David de­signed his Florida apart­ment with a cock­tail of colour and pop-art styling to re­flect the vibe of beach­side liv­ing

Living Etc - - CONTENTS ⁄ETC - Pho­tog­ra­phy ⁄ Matthew Wil­liams Words ⁄ An­dréa Childs

Ex­hil­a­rat­ing colour, amaz­ing tex­tures and tongue-in-cheek touches spell hot, hot looks in David and Migguel’s florida get­away

I wanted a sunny, happy, ca­sual beach house, where you can sit on the sofa in your swim­suit and throw your feet up on the cof­fee ta­ble,’ says David Stark about this Mi­ami apart­ment, his Florida home from home. (He and his hus­band Migguel Anggelo di­vide their time be­tween here and an apart­ment in Brook­lyn.) ‘I love, love, love New York, but I don’t care for it in the win­ter, so this place was con­ceived as a warm, tran­quil es­cape from the cold.

But then I found I liked it all year round. It feels like a glam­orous, trop­i­cal de­fence to New

York. My shoul­ders drop the in­stant I get on the plane to come here.’

David is one of the Big Ap­ple’s top event pro­duc­ers: the go-to guy for a be­yond-fab­u­lous party. For a Huff­in­g­ton Post ball, he de­signed jumbo lap­tops with live Twit­ter feeds for the 3,000 guests; for The Metropoli­tan Opera’s 125th an­niver­sary, he sus­pended gi­ant graph­ics of the­atre pro­grammes from the ceil­ings; for a chil­dren’s charity gala, he cre­ated tow­er­ing trees from Post-it notepads. That show­man­ship is there in his pri­vate space (spot the huge white cac­tus sculp­ture), but it’s toned down for a more laid-back, live­able vibe.

‘It’s harder to create an im­pact for my­self,’ he says, laugh­ing. ‘An event is more the­atri­cal and the de­sign de­ci­sions I make last for six hours ver­sus ten years in my own home. Ul­ti­mately, my goals are the same; it’s just that my strate­gies are dif­fer­ent. I want to create an en­vi­ron­ment un­like any other; with lay­ers of in­ter­est; where you don’t see ev­ery­thing all at once. It’s one part about de­sires and dreams and one part about the ar­chi­tec­ture. I take my cues from the space it­self.’

The space is a two-bed­room apart­ment built eight years ago on Mi­ami’s Bay­side. (‘The beach is where the tourists go.’)

David spot­ted the devel­op­ment just as con­struc­tion was near­ing com­ple­tion and was able to take his pick of the prop­er­ties.

‘I fell for the apart­ment’s ter­race, which wraps around the cor­ner and is as large as the en­tire in­te­rior. It was all about that in­door-out­door ex­pe­ri­ence for me.’ From the start, he was de­ter­mined that his home was go­ing to look dif­fer­ent from his neigh­bours’ places. ‘There’s a look in Mi­ami that comes from Philippe Starck’s de­signs for the De­lano ho­tel. Ev­ery­one has white sheer drapes! I set out to find ways to bring in beach cul­ture and colour.’

It was also im­por­tant that this Mi­ami apart­ment looked dis­tinct from his home in New York. ‘That’s more sub­tle and refined, dec­o­rated in muted shades of grey, cream and ivory. This is def­i­nitely more ca­sual; the slip cov­ers on the sofa are made from tow­elling. I couldn’t throw my New York fab­rics in the washer! What re­mains con­stant is a sense of pro­por­tion, lay­er­ing and tex­ture. I think of it like hav­ing cloth­ing for dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions. My homes are just dressed up dif­fer­ently.’

Here in Mi­ami, his start­ing point was the Marimekko fab­ric for the cur­tains in the main liv­ing space – deckchair stripes with an added squig­gle. ‘That bright lizard green is a sig­na­ture colour for me,’ David says, ‘but I also spent a lot of time think­ing about what would work with the sandy-coloured floor, which was al­ready laid in the apart­ment. Neu­tral tones and the white walls stop the bright colours look­ing too shrill and cir­cusy.’

It’s not all Day-glo and tech­ni­colour. There’s a small hall be­hind the din­ing area and be­tween the two bed­rooms that David’s painted a brown so deep, it could al­most be black. ‘I’m a big be­liever that ev­ery home should have a dark space,’ he says. ‘It makes the bright spaces even brighter and the tran­si­tions be­tween them more dra­matic.’

David ad­mits to tak­ing the lead on home de­sign, but says that Migguel’s art­work, such as his chairs made from pegs or match­sticks, el­e­vates the look to a whole new level. ‘I set the scene and he lay­ers in his mag­i­cal mo­ments,’ he says. ‘Our home is a col­lage. It starts with a big idea, but there’s al­ways some­thing new to add to the pic­ture.’

See David’s work at david­starkde­sign.com

‘I’m never in a rush to “fin­ish” be­cause there’s al­ways more to add. Homes should be liv­ing, evolv­ing spaces’

‘My style comes from an in­ter­est in the hand­made, a sense of tex­ture, lay­er­ing and pro­por­tion from deep within me’

mas­ter bed­room A re­laxed, hol­i­day vibe is main­tained through­out the apart­ment, as shown here by the Post-it Notes on the wall, used to create a per­sonal mes­sage. Get the look The bed­side ta­ble is from West Elm. Find a sim­i­lar ta­ble light at Orig­i­nal...

mas­ter bed­room The dé­cor is di­alled down in this room, which takes its colour cue from the ocean and sky of Mi­ami Beach – via the green and black tones of the cur­tains. Get the look The cur­tain fab­ric is Kaakaopuu by Marimekko. The Orig­i­nal 1227...

mas­ter bed­room de­tail ‘Migguel adds his mag­i­cal mo­ments to the dé­cor with his art­work,’ says David. Get the look These match­stick chairs were made by Migguel Anggelo.

Din­ing Area Most meals are eaten on the ter­race, but this strik­ing wo­ven me­tal-mesh ta­ble is there to be used on the rare cool days. Get the look This is the Heaven ta­ble by Jean-marie Mas­saud for Emu. The green Wish­bone chairs are by Hans J Weg­ner...

Kitchen De­tail ‘I made these cans for a pop-up store we cre­ated for US re­tailer Tar­get,’ says David. ‘Each can’s “flavour” rep­re­sents one of the part­ner­ships with de­sign­ers that Tar­get has done over the years.’ Get the look The stain­less-steel...

Liv­ing area ‘I love the open-plan lay­out,’ says David. ‘In New York, we live in tight, com­pressed spaces, so I was at­tracted to the flow of the room and its re­la­tion­ship with the out­side.’ He had the sofa cov­ers made from tow­elling, so he and Migguel...

Liv­ing area Vi­brant colour punc­tu­ates the space, which fea­tures cur­tains and cac­tus sculp­tures in an eye-pop­ping acid green – a sig­na­ture shade of David’s. Get the look This is Marimekko’s Lokki fab­ric. The cof­fee ta­ble, with a ‘lift-on’ wooden top...

ter­race Tall, lush plants make this a cool green haven. ‘I’d wanted a place in Mi­ami for years and when I saw this ter­race, I knew I’d found what I wanted,’ says David. ‘It dou­bles the size of the apart­ment and is my trop­i­cal es­cape from New...

guest bed­room A mes­sage from David and Migguel on a board above the bed gives their friends and fam­ily a warm wel­come when they come to stay. Get the look the cur­tain fab­ric is kivet by Marimekko. the bed linen is from Pot­tery Barn kids. the board is...

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