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In its previous incarnation, the apartment had a dated design with large beamed ceilings that made the space feel smaller. Schulman removed the beamed ceilings and replaced them with 3-inch drop ceilings, allowing the use of low-profile recessed lighting that emphasized a clean, open space.
The transition from the dining area to the patio is made seamless with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that let light in and provide a view of the surrounding palm trees and other vegetation.
Dining room table, light fixture: DCOTA; sculpture: Corbin Bronze
Schulman, an art gallery owner, felt tremendous joy in helping his clients select a few art pieces to complement their collection. "Art is a personal addition to any space," he says. "There are several key locations throughout the house where the art becomes especially important. The main hallway is really a prime location."
Schulman created a gallery-like feel in the apartment, devoting wall niches and surfaces to manipulated photographs by Richard Bluestein. Here, the mirror reflects one of Bluestein's "Lifeguard" photographs in reverse; the walls' artwork pays homage to Fisher Island's coastal setting.
The stylish entry is anchored by Jurgen Selleck's oil on canvas "Connections 1 and 2," with two separate components. The subjects' bent arms soften what could have been a stiff and staid tablescape and a static wall space. The entry sets the tone for the rest of the house and lets visitors know that artwork and exquisite pieces abound in the home. Schulman encourages his clients to mix media: oils, prints, photography and sculptural art.
"Consistency is achieved in the home's art display when the collection reflects the design period of the space," he stresses. In this case the design is contemporary with touches of art deco.
Schulman avoided framed art pieces in the main living area near the sliding balcony doors. "The glass creates a glare and makes it hard to appreciate the piece within the frame," he says. Instead he helped the couple display their sculptures on floating shelves.
The neutral palette of creams and wood tones complements the deeper ocean hues, a refined resistance to the splashy Miami Beach lifestyle. Chiseled limestone walls and Crema Marfil marble floors represent sand.
The evocative lighting, decor symmetry, sleek and shiny curves of the table legs, and wood accents of the club chairs hint at the room's art deco influence, but the oversize his-and-hers artwork roots the interior design in contemporary style. Schulman's clients love the leather club chairs fronting their bed; they're among "the most comfortable recliners in the world," he says.
Chandelier: Boyd Lighting; club chairs: De Sede
Much to the clients' delight, Schulman combined what used to be separate his-and-hers bathrooms that felt dated to create one luxurious space. He used chiseled limestone, honed French limestone floors and walls, and pecan wood accents to create a spalike environment. A tubside still-life photograph by Che Sandoval encourages meditative thoughts.
Toilet and bidet: Duravit; tub: Le Bain; area rugs: Kyle Bunting