When it comes to designing elegant, inviting waterfront homes, Singer Island is familiar territory for Steven Gurowitz. For more than 10 years, the owner of the Pompano Beach-based Interiors by Steven G. has been creating dream properties for his discerning clients here, including Beach Front at Singer Island; One Singer Island; and 2700 North Ocean, now The Ritz-Carlton Residences at Singer Island, Palm Beach. But the celebrated South Florida interior designer says his latest project on the island—the VistaBlue condominium tower at 3730 North Ocean Drive, which is scheduled to begin welcoming residents in 2018—is something special.
Gurowitz’s enthusiasm for VistaBlue is easy to understand. With its predominantly neutral color palette, minimalist lines, and mix of earthy, texture-rich materials, the 19-story, 58-unit structure is a picture of calm and luxurious coastal living. Key in conceptualizing the building’s interior public places and four model condos was having that history with the island and an understanding of what its residents and would-be buyers want in a beachfront abode.
“Although Singer is ostensibly a very laid-back resort area, the people who go there have exquisite taste,” says Gurowitz. “They’re going there for that little bit of peace and quiet, that little touch of sand and water, but the design still needs to be five-star.”
To create an ambience of relaxed sophistication in VistaBlue’s public spaces, Gurowitz and his team utilized organic finishes, including linen, cotton velour (“It’s like butter, and it looks contemporary when the fabric is tightly woven,” he says), matte and high-gloss wood, and leather. Porcelain, both beautiful and durable, is used for flooring in some spaces, thanks to its perpetual shine and its resistance to chipping and staining. In some bedrooms, walls are upholstered “to add softness and to eat up extra sound,” says Gurowitz. To add contrast and drama to what he describes as a “soft, contemporary” aesthetic, in some areas he and his team incorporated onyx feature walls that light up.
More than just an accent, lighting is a focal point throughout VistaBlue’s residential units, where his team implemented LED recessed and pin spot fixtures, among other styles. “With all-LED state-of-the-art lighting, you have no heat, your place is well-lit, and it’s all dimmable, so you can set your own tone,” Gurowitz says. “If you have a cocktail party, you can brighten the room. If you just want to sit and have a bottle of wine with your loved one, you can dim the lights and put on a Sinatra album—you’re made in the shade.”
Thoughtful lighting isn’t limited to VistaBlue’s residences, though. Gurowitz also made it an integral feature in the building’s show-stopping club room, which features a floor-to-ceiling, wood-and-glass wine storage wall that holds 2,000 bottles. The club room is something “you would really only find in the most luxurious of places,” Gurowitz says.
As in the residences, “Lighting takes design to a totally different place,” Gurowitz says. It also eliminates the need for floor and table lamps, which can quickly clutter an otherwise clean space. “You have indirect, recessed lights that just make a space pop,” he adds. With an emphasis on personalization, all of the lighting fixtures in Gurowitz’s projects are custom designed and built by artisans around the world, largely in Italy.
Of course, such special fixtures deserve equally spectacular ceilings, which is one of his firm’s signatures. In VistaBlue, wood and drywall drop ceilings add an architectural feature, “so you don’t walk in to see a flat ceiling.”
Overall, Gurowitz says his mission was to create a space with lasting and universal appeal. “When you walk through a home, the first question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Could I live here, and could I still be here 10 years from now?'” he says. “Here, the answer is yes.”
Happily for residents of VistaBlue, timelessness and individual style aren’t mutually exclusive, thanks to the firm’s focus on tailoring its projects to each client’s tastes. “The toughest job for us is to design the units so that the buyer’s own identity is reflected,” says Gurowitz, adding that homebuyers typically add color and personality to their space through furniture, art, soft goods, and greenery. For clients of Interiors by Steven G., that often means visiting the firm’s 100,000-square-foot Pompano Beach showroom to pick out everything from fabrics to furniture to area rugs.
“When we sell somebody a product, it’s then taken out of our source library so that it’s not sold to anybody else,” he says. “We really do keep track of that.”
Despite all of the opportunities for customization that exist for buyers at VistaBlue, there is one accessory not found in Gurowitz’s source library that all residents will be able to enjoy: views of the Atlantic and Intracoastal Waterway.
“The ocean is a statement in and of itself,” says Gurowitz. “It’s artwork that changes every day. You have a rough day, you have a calm day. The wind blows in one direction one day, and the next, it blows in the other. Looking out, there are yachts, fishing vessels, sailboats. What we do in our planning is ensure that, however we lay out a room, that beautiful, ever-changing vista is never blocked.” The same philosophy applies to views of the Intracoastal Waterway from the west-facing side of the condominium.
Though homeowners at VistaBlue have Mother Nature to thank for those dynamic water views, it’s easy to imagine that’s just the way Gurowitz would have designed them, too.