Yulman Residence
Sunset Island II, Florida

In re-designing this water-front house on Sunset Island, we were asked to modernize the interior but preserve its legendary character.  Further, our client wanted a decorative scheme that would inspire him to use every room in his 12,000 square foot home.

Built in 1939, by a Cuban sugar baron, the house which is known as  “Sweet spot”, is an architectural hybrid,: it combines a Cuban Colonial structure with Hollywood Regency details. It has six bedrooms, eight-and-a-half baths, and an elevator. Outside is a saltwater pool, a dock, and the house is surrounded by lush landscaping with many orchids, magnolias, and palms.

A fan of today’s architecture, the client is a serious collector of contemporary art and design. This interest, along with the colors and sheer beauty of the water and gardens, became our inspiration.

Each room is visually distinct, but all share a playful elegance. The views from one room to the next are carefully calibrated to make moving through the house a visual exploration. Our concept was to achieve an extremely careful balance of art, architecture and design throughout. Every object would be treated as sculpture and they would all be carefully placed in an overall context.

Starting at the entry, we recreated the main staircase to emphasizing its sinuous curves in soft venetian plaster.  It now winds around a 17 foot long light installation by acclaimed artist Pae White.

The living room is anchored by a custom rug by Henzel, a series of x’s that immediately contrast with the traditional Cuban detailing around the archways.  A coffee table made of thick telescope glass by KGBL pulling in the soft seating  makes the large room feel intimate. Side chairs covered in woven textiles by Toyine Sellers, graded light sculptures by e15 and custom bronze shelving round out the room.

The dining room features a floating glass table by poetic lab. Dining chairs are covered in Hermes fabric. Pendants by Michael Anastassiades, Saturne lamps by Serge Mouille , and a light sculpture by Julie Richos , and art by Gerhard Richter animate the room.

The family room, or African room as it came to be called, works with the client’s collection of masks and objects gathered during his travels to this continent.  These artifacts are paired with a passion of Reddymade’s: African wax-print textiles. Sculptural furniture is clad in bright prints. Also in this room are paintings by David Hockney and Kehinde Wiley, as well as minimal lamps by Jonathan Muecke.

The cabana or palm room proved an interesting challenge to our modernist aesthetic. We decided to offset the texture of the room with a large sculptural  sofa, and a minimal  table by Luca Nichetto for La Chance, and seminal art by Marina Abramovic as well as a video installation by David Claerbout.

The media room retained much of its traditional millwork, which we refinished and filled the room with works  of art and design that blend traditional visuals with contemporary content and techniques.  Comfortable over sized sofas are placed on a custom “erased heritage” rug by Jan Kath , and  anchored around a stunning metal table by Ingrid Donat. A bench by Frederique Morrel made of old tapestries, stands below a Robert Polidori photograph of Versailles. Above the fireplace, a contemporary take on Dutch paintings by artist Gordon Cheung  holds it own, while photographs that combine sculpture and environments by Barry X Ball grace the desk areas.