When the founding principals of B+G Design relocated from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami in the Spring of 2021, the design duo opted to transition from a single family residence to a sky-high apartment. Brett and Giselle envisioned the new residence as a fresh beginning in Miami.
“It made more sense for us to be in Miami. Our business was gravitating here and our friends and colleagues are here. It goes without saying that all the action happens here.” mentions Brett. With extraordinary views of the Magic City’s skyline, overlooking the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum and the Port of Miami, their new residence is strategically located, granting them quick accessibility to the city’s hot spots.
Moving from a single family home to a condo requires expert space planning, which is a specialty of B+G Design. “An apartment can live and feel as big as a traditional home. You have to plan and prioritize every inch of real estate, but it is achievable.” says Giselle. From maximizing storage to concealing cabinetry, the Miami apartment was remodeled into a captivating residence that leaves a grand impression.
In this series, Moving From a House to to An Apartment Giselle and Brett share their experience moving from a house to an apartment – from the initial apartment search, taking inventory of what they had, to letting go of what they did not need, and sharing the complete interior design and remodel of their new downtown Miami condo.
The Decision to Move From a House to An Apartment
A big factor in our decision to move is that Miami is truly the pulse of interior design. Brett has mentioned before that this is where we see our business growing. In addition to having our friends here, we were coming down to Miami so often it just made sense. We purchased the new apartment at Ten Museum Park in Downtown Miami in December of 2019. Mind you, this was pre-pandemic, which was one of the best decisions we could have made. We have close friends that live in the same area and we love how close they are to the beach, the Miami Design District and Brickell – we wanted to be where everything was happening. Living in Fort Lauderdale the commute was taking a toll on us both personally and professionally.
I knew that if we lived closer to where our clients, partners and team were that Brett and I would be able to focus on our work during “work hours” and our relationship as a couple in our down time. We were in agreement that we wanted a boutique style building – less units and privacy when arriving on our floor. We looked at a few layouts before deciding on the one we ultimately purchased, which is a loft with 2.5 baths and den.
Once we listed our house in Fort Lauderdale during the height of the pandemic, the process went very quickly as single-family homes were and still are very high in demand. We received multiple offers over a two day period as buyers were looking for a turn-key home. Thankfully ours was move-in-ready as we had completed some major renovations including converting our garage into a theater – which you can read more about here.
Packing a Home for A Move: What Did We Take?
When it was time to pack the house we donated and gave many things away. The house even sold with some furnishings which helped us curate what we really wanted to take. I say start the packing process early as this is physically and emotionally challenging especially if you have lived in your home for a significant amount of time. Our home in Fort Lauderdale is where our kids grew up. There were so many memories attached to this home that I was especially emotional. We involved our sons in the packing process so they felt included in the decisions we were making.
When we knew we wanted to sell, we began to purge the house of things that were not going to come with us, especially knowing we were going to downsize from a house to an apartment. We of course arranged to move precious heirlooms like art inherited from Brett’s mother and collectible pieces like our Knoll Womb armchairs and Wishbone dining chairs. You will see later on that we also designed certain aspects of the condo to reflect what we loved about our former home.
When moving or relocating it is always a good idea to make a fresh start with your furniture and decor. Not only does it make you fall in love with your new surroundings, but sometimes for our own wellbeing it is good to let go of those things that don’t bring you use and most importantly joy.
Here are some places we recommend to sell gently used home decor and furnishings.
- Garage Sale
- Local consignment stores
- For Collectibles: 1st Dibs or The Real Real
The Benefits of Condo Living
For anyone moving and downsizing this is a major shift in how you live. As newly empty nesters we wanted to experience not having to tend to a yard and manage the major upkeep that comes with owning a single-family home. When we made the decision to sell and buy a condo, everything in our life was aligned and it was the right time for us. With our sons off to college, I was ready to embark on a major change. The lifestyle in Miami was calling us and our business.
Jumping ahead, we are amazed at how effortless city living can be with the benefits of having condo amenities. For example, full-time security. I feel safer in a condo knowing that someone is securing the building. I always felt more exposed in a house. Having a concierge that can receive packages and send out dry cleaning is extremely efficient when you are on the go. Parking in a garage means not getting caught in the rain and the ease of Valet when you have guests visiting.
We may have lost the back yard pool, but we gained a beach club and pool onsite. Having a gym and a spa just an elevator ride away keeps both of us on the hook to maintain our health.
We chose a centrally located place to live which means access to the highways gets us to the airport in minutes. Brett and I are able to attend events in the city, which we were foregoing if we had to make a 40 min to sometimes 60 minute commute back to Miami. The shift in lifestyle that takes place when living in a city is HUGE and it may not be for everyone, but it changes your perspective. We can appreciate both lifestyles.
Stay tuned as we dive into the details of our move and the Miami condo re-design. Transitioning to 1,850 SF of space from 3,100 SF takes serious skill and planning, but we lay it out and show you how we get it done.