It's not hard to see why Sonia's Miami Beach home is her pride and joy. The renovation of this 2,000-square-foot home was a labor of love, but the end result is a sleek, modernly styled space that exudes a cozy warmth. And it's the perfect home for Sonia and her partner Tony.
Sonia is an avid world traveler who shares travel tips on her wildly popular YouTube channel. She's also the founder of Fluenz, a company that provides "free language learning solutions that address refugees and disadvantaged immigrants in host countries whose language they can't speak or understand."
When it came to designing her home's remodel, Sonia worked with her friend and architect Andres Delamo. Together, they rearranged the layout — and made sure to add lots of big windows — to refocus the whole home toward the gardens outside. "I love looking at green and having lots of light." And while the whole home is a stunning contemporary transformation, the kitchen — and its incredibly unique island — is the pièce de résistance.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Modern, homey, eclectic. Warmth is important to me. I like my home to feel inviting and comfortable.
Inspiration: Miami living
Favorite Element: My garden. We redistributed the spaces and opened up as many windows as possible so that every room could look out toward the garden that surrounds the entire house. I love looking at green and having lots of light. The garden was nothing to write home about at first but I had the desire to live surrounded by a jungle and sand… so I created that. None of it would be possible without the help of my dear friend and architect Andres Delamo.
Biggest Challenge: Keeping it on budget (isn't that everyone's biggest challenge?)
What Friend's Say: Everyone that walks into this home says something about it, even if it does not reflect their personal style. It's a home people feel comfortable coming to. And because it is an original 1939 house on the outside no one really expects the clean modern lines on the inside.
Biggest Embarrassment: Nothing. I'm perfect. The house is perfect. Everything went according to plan (YEA RIIIIIIGHT!). After we had all the gorgeous kitchen cabinetry in, it was time to install the very last piece: the refrigerator. Drum roll please…. IT DID NOT FIT!!!!! Carpenter, architect, contractor, workers and myself — it was a group embarrassment that will unite us forever.
Proudest DIY: The kitchen hood… it's a simple bent sheet metal. We filled in the holes and sanded it ourselves. Many fumes were inhaled but it came out flawless, it was inexpensive to make and looks super pro. Also I was able to put in a massive fan motor. I can fry fish in the house and you wouldn't notice.
Biggest Indulgence: The kitchen. Just look at it — no need to say more.
Best Advice: Know what you want. It makes things incredibly easier. But be okay having to let go of some of it. Flexibility is tremendously helpful. And know that it will take time. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your home.
Dream Sources: Oh boy so many…Apartment Therapy (and not just saying that because of obvious reasons), Remodelista, 1st dibs, Etsy, France and Sons, Dwell, Instagram, Walking around ABC Carpet in NYC, all the fabulous homes in Venezuela, Los Roques (an island where I spent a lot of time in as a kid), Tony my partner; he is an incredible artist and a source of inspiration (shameless plug I know, but I really do love everything that he creates).
PAINT & COLORS
Exterior — Behr Caribbean walk 7003-5
Interior — Behr white washed oak 7006-23
Mailbox — Etsy
Table — Custom made
Chairs — CB2 (discontinued). (I powder coated them.)
Lamp — France and Sons
Stools — custom made from Etsy