John Barman installed a retractable, floor-to-ceiling door between the previously boxy spaces of his 1,500-square-foot Miami Beach apartment to allow immediate ocean views from every room. In the living area, Barman placed Thonet chairs from the 1950s and vintage accessories.
It would seem like the perfect location for a glamorous and trouble-free second home: a serviced condominium in a gleaming apartment tower recently erected behind one of Miami Beach’s most opulent five-star hotels. But when New York-based designer John Barman first saw the building, he wasn’t interested. “The apartments just aren’t special,” he complained to the real estate agent he’d enlisted to help him find a beach getaway. He was on his way to the airport when the agent called him back: “I have a special apartment to show you,” she said. It was on the 15th floor of the tower, a double-height space that was being used for offices. Says Barman: “I took one look and knew it was for me.”