a built-in ceiling disc lights the living area of this home with neon accents throughout
A built-in ceiling disc illuminates the living area, with Carlo Scarpa’s Cornaro armchairs and an Ammanoid Gama chair by Misha Kahn.

SheltonMindel Designs a Miami Home Fit for Beach Days

Every story has a backstory. The Florida condominium Interior Design Hall of Fame member Lee F. Mindel shares with his work/life partner, José Marty, is a tale of lucky strikes emerging from downbeat situations. The plot unspools as the SheltonMindel founder and architectural designer were awaiting takeoff from New York to Miami for a project meeting, when their client canceled last-minute. They flew south anyway, then were forced to quarantine there as COVID hit. The city was effectively dead, Mindel recalls. “It was doom and gloom.”

Nonetheless, while there, the pair decided to check out Eighty Seven Park, Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s under-construction residential tower in Miami Beach, and impulsively bought an ocean-view 1,700-square-foot unit with 1,400 square feet of balcony space. A week from move-in, however, a flood from upstairs devastated the new purchase. Mindel interpreted the event as another stroke of fortune: “It gave us the opportunity to improve the floor plan.”

Three principles drove the reworked two-bedroom scheme. Walls and partitions float clear of the perimeter, creating “a necklace of light,” Mindel explains. Architectural ceiling elements and furnishings—such as Francois Bauchet’s alabaster-hued cocktail table in the living area, chosen for its “Morris Lapidus influence”—curve in homage to the building’s shape. The third design tenet was contextual color coding, which meant bathing the ocean-fronting side in watery azure tones and the garden-facing rooms in verdant tints. (For an example of the latter, see the main bedroom, with vintage back-painted glass panels designed by Max Ingrand in the 1970’s.) The shimmering palette changes with surf and sky reflections.

a neon green artwork on the wall above a white sofa and coffee table
Hyper Ellipsoid by Gisela Colon hangs over a Patricia Urquiola Bowy sofa and a Francois Bauchet table in the two-bedroom apartment’s living area.

Given the Mindel’s art-world ties—he is a chairman of the Design Basel and Design Miami vetting committees and owns Galerie56 in TriBeCa—it’s no surprise the place hosts enviable pieces. Though precious price-wise, they portray a breezy insouciance. A neon “MIA” at entry might be taken for the city’s nickname but is really part of a 1940’s sign sourced in Helsinki. Furthering the upbeat vibe there is Kate Shepherd’s Endless Summer, in Miami Vice hot-pink tones. Hanging on the floor-to-ceiling oak divider separating living and guest areas, Gisela Colon’s dimensional acrylic sculpture resembles “something you might see under the sea,” Mindel says. A diminutive Josef Albers work rests oh-so-casually on the oak kitchen’s counter. Big and bold in the adjoining dining zone are Domingos Tótora’s pressed-paper circular construction and a piece by Seymour Fogel, and the beachy guest chamber displays Rupert Deese’s oil-on-plywood disc recalling raked sand. Even the main bathroom gets the art treatment: Nightshop’s round P.O.V. in resin, acrylic, and ink.

A Miami Abode Designed to Spotlight Art and Color

vintage neon signs are seen in the entryway of this apartment
The foyer is furnished with a Queen Anne chair by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown and Kate Shepherd’s Endless Summer, 2019. Vintage neon signage from a Helsinki gallery graces the opposite side of the entry zone.
a built-in ceiling disc lights the living area of this home with neon accents throughout
A built-in ceiling disc illuminates the living area, with Carlo Scarpa’s Cornaro armchairs and an Ammanoid Gama chair by Misha Kahn.
an apartment's minimalist kitchen in whites and light woods
The kitchen, with oak cabinetry and marble backsplash, anchors the dining area, where a Seymour Fogel artwork hangs on a column; the circular work, in pressed paper, is by Domingos Tótora.
painted glass panels are seen behind the headboard in this bedroom
Vintage back-painted glass panels by Max Ingrand for Saint-Gobain adorn the main bedroom.
the guest bedroom of an apartment with neon accents and access to an outdoor balcony
The guest bedroom’s Rupert Deese oil-on-plywood relief painting is from the estate of the late editor Paige Rense Noland; on the Tom Dixon Offcut stool is a rare Max Ingrand table lamp.
a colorful round artwork hangs above the tub with a neon orange stool beside it in this bathroom
Solid surfacing tops the oak cabinetry in the main bathroom, with Seungjin Yang’s Blowing stool and Nightshop’s P.O.V. round wall work.
the shaded balcony of an apartment filled with colorful stools
The shaded balcony sports Rodolfo Dordoni sofas and tables and Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 seats.
an apartment building's balconies offer city views of Miami
The wrap­around terrace boasts ocean and city views.
cassina: sofa (living area), sofas, table (balcony)
through galerie kreo studio: cocktail table (living area)
through friedman benda: chair
Chilewich: floor mat
bitossi: vase
kartell: stool (living area), side tables (main bedroom)
the future perfect: floor lamp (living area), stool (bathroom)
artek: stools (balcony)
molteni&c: cabinetry (kitchen)
marc krusin: table (dining area)
cappellini: stools
venini: glass artwork
galerie jacques lacoste: panels (main bedroom)
miniera: floor lamp (main bedroom)
pierre marie giraud: table lamps (bedrooms, foyer)
Tom Dixon: stools (bedroom)

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