rashid Johnson.
The tub in the master bath of this Hamptons home is by Waterworks, with fittings by Boffi; the walls are sheathed in reclaimed slate tiles, and the flooring is mahogany.
This master bath’s tub-filler chandelier and laser-cut window panels are by Fisher Weisman; the tub and sink fittings are by Waterworks, and the Regency-style table is vintage.
Architect Achille Salvagnitransformed this Roman Palazzo into a storied bathroom, featuring tub fittings by Lefroy Brooks, a heirloom 1750 Italian stool, and a 1930s Venini chandelier. The striped wallpaper is by Ralph Lauren Home. Find the full tour here.
The master bathroom of Alice Childress and Christopher Daniels’s downtown Manhattan loft, designed with the help of Courtnay Daniels Haden, includes an antique freestanding marble tub, a vintage Italian chandelier, and an inherited 18th-century painting. The custom-made vanities are outfitted with Caesarstone countertops and Kohler sinks; the sink and tub fittings are by Barber Wilsons & Co.
Designer Lynda Murray and architect Chad Oppenheim fashioned a spa-like retreat for the bathroom of filmmaker Michael Bay’s Miami home. Etched-stone tiles sheathe a wall that separates two distinct bathing areas; the shower fittings and sink are by Boffi, the countertops are of Macassar ebony, and the cast-concrete tub is a custom design.
A sculpture by Louise Bourgeois overlooks a bathroom in French architect Jacques Grange’s Paris apartment. The bathtub, sink, and faucet are by L’Epi d’Or; the inlaid marble floor is based on a Byzantine pattern, and the chandelier is 19th-century.
Designer Kelly Wearstler incorporated a mixture of luxurious materials in the master bathroom of Lara and Jeff Sanderson’s Mercer Island, Washington, home. The walls are covered in onyx fantastico, and the flooring is marble and onyx; the sconces are vintage.
One of two master baths at Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia’s 1970s home near Geneva, Switzerland, features eye-catching blue, gray, and silver mosaic glass tiles, which cover the shower surround and tub. The custom-made sofa is upholstered in a pleated silk.
A master bath in an Irish Georgian–style house in Beverly Hills, California, designed by Kerry Joyce, includes a freestanding bathtub by Kohler and a Venetian-inspired mosaic-tile floor. The antique Swedish chair is from Lief.
The light-filled master bath of a vacation home on Nantucket features a custom-made vanity, mirror, and wall shelf designed by Ascher Davis Architects. The bathtub of volcanic limestone and resin is by Victoria + Albert, the bath fittings are by Dornbracht, and the sink fittings are by Lefroy Brooks.
A Spoon sink and tub by Agape in this guest bathroom.
A wall of mirrors visually expands the master bathroom of Donatella Versace’s Milan apartment, which was decorated by the office of Renzo Mongiardino. A Vanitas chair by Versace Home Collection is upholstered in printed black leather; the bronze statue is of a reclining Buddha.
Marble and glass mosaic tiles line a Parisian bathroom created by architect brothers Daniel and Michel Bismut. The Vitra Organic chair was designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, the bamboo-and-glass cocktail table is vintage, and the carved-alabaster wall sculptures are from India.
For the Vero Beach, Florida, home of philanthropist Jeanne Donner and her family, designer Robert Couturier turned the master bath into a colorful oasis. The Paris bathtub by the Water Monopoly is paired with Waterworks’s Etoile fittings, and the glass wall tiles are by Urban Archaeology.
The tub in the master bath of this Paris apartment is by Agape, with fittings by Dornbracht, the chairs are by Junya Ishigami, the walls are clad in Brèche de Médicis marble, and the flooring is granite.
In this Moroccan home, the walls and floor of a bathroom are lined in Popham Design’s Hex Long Shadow, the shower enclosure is custom made, and the brass fixtures were purchased from a souk.
A minimal vanity hides drawers for storage at a modern Washington, D.C., homedesigned by Darryl Carter.
The master bath in this Notting Hill townhouse is sheathed in Nero Marquina marble, the 1950s slipper chair is by Ico Parisi, and the 1950s vase by Ercole Barovier was a Paris flea-market find.
In this guest bath, a salvaged 1920s tub and pedestal sink, a Burmese teak mirror, and Vendome sconces by Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort.
