European Elegance Meets Waterfront Contemporary

Inside a Gables Estates Home Designed by Hillary Littlejohn Scurtis

By Mallory Evans Jacobson // Photography by Mark Roskams

February 2020

When the owner of this sweeping Gables Estates home decided to make the move from Key Biscayne to the mainland, living on the water was paramount. And with three young children in tow, having sufficient spaces to live and play both indoors and outdoors was also non-negotiable.

Upon purchasing the property, the family recruited Miami and Dallas-based interior designer Hillary Littlejohn Scurtis to transform this palatial eight bedroom estate into their dream home. Garnering inspiration from the posh Kensington neighborhood of London, she worked to create spaces that highlight the owner’s taste for historic elements and also call attention to the home’s stunning coastal views.

A juxtaposition of modern and more grand décor pieces is apparent in the formal living room. “This is one of the most dynamic spaces in the home,” said Littlejohn Scurtis, “as it incorporates sinuous contemporary furniture from Christian Liagre and Minotti with gilded paneled walls and frothy antiques such as the grand piano and marble consoles.”

At first glance, it’s clear that Littlejohn Scurtis’ intent was to create spaces that evoke elegance yet are still warm and comfortable. “This client adores antiques and has an affinity for workmanship and artisan goods,” says Littlejohn Scurtis, who sourced many of the furnishings and decorative pieces from Europe, principally from England and France. “But he also appreciates contemporary design, so I was able to blend both old and new.”

For instance, the foyer at the entryway of the home is illuminated by a trio of gold hanging pendants from the Charleston-based lighting company Urban Electric, and at the foot of a winding wrought iron staircase, a tufted leather settee from English designer George Smith awaits tired feet.

“This home is not your typical white box that people seem so frenzied about these days,” says Littlejohn Scurtis. “Instead, it’s a residence that is layered and serves to honor quality craftsmanship.” 

Hillary Littlejohn Studio Design | Miami & Dallas | 214.775.0898