FOUNDING PRINCIPAL AT CHOEFF LEVY FISCHMAN ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN
Choeff Levy Fischman is an award-winning, Miami-based architecture and design firm specializing in high-end custom residential homes, multi-family developments and hotels. Their signature Tropical Modern design style has been sought out by CEO’s, professional athletes and Hollywood celebrities, wanting to experience an indoor-outdoor luxury lifestyle. ELEVATE spoke with founding principal, Ralph Choeff, about the firm’s design approach and current must have’s in luxury kitchens, baths and closets.
RALPH CHOEFF ON LUXURY KITCHENS:
ELEGANCE, UTILITY AND ARTFUL DESIGN
There are infinite amounts of cabinet design that can be incorporated based on the owner’s tastes. Finishes can be stained wood, lacquer, mirrored, glass, etc. Slab tops can vary from quartz to marble to soapstone or another material that would look elegant, but be as impervious as possible. The cabinetry can be monotone, or can even be a combination of these materials. This all depends on the taste of the owner and what mood they would want to set in the kitchen.
There are also many ways to open and close cabinetry. They can open horizontally, vertically or slide. All cabinetry must be easy to control and must be sensitive to touch to facilitate the opening and closing of the cabinets. The cabinetry must be custom designed to try and hide the refrigerator with custom paneling matching the cabinets, and the interior of all cabinetry must be designed so that the owner’s needs are all met. This is accomplished with custom drawers and cabinets. Center islands seem to be a requirement these days. The days of the galley kitchen are gone. As well, most owners these days do not wish to have a separate breakfast room, so the center island is designed to accommodate bar or counter stool seating, depending on the height. Kitchens are now designed like a piece of art in the residence, and is also a place to gather around and mingle when entertaining guests as well.
RALPH CHOEFF ON CLOSETS:
CUSTOMIZED AND LUXURIOUS, DESIGNED TO BE SHOWN
Closets are all custom designed to meet the needs of the owner. There will be specific drawers designed to meet individual needs, along with shoe storage and handbag storage. For me, there will be neck tie displays. Hanging will be de- signed to meet the needs of the owner’s clothing. This also applies to areas and cubbies that will accommodate folding items. Master closets must have built-in custom closet furniture to meet the owner’s needs.
Finishes can range from stained wood, to lacquer, to mirrored and any other applicable high end materials. Master closets are now designed as showrooms. They actually become a part of the residence that guests can visit when they are shown the residence. People are now more organized than ever and the closet must reflect this. Secondary closets can be designed either in this same manner or using less expensive materials with a more generic design, depending on the owner’s budget.
RALPH CHOEFF ON BATHROOMS:
AN INDOOR-OUTDOOR MINI SPA EXPERIENCE
We design bathrooms as mini spas. The master bath will commonly combine a floating tub with a large shower that can fit two persons easily and comfortably. These are combined into one area, and the shower separation from the balance of the bathroom space will typically be a full size, floor to ceiling panel or panels of clear frameless glass. Master baths will now usually require separate his and hers private toilet rooms with separate his and hers vanities with lavatories.
We design master baths no different than the main residence in that we create an indoor-outdoor experience. Sliders can be fully opened so that the bathroom will feel as if it’s out- doors. This also takes advantage of maximum light and afforded views. We use simple materials in slab forms. These materials can vary from marble, to granite or any other type of stone. The palate is usually spa-like, monochromatic and very elegant. All other bathrooms are designed as efficient as the owner wants while maintaining a spa-like quality and feel to them. Most cabinetry is wall hung. Bathrooms have also become a show piece in the residence as well as their utilitarian needs.