The master bath in Monica Mandelli and Marco Valla’s Manhattan apartment, designed by Bruce T. Bananto, is proof that a simple space can be full of style. The bathroom features a CaesarStone vanity and undermount sinks by Kohler; the fittings are by Dornbracht, and the wastebasket is by John Brauer.
In a bathroom at art and antiques dealer Pierre Passebon’s retreat in rural France, decorator Jacques Grange referenced the work of Swedish designer Carl Larsson by utilizing narrow strips of molding to add detail to the white-lacquered walls.
The tub, fittings, and tiles in the master bath of this Manhattan loft are all by Waterworks, and the vintage light fixture is from JF Chen.
The master bath of this Manhattan duplex, which overlooks the Central Park reservoir, features mirrored and white-lacquer cabinetry, and a countertop and floor of Thassos marble.
In Monique Lhuillier’s bath, white-oak cabinetry, a custom-made light fixture by Foundry, and a photograph by George Hoyningen-Huene.
The sinks in this bathroom are Carrara marble, and the mirrors were designed to look antique. Tour the Paris apartment decorated by Frédéric Méchiche here.
At a family’s Greek Revival townhouse in New York City, decorator Miles Redd added South Asian glamour to the master bath with a panoramic hand-painted wallpaper by De Gournay and a ram’s-head side chair. The Kohler sinks have Barber Wilsons & Co. fittings; ornamental andirons lend a subtle sparkle to the marble fireplace.
Paris-based interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch created a clean-lined master bathroom warmed by a fireplace when restoring his 17th-century château in Provence. The tub, positioned in the center of the room, is by Agape, and the fittings and towel rack are by Dornbracht. The floor is marble.
This master bath’s nickel-and-brass tub is 19th century, and the chair is by Honoré Paris from Galerie Yves Gastou; the wall stripes are painted.
In the master bath of Glenn Pushelberg and George Yabu’s home in Canada, a Spoon tub by G.P. Benedini for Agape overlooks the forest and ravine. The floor is tiled in Portuguese limestone, the vanity is of rain-forest marble, and the Tara sink and bath fittings are by Dornbracht.
In this Bordeaux, France, homedesigned by Michael Coorengel and Jean-Pierre Calvagrac, the
Antique stone sinks, an Empire-style armchair, and an 18th-century Florentine birdcage in the bath; 19th-century seascapes from Capri hang on the wall. Tour the Italian apartment here.
The master bath’s vintage pendant lights hang above an antique soapstone basin from LooLoo Design; the counters are made of bluestone with painted-brick supports. Tour Meg Ryan’s Massachusetts home here.
Proof that serious art looks great in bathrooms: This Harry Bertoia sculpture hangs above the tub in the master bath of a Greenwich Village townhouse designed by Joe D’Urso.
In this master bath, a Rob Pruitt painting and a Rowley-designed wall treatment printed on billboard vinyl.
In the master bathroom of a Tristan Auer-designed house on the island of Mustique, the cast-concrete counters and sink were brought from France; the Tara sink fittings are by Dornbracht.
In a Montecito, California, guest bath designed by Michael S. Smith, tiles reproduced from antique Portuguese originals and an antiqued mirror make the new Portuguese-style manor home feel old—in a good way; the sconces are by Vaughan.
In the guest bath of a home in Sharon, Connecticut, the Casa Di Whitney wallpaper is by Tyler Hall and the bathtub is from AF New York.
A Waterworks showerhead and a view of the bird sanctuary and bay.
A mural by Jean Horihata in the powder room of a contemporary Southern California residence; the circa-1890 Tramp Art mirror is American, the stool is Chinese, and the sink fittings are by THG.
The bathroom’s sink and bath fittings and tub are by Michael S. Smith for Kallista, the custom-made washstand is by Urban Archaeology, the wallpaper is by Elizabeth Dow, and the chair is antique.
The tub in the master bath of this stylish Soho loft is by Duravit, the antique mirrors are Italian, and the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove.
The cabinetry and mirror frame in Courtney Cox’s master bath are ebonized white oak, the pendant lights are custom made, and the sink fittings are by Waterworks; the chair and ottoman are upholstered in a velvet by Rose Tarlow Melrose House, and the artwork was done by Cox’s father while he was in high school.