1741 Harding Rd, Northfield, IL 60093


Jade Ocean penthouse in Florida Design

Jade Ocean penthouse was featured in the Florida Design Magazine.

THERE WAS A TIME MILENA BIROV AND HER husband couldn’t possibly have imagined living in an ultra-modern residence. Not only had they veered toward the traditional in their own home, but their fondness for a more conventional look transcended into business as well. “We are the developers of upscale luxury homes on the North Shore of Chicago, and most of the houses we build are traditional,” Birov says. “We needed somebody who could help us transition to the more contemporary style of Miami.” When they worked on a previous penthouse with interior designer Renata Pfuner, the Birovs “dipped their toes” so to speak, bringing some transitional elements into the mix and experimenting with the contrast between light stones and dark woods. However, on their second project with Pfuner, a 5,150-square-foot penthouse in the spectacular Jade Ocean condominium in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., all traces of traditional fade away.

With all systems go on the journey to a lighter look, the homeowners were in favor of Pfuner’s interior scheme in white — who’d have ever guessed that the absence of color itself would be the one that most moved them? That said, Birov momentarily tapped her foot on the brake when she feared things might look too sterile. As Pfuner started to work her magic, adding luxurious chandeliers, plush area rugs, and occasional bursts of color to the predominantly white, silver and gray palette, her comfort level was restored. “I am a minimalist designer, but when a client comes from a traditional background as they do, I always bring in some elements to detract from the minimalism and make it more approachable for them,” Pfuner says. The designer did not hold back at the entry, where she uses two magnificent light sources to captivate the eye. The first, by Artglass International, veritably drips white Murano glass down the stairway that sets the tone of translucency from the start. “I really wanted them to have the Atlantis chandelier,” says Pfuner of the second, a stunning and unusual Terzani fixture comprised of a canopy of draped chain links that illuminates the dining area. “It really adds sparkle to the space and bespeaks luxury.” Calacatta marble flooring augments the elegance factor, while lacquered wall panels add a high-gloss sheen. Alongside, a segment of white quartz stone creates textural interest.

Not one to shy away from bling, Pfuner chose a pair of white leather sofas tufted with Swarovski crystals for the living area. Though the furnishings may be sleek and jeweled, the family loves to cozy up in this favorite gathering spot and watch television. The nearby bar offers that same opportunity, with a custom built-in unit that utilizes quartzite countertops and walnut insets for an attractive setting in which to enjoy drinks and conversation amid glorious ocean vistas. “You feel like you’re on a ship surrounded by water,” Birov says. The water theme extends into the breakfast area, where yet another eye-popping chandelier bursts with effervescent “bubbles” of Murano glass. “I loved the playfulness of this piece,” Pfuner says. Streamlined white cabinetry with stainless accents runs the expanse of the kitchen, where Pfuner raised the ceilings to bring a sense of height to the space … Read and view full Florida Design Magazine article

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