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Outdoor Kitchens Take Your Home to the Next Level

With cooler temperatures now among us, the weather is perfect in South Florida for outdoor parties and eating outside. We are the outdoor kitchen’s biggest fan. They can take your luxury home to the next level, allowing you to experiment with colors and styles that may not align with the interior of your home. Before you draw up the blue prints, there are some factors, as highlighted in the following Mansion Global article, you need to consider to make an outdoor kitchen a functional yet stylish place to entertain.

Consider the logistics

“If you’re on the ocean, understand that every metal—even stainless steel—will eventually rust to some degree, so it needs maintenance. It should be cleaned and protected at least seasonally to extend the life. Think of the house as being in a salt bath all the time. Countertop materials have to be able to withstand sun exposure, so natural stones and concrete work well; whereas many composite materials break down in UV.

“One of the biggest decisions is whether you wantyour guests to be involved with the cooking. Are you doing the cooking and want to be part of the party? Or, do you have staff that would function better elsewhere? Travel distance (and routes) from cooking to serving to cleanup also need to be thought through.

“Subtle lighting is best—you can function with a lot less light than you might think. If your outdoor space is too bright, you might as well be inside. Outdoor spaces tend to get a lot of spillover light from the inside of the house. The goal is to have lounge lighting, not surgical suite lighting.”

Define the space

“The outdoor kitchen is an area where you can play and experiment, but it should still mix with the rest of the aesthetic inside the home to create a cohesive story. This might be a good place to try out a funky tile that you’ve been eyeing, or brass hardware, but don’t go crazy with a scheme or vibe that doesn’t match the interiors.

“Functional furniture is key for an outdoor entertaining area, but that doesn’t mean it should sacrifice on style. Focusing on durable perennial fabrics and the right sealants and treatments for wood and stone will keep the area useable and durable over time.

“Bistro lights or large hurricane candles in tall pillars create ambient lighting, as do tea light candles around the table. As for wired lighting, be sure to install dimmers to set the mood—that’s half the point of eating outside.

“Materials like stainless steel, concrete, quartz, and caesarstone are durable, easily cleanable materials that can hold up to the weather.”

Work out the details

“The more trips you can reduce between your outdoor space and your main kitchen, the better. Key elements include a sink and faucet, two mini fridges—one for beverages and one for food—and a grill with ample prep space. My favorite one is from Caliber Appliances—the lid folds all the way back and goes flush with the countertop. It’s very sleek and unintrusive.

“Consider a unit that’s mobile to give you more flexibility. I recently collaborated with Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens and Dekton to design my vision for the ultimate outdoor kitchen. Its freestanding modular design includes plenty of storage on both sides of the kitchen to keep counter space clear, allowing it to be a gathering spot from all sides for both guests and the chef—sort of like an island.

“Just be sure it’s at least 10 feet from your pool. No one wants their steaks or cocktails splashed with pool water.”

Fashion Designer Giorgio’s Announcement This Week Compelled Us To Look Back

Last week, Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani unveiled his succession plan, which is in place to preserve and protect his legacy, a fashion empire, after the 83-year-old designer dies.

The news of this plan led us to pause and reflect on how fortunate SPACiO has been to work closely with Armani through the Residences by Armani Casa project in Sunny Isles.

As a boutique, highly specialized general contractor, we were trusted with building the development’s luxurious Armani Casa sales center. Armani is hands-on, and he was responsible for the interior design of the luxury condo high-rise.

The sales center was built to resemble one of the tower’s most expensive units, featuring high-quality finishes and materials imported from Italy. It was not uncommon for Armani to walk into the sales center while it was under construction to check the quality of our work, and to ensure that it was in line with the integrity of his brand.

The build-out included precise work, such as the inclusion of book-matched stone flooring installed in complex radiuses.

Armani hand-picked all furniture and materials for use in the build-out of the sales center. Our experience with Armani, his complex designs and luxurious taste, allowed us the opportunity to sharpen our craftsmanship skills. Today, we are a more seasoned general contractor firm thanks to our experience working under Armani’s guidance.

