Subtle Sophistication in a Miami Beach Retreat

Designer Carmen Alcaraz Gomes designed this North Miami Beach condominium for elegance and sophistication.


Designer Carmen Alcaraz Gomes designed this North Miami Beach condominium for elegance and sophistication.

When interior designer Carmen Alcaraz Gomes met with her Brazilian clients to create their nearly 2,000-square foot condominium in North Miami Beach, they were very specific with their requests. The space had to be sophisticated with a mix of strong and subdued colors. “They love purple and bold blues but wanted to mix and match with beige, brown and gray, a practical yet vivid palette ideal for their daily lives,” says Gomes, owner of Cg1 Design in Miami. “They understood that it is hard to get a sophisticated look with too many overwhelming colors.”

The two-bedroom, three-bathroom unit on a high floor has views of the bay and the city and is a year-round home for this couple—one works; the other is in college. They wanted a private and serene environment to counter the daily stresses of modern life. They knew that top design would help them restore a sense of peace that is so important in the chaos of Miami life. “They gave me a list of what they didn’t like, which includes acrylics, animal prints and fur materials of any kind,” says Gomes. “They shopped with me to find classical looks that are not edgy and safer for a quiet environment. They were very hands-on because they knew what they wanted.”

Gomes believed that the couple’s passion for sophistication would come alive with a quiet interior and the occasional accessory in orange or yellow. They like boating and outside colors yet really enjoy spending time together in their new home with little distraction. The put a garden on their terrace because both spouses love plants and other greenery. They chose the convenience of a condo over a single-family house because of its practicality and quickly learned that Gomes was a master of bringing the garden look inside. They’re able to move from room to room (floors are made of Italian tile that looks like marble), to the terrace without any noise or external issues, and they love it. “They are nice people who are so happy to live here in North Miami Beach,” Gomes says.

Entering the condo with its painted/wallpapered walls and recessed lighting, they proceed through a foyer that leads to the large living room. Its open design creates immediate peace with great views from large windows. To give the space some scale and texture, Gomes created a beige panel for the entertainment center which enhances the visual interest. “The colors are very classic so I played with different textures and shapes for diversity,” Gomes says. “The chaise is weirdly shaped, tables are different heights, and I added large plants for symmetry.” She also placed sculptures called Piroplasm by Thomas Kelly and Dancing Water by Warner Whitfield and Beatriz Kelemen near the large TV for more excitement. Beyond, Here and Now by Francoise Assali from Saatchi Art is the highlight of the room with its vivid colors of purple, blue and yellow. “It is a big and alive piece of art which picks up the purples in the throw pillows and flowers on the dining table, part of the open public space,” Gomes says. “The owners use this room a great deal and love the comfort combined with elegance.”

The dining space is dominated by a glass table with walnut legs from Catellan Italia by Addison House. The dining chairs are made of light leather located beneath an Italian chandelier illuminating the room. Across, is a buffet from Catellan Italia with photography above shot by one of the owners who likes to take images for a hobby. He travels to find great scenes then uses them to help decorate their home. “They don’t entertain a lot yet but both enjoy dining together in this beautiful space,” the designer says. “Although they like to cook, the kitchen is small and purely functional with a sit-around island.”

The elegant powder room achieves its sophistication by hiding the shower and showcasing gray silk wallpaper, blue art work called Emergency VII by Daniela Pasqualini, a large quartz sink and Sento faucet by Angeletti Ruzza. This space is special and creates conversation. In the master bedroom, wood paneling is repeated with a headboard canopy and two creative crystal lights. Gomes designed with this texture because the large wall needed to be personalized. “I made it cozy for them,” Gomes says. The bed is appointed with Sferra linens and surrounded by pillows from Missoni and West Elm, adding needed detail to the space.

At the end of her project, Gomes felt the apartment looked peaceful to the eye with mostly muted colors and different sizes and shapes to create excitement. “Their home is not overwhelming, it’s multi-functional and works the way they like,” she says. “I was happy with the look, and they love it.”

Mission accomplished.

For more information on interior designer Carmen Alcaraz Gomes, please visit


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