When a new home was needed for then University of Miami President and former Clinton administration cabinet member Donna Shalala, the design needed to be intimate and comfortable for her
family as well as accommodating to the hundreds of guests she
would be hosting in an official capacity. With an architectural design overseen by Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, then head of the university's school of architecture, interiors firm
Taylor & Taylor used natural materials and a tropical palette to create a welcoming residence. The project is featured in the firm's new book, , available from The Monacelli Press. Classic Florida Style: The Houses of Taylor & Taylor 134
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Known as Ibis House after the university’s mascot, the home sits among oak trees and tropical plants and houses 18 rooms.
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Guests enter the U-shaped home through a curved, sun-filled foyer that opens directly from a center courtyard.
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Long drapes in the foyer feature a stately Greek key trim. The diamond-shaped floor pattern creates a focal point for the center table and brightly-colored hanging lantern.
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Bands of cream and gray SeaStone flooring accentuate the length of the gallery and make the area feel more spacious. The gallery leads to the dining room where ceramic plates by Picasso hang in a cluster on the wall.
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The dining room features modern chandeliers by Christopher Poehlman of CP Lighting that resemble tree branches and are made from recycled aluminum cans. The striking wallcovering is made from recycled paper and complemented by a simple sisal rug. The tables in the room allow for a flexible arrangement depending on the guests and occasion.
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In a seating area, a custom wool and silk rug designed by
Stephanie Odegard featuring palm fronds provides a nod to the tropical setting. Hanging above is a double-tiered chandelier by David Iatesta.
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In the sitting room beyond, the plasterwork and furniture was inspired by British architect Edwin Lutyens. Lanterns from
The Urban Electrical Co. hang above a rug designed by Stephanie Odegard and an antique rosewood table from India.
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The tropical look is brought into the kitchen with both color and texture. A green grasscloth wallcovering and bold palm leaf fabric from Rose Cumming are bright and cheery while a bamboo-topped island and tables made from Indonesian Chamcha wood add an organic touch.
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Subtler tones dominate with an overscaled black and white chevron rug and a charcoal grasscloth on the walls. Twin day beds provide comfortable seating options.
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Linen drapery embroidered with palm fronds softens the modern lanterns by Vaughan Lighting.
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An heirloom desk from Shalala sits beneath Albert Hadley’s sunburst mirror.
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SeaStone flooring in a plaid pattern adds a contemporary look to the seafoam green grasscloth wallcovering and shell wainscotting in the bathroom.
Follow Taylor & Taylor to keep up to date on their latest projects and announcements. See more of the project in Classic Florida Style: The Houses of Taylor & Taylor.