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