A Material World
Repetition of warm woods, shining metal, cool slate and concrete unify spaces in a sprawling contemporary home
Staff -- Interior Design, 3/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
"The client is the son of a prior client, so he grew up in a Barry Sugerman house. The client and his wife wanted a new house for themselves and their two children and came across a house under construction, toured it and loved it. They didn't realize at the time that I had designed the house they saw under construction," explains Barry Sugerman, AIA, Miami, FL.
"I took the essence of the house they liked and customized it to meet their needs," says Sugerman. "They wanted a very contemporary style."
One of the factors that makes Sugerman's approach to home design different is that he designs the interior of the home first. "Often architects create a beautiful exterior and then try to squeeze in the interior features that the clients want. Sometimes it doesn't quite work out. We design the floor plan first according to the client's lifestyle and then build on that to produce the outside and its proportional elements."
In the clean-lined interior of this Miami home, Sugerman repeated materials—wood, metal, slate and concrete—from room to room, maintaining a sense of unity throughout the home while creatively infusing a feeling of variety.
In the kitchen, the cabinetry combines smooth, flat-panel doors with a horizontal expanse of open shelving. Juxtaposed with the warmth of the wood is the cool shine of stainless steel from the appliances and the custom range hood, which is topped by a pair of stainless steel stacks that extend all the way up to the 14-foot high ceiling. A stainless steel backsplash clads the wall above the cooking appliance and countertop run.
Thick, gray slate countertops are complemented by the gridded, polished concrete flooring. The lighting includes ceiling recessed downlights, high-tech pendants suspended above the island and eating bar, and an industrial-look fixture suspended above the dining table.
The master bath continues the interplay of warm and cool elements. Flat-front warm wood cabinetry is topped by a statuary white and gray marble countertop. The flooring and tub surround are gray slate. The shower, which includes several niches to hold toiletries, is partitioned off by simple clear glass panels. The windows are trimmed in stainless steel.
The long vanity includes one undermount sink, allowing the opposite end of the generous countertop to be used as a dressing table. A mirrored wall adds to the illusion of spaciousness in the already large bathroom.
The powder room includes a luxuriously long gray slate countertop and backsplash with one stainless steel undermount basin. The toilet area is visually separated from the rest of the room via a perforated metal partition. The floor is polished concrete.
"The house has been built on land that used to be part of an old mango plantation," says Sugerman, who knows the North Miami area very well, as he has had his own architectural practice there since 1965. "There's a tennis court in the back with a swimming pool."
After the 6,000 sq. ft. house was completed, Sugerman was commissioned to design an addition as well. He is a full-service architect in the true sense of the word, often helping clients new to the area get settled, providing information on local services. His affable manner and personal care keep clients—and their next generations—coming back for more.