The home’s stucco and terra-cotta-roofed exterior — wrapped by a lush yard of magnolia and palm trees, clipped Green Island ficus and brick walkways created by Fernando Wong, a Panamanian landscape designer — exuded charm.
The 5,400-square-foot interior was another story. The house had suffered a series of renovations and additions over the years, leaving it with awkward connections and corridors, and dated finishes — exactly what the couple had dreamed of finding. “We wanted something that we could sink our teeth into and do a little work on to make our own,” Ms. Collarte said.
They bought the house for about $3 million that May, and Ms. Collarte began drawing plans for a renovation that would not only update the interior style, but also move walls to create cohesive, convenient living spaces for a busy young family.
She moved the laundry room from the garage into the ground floor of the house, opened the kitchen to the family room, removed a fireplace that was in the way, repositioned bathrooms, relocated an ill-placed staircase, swapped the locations of the living room and dining room, and added new windows to bring in light and air. Except for saving some original doors and floors, which she had refinished, it was a complete gut renovation.
“I wanted to take it to almost a California-style Spanish home,” Ms. Collarte said, while adding pleasing textures, soft curves and colors, natural materials and hand-applied finishes. “There’s a lot of human touch on everything, which is a big thing for me.”
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/23/realestate/a-perfectly-imperfect-house-in-miami.html