FROM FIXTURES TO FURNISHINGS, HIGH-END FINISHES AND CUSTOMIZED ACCENTS HELP THREE MALE MAKE ONE-OF-A-KIND, HARMONIZED INTERIORS FOR CLEARLY DISSIMILAR ROOMS IN A SPACIOUS BUT IRREGULARLY SHAPED GOLDEN BEACH HOME.
By Virginia Moghani
When it comes to home design, aesthetics don’t always have to be cohesive. They should, however, always be complementary. At least that’s Alejandro Chaberman’s philosophy, who alongside his brother Daniel and business partner was tasked with creating the furniture and numerous fixtures designed by Deborah Wecselman Design Inc. for the 9000 square-feet Golden Beach home. The project was no easy feat for the trio, who together own BCFG Woodworks—a Miami and New York-based carpentry studio focused on high-end furniture customization—and has worked on several high-profile restaurants in New York City, including Daniel Boulud properties. The Golden Beach home was the first major project for the company since opening a second location in South Florida.
For one, the bedroom home was demolished almost entirely, except for the infrastructure and several columns, and built from the ground up. Then, once the rebuilding was underway, the men got to work on designing every room in the home to be almost disparate. “This wasn’t a typical project for us, we’re used to things matching” says Alejandro, whose company is known for its artisanal furnishings and handcrafted, high-end pieces. “What’s interesting with this particular home is that every room in the house feels like a separate space with an entirely different concept.” To achieve this look, every piece of furniture had to be specifically made to suit the individual spaces. “Every room has its own language in a way, and I tried to make that read,” explains Wecselman. “The home ties together as a whole but each room is different.”
Fixtures, fabrics and various facades became the medium through which Alejandro and his team connected the spaces, including the children’s lounge space (communal area), movie theater, master bedroom and family room, all of which had very specific needs. The children’s space, for instance, should be functional yet youthful. To inject a sense of whimsy, the team spent time customizing the large entertainment center, making it the focal point of the room. Each side of the lacquer unit, a material used in various pieces throughout the house, was designed to double as storage space. But rather than leave the doors bare, the team opted to cover them with a blown-up cartoon velum. “The idea was to maintain the piece’s chic design, which was neat, modern with high-gloss finishes, but at the same time make it fun and colorful for the kids,” says Alejandro.
In homes of this size, with square footage to spare, the issue isn’t storage; it’s finding clever ways to do so, without compromising the overall look or vision. For the movie theater, it was a matter of concealing doors and introducing utilitarian fixtures to streamline the design. It was another instance in which the team based the concept around practical needs of the space. “We didn’t make a typical movie theater, rather a beautiful piece of furniture with a lot of hidden elements,” Alejandro says of the sleek, handcrafted piece which was entirely built in. While at a glance the unit appears to only house a large flat screen TV, it transforms into a full theater, practically on command. “We wanted it to have all of the elements of a movie theater but still feel cozy and homey,” he says. The sides of the unit house both the screen that comes down when needed, as well as other equipment and throws. Acoustic panels are obscured above, as is the lighting, so that when in use, the focus is on the film and not distracting design elements. “It’s a soft and sophisticated area, with very different tones than the living room for a totally different experience,” adds Wecselman, who considers the media room one of the coolest spaces.
Perhaps the best example of camouflaged furniture was created for the master bedroom, whose trapeze-shaped quarters, limited closet space and unforgiving proportions were “impossible” to design for, said Wecselman. “In this room, it was all about tricking the eye so that the proportions would be central with the bed,” says Alejandro, who opted to position it atop a platform and created custom nightstands to complement the unusual shape of the room. To give the illusion of additional space, a separate sitting area was created as well.
“We managed to make the room rather rectangular and were able to showcase the large dimensions,” he says. Additionally, the planks used for the walls’ 45-foot-long closet were created to have the same measurements as the walnut wood-planks on the floor, giving the illusion that the floor is part of the wall, which in turn made the design appear more fluid.“If you were to walk into the room when the walls are closed, you’d never notice that there are shelves and such hiding behind the walls,” says Alejandro.
The home’s large wine cellar presented a different storage problem. Rather than concealing what’s inside, the team had to find a way to neatly showcase the family’s massive wine collection within limited space. To do this, the men created custom wine racks in polished chrome, which were deeper to hold more bottles and which rotated so that bottles could be displayed vertically or horizontally, depending on how one wanted to display them. “We had to work with bottles of different shapes and sizes, and a very large number, which we had to find a way to store, but we figured it out,” explains Alejandro. “It was the most important project in the home.” The cellar’s special tempered glass, which is insulated from outside temperatures yet laminated so that it never fogs over, ensured the wine collection and inventive design was always visible.
For the happiness of the homeowners, these three design musketeers from up north managed to do the “impossible” and create harmony in mismatch, eclectic balance, and space with invisibility, satisfying with their magic the mélange of tastes and styles that make up South Florida.