Chic design permeates South Florida from Miami to Palm Beach. Visitors seeking fun in the sun and curated furnishings and unexpected treasures can—and do—have it all.
What makes the design scene so thrilling is that it isn’t limited to one era or style. Depending on your taste—whether it’s mid-century modern, 17th- to 20th-century antiques or retro Palm Beach or more—you are sure to find high-caliber interior and outdoor furnishings, stunning wallpaper, lighting or something you never knew you needed by visiting these three premier design hubs.
Miami Design District
If you’re in town and want a combination design-shopping fix, head to Miami’s Design District. Engulfed in what appears as never-ending construction by Interstate 195, the historic Miami Design District, located less than 3 miles from Downtown Miami and a few blocks north from the hipster Wynwood Art District, has been undergoing a $1.4 billion transformation of its four-block-plus radius, bringing with it the glitterati and haute couture into the mix of what was once a sea of über-upscale design and furniture showrooms.
Craig Robins, the president and CEO of Miami’s Dacra and the district’s developer, is forging an urban renaissance of even more fashion, luxury, art and architecture to the district in the coming year. True to its design-focused origins, an array of elite furnishings and accessory showrooms still claim a stake luring design devotees.
Among the showrooms you can visit is Luminaire Lab, which has been in the Miami Design District since 2002. It occupies an impressive 15,000-square-foot exhibition space inspiring research and experimentation. It showcases new and exclusive pieces from top manufacturers. “It’s a playground that encourages visitors to think outside the box,” says Fabiola Velez of Luminaire, which offers Davide Groppi lighting. “Groppi exemplifies a minimalist design philosophy,” says Velez.
In the Design District for 11 years, Luxury Living USA has opened a second location showcasing Fendi Casa Ambiente Cucina—the first collection dedicated to the kitchen—along with Fendi Outdoor and Bentley Home. In early 2017, the flagship location at 90 NE 39th St. will move to a new 25,000-square-foot showroom within the area.
This vibrant destination is also home to other standout designers including Adriana Hoyos, Design Within Reach, Jonathan Adler and The Rug Company. Besides design, this must-visit spot also boasts world-class restaurants, designer boutiques and art galleries.
Antique Row West Palm Beach
For an insider’s hot spot in West Palm Beach, visit Antique Row, a charming district on South Dixie Highway between Belvedere Road and Southern Boulevard. Stroll along the row to find 50 shops filled with 17th- through 20th-century antiques, fine and decorative arts, period deco, vintage and moderne furnishings, as well as lighting and accessories. The wide array of items available appeal to interior designers, style-makers and collectors alike.
Noted as one of the East Coast’s premier antique shopping districts by Architectural Digest, Art & Antiques and House Beautiful, Antique Row is considered the “antique design center of Florida.” Whether you’re treasure hunting for the perfect antique or looking for design inspiration, you can get lost for hours in the six-city blocks of the row—a one-of-a-kind shopper’s paradise.
“You can see period pieces, modern art and gorgeous jewelry. Antique Row truly has something for everyone,” said Faustina Pace, the president of the Antique Row Association.
Design Center of the Americas
Near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Dania Beach, you can head to the Design Center of the Americas. For 30 years DCOTA, part of the Cohen Design Center brand with design centers in New York City, Houston, Texas and West Hollywood, California, has been a design destination.
With 75 upscale interior and design showrooms under one roof that represent more than 2,000 luxury product lines spread across nearly 800,000 square feet; it’s a who’s who of the design elite, including Duralee, Donghia, Kravet Inc., Baker, Ammon Hickson and more.
Ned Hickson, owner of Ammon Hickson, feels passionate about inspiring others. His 7,500-square-foot showroom offers textiles, wall coverings, furniture and fine art. “You have to see product in order to get excited about it,” says Hickson.
The center open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., welcomes the public, but not all showrooms sell to visitors. Instead they work directly with designers. Anyone interested in shopping should ask about the DCOTA Design Consulting and Buying Program to facilitate purchases.
Admission to DCOTA is $2 and valet parking is $3. It also houses a full-service, fine dining restaurant, The Cay, on the first floor, offering contemporary American cuisine.