Designing Homes: Three Gables Interiors

A Family Affair

Interior Designer: Ivette Arango Interiors

Ivette Arango interiors has always been a family business, becoming more so when Arango’s daughter, Ivette O’Doski, took on a larger role in the business, becoming COO in 2017. Her mother, Ivette Arango, founded the business in 1972 and is also lead designer, CEO, and president.

The business eventually moved from the Design District to the old Tea Room on Palermo Avenue. They completely renovated the space, winning an Outstanding Renovation award in 2019. Both Ivettes are Coral Gables residents and love working in the Gables.

This MG Developer project, a three-story townhouse on Beatrice Row in the heart of Coral Gables, was done for a couple downsizing from a larger home in the Gables. They wanted a fresh start, so didn’t bring their existing furniture, but did have a large art collection that needed to be incorporated into the design. Much attention was paid to showcase and illuminate their artwork.

“The clients loved the results of this project,” says Arango. “The wife — a professional with a demanding job — appreciated our professionalism, ability to work with the technical aspects on the project, and ability to communicate.” Arango’s design philosophy is “the client comes first.” She doesn’t impose her preferences but listens to customers to make their dreams a reality. “I prefer to emphasize light and art.”

Not all her design projects start from scratch, however. She’s also found herself revisiting clients whose houses she designed 20 years ago to update the look. “I’m also doing their children and grandchildren’s homes,” says Arango. It really is a family affair. 

THE GREAT ROOM: The mother and daughter duo agree this Great Room is their favorite in the house. “[I love] all the light streaming in,” says O’ Doski. The arched double French doors allow light to saturate the room, while a dark wood buffet and floating shelf are custom-made, Italian pieces.

THE FOYER: into the home is anything but ho-hum, with a coral wallpaper brightening the space and the ceiling patterned by a stunning teardrop pendant light hanging overhead. The cobweb-shaped shadows echo the custom-made rug with amorphous linear shapes, lending an ethereal quality to the space.

THE DECK: Outside the kitchen is a deck where the owners, who like to entertain, can grill. A huge tortoise shell chandelier hangs from the white tongued and grooved ceiling, creating a visual contrast.

THE TERRACE: This outdoor seating area proves city dwellers need not give up on out- door living. Low-slung couches, artwork, and an ombre gray rug provide an exquisite back- drop for entertaining guests outside in the perfect South Florida weather.

Calimia Dreaming

Interior Designer: Monique Miller, Calimia Home

What do you get when you mix the fresh perspective of laid-back California vibes with the clean lines and functionality of Scandinavian design? Calimia Home, a full-service design studio in Coral Gables.

Formed by husband-and-wife team Gustaf Svensson (from Sweden) and Monique Miller (from California), Calimia Home was created after the couple’s own home remodeling project brought rave reviews from friends. Miller is the creative director, while Svensson runs operations and logistics.

“We have tons of projects in the Gables,” says Miller, also a Gables resident with her husband and three children. They are soon to open Calimia Home Shop, a home furnishing store with design services, in the historic La Palma building.

One of Miller’s recent projects in Coral Gables was a Craftsman home for snowbirds from the East Coast. Although the existing shell was already in place with “contractor grade finishes,” the team ripped out what was needed and oversaw the installation of the millwork, décor, and even provided design direction for the landscaping.

The clients wanted their home to have a South Florida feel — relaxed, yet elevated — so Miller used a lot of linens, neutral colors, and greys and blues. The result is a spectacular home that reflects Calimia Home’s aesthetic of bright and airy spaces with a mix of furnishings, creating a timeless, lived-in feel. Natural surfaces, like wicker, stone, and lots of oak wood, combine with white walls and a proliferation of greenery to achieve an indoor-outdoor vibe in this spacious home.

THE SITTING ROOM uses a pale off-blue color that speaks of a Scandinavian glacier, with a high wainscotting that creates a homey, cozy feeling for the space. The knitted linen couches and the blond oak coffee table continue the light, clean feeling of the space, highlighted by the brass wall lighting fixture. A wicker basket lends an eclectic mix to the room.

THE MASTER BEDROOM has an organic feel to it, with a linen headboard and terracota nightstand lamps that have a roughhewn texture. A seating area in the bedroom, with two nubby oatmeal chairs and a stone table between, offers a perfect spot for a nightcap and late-night chat.

Designing Homes

THE PORCH: Part of the charm of Coral Gables living is the ability to be outside year-round. This spectacular outdoor dining porch by the pool offers an ideal place to hang out, eat, and entertain friends and family. An enormous basket light hangs over the table, while the cushioned metal chairs provide beauty and comfort.

An Arched Reply

Interior Designer: Maritza Capiro Designs

“This lovely home in the Granada neighborhood is very Coral Gables,” explains Maritza Capiro, a Coral Gables-based designer known for her classic and timeless designs. “Since the entire interior was gutted, we were able to work with the homeowners and accomplish a complete transformation.”

Capiro got into the design field after her own home remodeling project let her turn her passion into a business. She got her master’s degree in Interior Architecture from FIU and has been working in the design field for 12 years.

Her client’s wish to create a space that reflected her lifestyle and personality while offering refined functionality was met perfectly in this Coral Gables project. “The homeowner is thrilled with the results,” says Capiro. “And her friends say the home is a joy to be in.”

Three arabesque arches, part of Capiro’s design and a nod to Coral Gables history, frame the dining room and kitchen, creating a mesmerizing rhythm that draws the visitor in. The black and white motif in the dining room and home office is carried on throughout the home, creating a classic and cohesive environment.

“Ultimately, your home should be a place of enjoyment that represents you and all that you’ve accomplished,” says Capiro. “We create exquisite spaces that reflect your personality and lifestyle, and with an affinity for detail and an eye for design, so you can relax knowing we have it all covered. My clients trust me to handle the finer details, from construction to fabric selections and everything in between.”

MASTER BEDROOM: Where neutrals prevail, but in enough contrast of patterns, texture, and fabrics that it is anything but boring. An undulating shell pendant light hangs overhead, solving the problem of an over-crowded nightstand. Genius! Geometric shapes – diamonds, stripes, squares, and dashes – create a sophisticated, Old Hollywood vibe. A tailored grey comforter lends sartorial elegance to the bed, while warmth is provided in a creamy area rug, furry pillow, and the Boucle headboard that looks like it was shaved from a sheep’s coat.

LIVING ROOM: Where off-white couches loaded with earth-toned pillows and a saffron colored blanket create a cozy cocoon, inviting guests to sit and relax. An overlapping coffee table of glass and jute is similar in shape to the office desk, while a chandelier dripping with shells and a jute rug, bring a chic, tropical feel to the room.

Designing Homes

HOME OFFICE: A curved white desk and tall black bookcases form a stunning focal point and create an interesting yin and yang contrast to the room. The contemporary chairs, striped area rug, and ivory chandelier provide touches of warmth. The artwork, on opposite walls, adds a pop of color and whimsy to this sophisticated home office.