The Big Apple was starting to bring celebrity chef turned interior designer Travis London down. “I get so seasonally depressed in New York,” he says. “I knew I wanted to be in Miami.” The Florida hot spot’s neon-tinted exuberance was much more on London’s wavelength, so he decamped to the famously sunny city in early 2020 in search of a fresh start.
In some ways, moving south was a full-circle moment for the creative, who devoured Gianni Versace’s Do Not Disturb book as a Southern California teenager. The late fashion designer and famous Miami resident inspired a love of design in London, who modeled his own adolescent bedroom after Versace’s Lake Como boudoir.
After landing in South Beach, London stumbled across a 1940 town house with pristine Art Deco detailing including an original fireplace, travertine floors, and charming interior arches. London initially wrote off the 2,100-square-foot and four-bedroom property as “way too much space” for him and his three poodles, but quickly decided it was meant to be, and moved in shortly thereafter. Now, he relishes the freedom that such a canvas gives him to express himself fully. Notably, the home also serves as a de facto showhouse for his budding design business, Studio London Co. (He closed his high-profile catering company, Healthy Chic Eats, in 2015 in order to focus full-time on design.) —Allie Weiss
A high-contrast home base
When a couple purchased a Chicago co-op in a prestigious 1920s building, they knew they had a lot of work to do. The grand Gold Coast flat on a high floor had remained mostly true to its original layout from a century ago, but decor choices had left it more coastal grandma than Art Deco swank. A refresh was most definitely in order.
Jessica LaGrange, known to have an eye for high-touch design that’s still effortlessly livable, was the obvious choice for the owners, who both claim family trees ripe with fruit. (His family has been in the juice concentrate business for three generations; hers is in juice manufacturing.) LaGrange decided to use the building’s history as a guide in order to create a home that could serve as a sanctuary when the art-collecting couple was in town. “They loved the provenance of the building, along with its location and views,” the designer says. LaGrange saw the apartment early on, when it was swathed in chintz and shades of powder blue and peach. “It had a very gracious layout and was the perfect size for their city pied-à-terre.”
LaGrange devised a brilliant idea to set the tone: She’d inlay into the elegantly proportioned foyer a custom terrazzo-and-bronze circular design that’s both Deco and exceedingly modern. It beams from the floor like a captured sunburst. An art piece by Jacob Hashimoto, constructed out of kites, adds texture and pop: another warning shot of the surprises still to be revealed further in the home. —Heidi Mitchell