In the spirit of collaboration

A cohesive team effort between developer, designers, and architect yields a prime example of tropical modernism in Miami Beach.

When developer, architect and designer reach a meeting of the minds, a prime move-in-ready home result. A least that’s how Charlotte Dunagan and Tom Diverio, principals at Dunagan Diverio, see it. Recently, executing a residence infused with tropical modernism required the skills and talents of architect Ralph Choeff and developer Mathieu Massa along with Dunagan, Diverio and their able staff.

“We’ve done so many projects together that Ralph knows we’re going to compliment his work very nicely,” says Diverio. “We consult from the very beginning, from space planning to the materials, from the exteriors to the windows. He gives us the opportunity to look at the space and tweak the details. There’s a real trust relationship.”

With five bedrooms and six and half baths, the 6,300 square-foot house on Prairie Avenue in Miami Beach, currently listed at $7.95 million through Julian Johnston, boasts enviable 180-degree waterfront views, an outdoor kitchen area and a large pool. Prospective buyers will no doubt be impressed by the Wolf and SubZero appliances, Apure lighting and a fully integrated Lutron control system, as well as by the Mia Cucina cabinetry in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Seamless indoor-outdoor living – the ethos of tropical modernism – is on full display here, albeit with a surprise: Instead of Ipe, this home is clad in Cumaru, a dense, durable Brazilian timber also known as Brazilian Teak. “What’s great about Cumaru is that it’s a richer brown, with some lighter brown tones,” says Dunagan. “It has the same qualities as Ipe in terms of durability, but it has more variety.”

With everyone on board with the organic aesthetic, new homeowners will find themselves drifting from outdoors to in – especially during the breezy mild Miami winters. “The giant glass sliders all pocket, creating one open-air space,” adds Dunagan. Using the same Capri stone material on the floors ensured the desired flow.

Inside, the designers opted for a palette of grays, tans and taupe. Woods used on the interior nod to the Cumaru on the façade. Not one to stand by the sidelines, Massa contributed key input. “Mathieu was very involved, with clear aesthetic preferences,” says Dunagan. “He doesn’t like dark woods, so the millwork is a natural Oak, which we balance with the gray tonality of the stone floors, a limestone fireplace and furniture.” The designers worked with CG Quality Woodwork to place the natural rift-cut Oak Massa liked for the TV unit, bookcases and dining room built-ins.

When it came to furniture, visits to Anima Domus were key. The sofas, dining room set and bed all came from the downtown Miami showroom. Massa selected the art on the walls, opting for black-and-white photographs framed in metal for a thin, clean look.

That’s yet another example of why this team proved so successful: Each member knows the value of celebrating the others’ tastes. A lucky homeowner is certain to reap the rewards of this seamless collaboration.