In the art deco quarter of Miami Beach, between bustling Collins Avenue and the Atlantic Ocean, there’s Faena House, a luxury resort that’s part hotel and part residences. While the hotel part is located in a retrofitted building, the residence part, which interior designer David Scott got to know well while working with a couple who bought one as a warm weather escape from New York, is in a sleek highrise designed by architect Norman Foster’s Foster + Partners and built in 2015. 

For his clients, Scott’s goal was to make their two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom condo feel warm, eclectic, and interesting. “It was very shiny with a lot of sameness—white walls, white kitchen,” says Scott, whose company, David Scott Interiors, is based in New York City. “What we did was bring that down a bit,” he says.

The wife, an avid art collector, “has a very eclectic view of art and living,” so achieving a layered look with lots of colors and textures was especially important. “They were looking to have a unique home that didn’t follow any stylistic guidelines,” says Scott, “except that they wanted it to feel both contemporary and comfortable.” 

Scott often starts projects with the main living space rug, and that’s what he did here. “I knew that Fedora Design, represented by Twenty First Gallery in New York City, created extraordinary rugs so I started there,” he says. “We designed a custom abstract design with bold blue, yellow, orange, and chartreuse. The rug is like a piece of art for the floor.”

Collectible furnishings throughout this space add unique interest—separating the living and dining zones is a console table by Charles Trevelyan that Scott found at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in New York City, while the coffee table is a stunning micro slab-and-glass piece by John Houshmand.

In the nearby kitchen, Scott replaced a sleek oval island with a rectangular one sheathed in textural barnboard and a built-in oval light with a simple yet sculptural light fixture. For the wall of windows and doors framing the ocean view, Scott chose sheer curtains to soften the architecture as well as filter light from the sun.

Barnboard, an unexpected material in Miami, is also found on the primary bedroom accent wall. The use of barnboard in particular shows how the condo balances glamorous features typical of Miami with elements that are more down to earth. Another example is the floors—while the main space has terrazzo (“which is so Miami,” says Scott), oak floors in the bedrooms soften them and make them cozy and private, creating an interesting juxtaposition. 

On the expansive terrace that can be accessed from almost every room, Scott created different spots to go to. Off the primary suite is a relaxing area to sit and read with two chairs, while the spaces closer to the more public areas have an area for dining, another area for lounging, and a third area for cocktails.

About the outdoor furnishings, Scott says, “I really feel like you should approach the outside as you do the inside,” so textural, eclectic elements coordinate with pieces indoors. There’s a lava stone dining table with a top that relates to the yellow in the rug inside. Green cushions on the chairs also coordinate with the green of the dining chairs. Even the deep charcoal of the exterior walls relates to the wall in the guest bedroom painted the same color. 

As in all design projects that are truly successful, this one was a collaboration between designer and client. That level of teamwork is best seen when it comes to the artwork. Since the wife collects pieces that reflect emerging new artists as well as established masters, there’s a mixture of styles that work well together and with the interior design. In the primary bedroom, there’s a new piece by South Africa–based artist Serge Alain Nitegeka as well as a Paul Klee drawing that has been in her collection a long time. In the kitchen, a painting by New York artist Alex Dodge looks like a fabric. “It’s super textural and has life and movement to it,” says Scott. “It is layered on top of a Philip Jeffries wallcovering with hints of lavender, which gives the walls warmth and texture.” 

But, most importantly, this home is a relaxing escape that suits the owners in both style and function. “My clients are very generous in sharing their lives with me and then I approach design in the same way, with that generosity and openness,” says Scott. “Their openness helps me create a home that truly reflects their personalities and brings them joy.”

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