CERTAIN CHALLENGES REQUIRE THE TALENT OF A VERY SENSITIVE DESIGNER TO TRANSLATE DREAMS INTO REALITY. WITHIN THE SWAMPY SOUTH FLORIDA EMBLEM OF DAVIE, STEPHANIE HALFEN FROM SDH STUDIO – ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN WAS GIVEN THE TASK OF CREATING A TROPICAL MOUNTAIN INSPIRED DESIGN TO EMBELLISH A RANCH HOME, WHILE GIVING IT A MODERN TWIST.
By Annabella Goshen | Photography by Robin Hill
As the owners of a Davie home saw Stephanie Halfen’s work next to the picturesque mountains of El Avila National Park in Caracas, Venezuela, they knew they wanted that same feel and look in their South Florida home. Considering that Caracas’ mountainous green landscape is quite different from South Florida’s flat one, interpreting the work could have been a daunting endeavor, but it turned out just marvelous.
With an interior design education from New York City’s Parsons School of Design and a summa cum laude architectural degree from the rigorous Simon Bolivar University, Stephanie Halfen had the perfectly diverse background of urban and tropical to undertake the project.
Halfen drew inspiration from nature to bring it into the Davie home. To appreciate the vast beauty of landscape that Davie has to offer, she created grand floor to ceiling windows to capture the natural light and atmosphere as if it were part of the interior home decor. The objective was to bring in the landscape inside the home, incorporating green with wood all around.
Not only was the vision itself a challenging task, but so was the creation of the space, which became the first parameter for the design. Halfen added 2,500 square feet of space to an existing 3,000 square-foot home that required full renovation. In a way, it was as if she integrated two homes, while meticulously taking into account the lifestyles of the homeowners. Considering that this homeworking couple has grown children, during the week it’s just the two of them, but during weekends, the children and grandchildren come to their home to spend time together, bask in the sun by the pool, and simply enjoy their family realm. Therefore, the house needed to be quite functional, creating a comfortable wing for the couple during the week and an inviting place for the whole family during the weekend. With meticulous attention to detail, the home design provides full comfort and ease for the whole family.
To attain this serene aspect, Halfen blended the rustic intricacies of the outdoorsy feel with the peaceful Davie air. As one enters the home, natural light is pervasive throughout thanks to the ample windows that were cleverly selected. Clean lines and expressive materials shape the palette for both the homes interior and exterior. “It’s amazing to do a house when architecture and interior design are thought of together, you can definitely feel a greater unity throughout to home. The concept is much stronger and the amount of details make all the difference”, said the design artist.
Therefore, although Halfen was faced with the challenge of transposing the mountainous Venezuelan ambience into this Davie ranch, the planned masterpiece was fulfilled. With peaceful lighting, charming landscaping and a modern appeal to the home, the result exceeded all expectations, making a couple’s dreamed home into a lush reality, which they can now enjoy with their family and reminisce about the tropical Venezuelan scenery they dearly love.