We look forward to seeing many more years of his design genius.

Q&A: Prestige’s Broker Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche Strives to Be Different and Finds Success

Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche, co-founder and managing broker of Prestige Realty Group, sat down with SPACiO Design Build to discuss today’s luxury real estate market in Miami. The boutique brokerage firm focuses on luxury homes and high-rise condominium sales. As a Miami native, Tony has seen the transformation of Miami from a beachside destination into a bustling and sprawling metropolis attracting buyers from all over the world.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START YOUR OWN BROKERAGE FIRM?

My business partner Christopher Hodgson and I wanted to create more of a boutique real estate firm, offering clients personalized services that the larger firms don’t offer. When someone hires Prestige Realty, they are hiring our entire team of over 23 agents that are available 24/7 to serve our clients. We also wanted to create a firm with an international reach. My partner is from London and I’m from Miami so we really have a global reach. Our approach seems to be working. Last year, we sold more than $50 million in real estate and I was recognized by Real Trends and the Wall Street Journal as one of the America’s best Realtors.

WHAT SHOULD CONSUMERS KNOW ABOUT MIAMI’S REAL ESTATE MARKET?

People always ask me how the market is doing and I always ask which one. Most real estate consumers assume Miami- Dade County is one market but in reality it’s composed of many different markets, all of which have their own character. I take a neighborhood approach to real estate, mostly focusing on single-family luxury homes and condominiums in Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, Coral Gables, Pinecrest, downtown, South Miami and Miami Beach. Every market is its own special ecosystem. One may be booming while the other is down. Overall, in the submarkets I focus on, the market hasn’t slowed down significantly. It’s a healthy slow-down with plenty of inventory available. People need to realize that the pre-construction condos are different from single-family homes and a slow-down in that particular sector is not an indicator of the overall housing market. Miami’s luxury real estate is very dynamic and can’t be generalized. For example, we have noticed that demand for Mediterranean style homes has decreased while modern and turnkey homes remain hot with buyers.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SELLERS?

The most important piece of advice for sellers is to hire a brokerage firm that’s tech savvy and will invest in their listings. You don’t want a realtor who is taking photos of your property with an iPhone. At Prestige Realty Group, we hire professional photographers and videographers who often use drones to get the best visuals possible for our listings. We want prospective buyers to have a 360-degree view of the property they will want to purchase. Sellers should also work with brokers who are advanced on social media. Technology is a major part of our lives now and should be an integral component to any realtor’s strategy for marketing and selling a home.

Another important piece of advice for sellers is to keep their homes clean and free of clutter when it’s on the market for sale.  Many underestimate the power of staging, which is not the same as decorating. You need to stage your home into a place that potential buyers can envision living in. Remove all your personal items including family photos, books and other items that may distract your potential buyer. You want your house to be known as the one with the beautiful kitchen, not the one with the overbearing collection of crystal figurines.

Behind the Scenes: Another Build-Out at Oceana Bal Harbour Has Been Delivered

SPACiO Design Build is happy to announce that another build-out project at Oceana Bal Harbour has been completed. The unit looks spectacular and blends well with the design of the unit, which features a complete flow-through floor plan and unobstructed views. Oceana Bal Harbour is one of the most luxurious development projects in South Florida.

The unit we recently completed arrived decorator-ready, so our work included installing interior hardwood flooring, tile on the large balcony, dropping the ceiling for additional lighting, installing pocket doors and audiovisual equipment, and more. As promised, we delivered the unit in four to six weeks but every unit is different depending on the scope of work.

Working at Oceana is an incredible experience. With floor-to-ceiling windows and extra-deep balconies, the unit boasts some of the most breathtaking views available in Miami. Oceana Bal Harbour’s spacious homes and balconies are designed to offer spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Biscayne Bay and the Bal Harbour Marina to the west and Miami’s skyline to the South.

It took effort not to be distracted by the remarkable views of golden sunlight reflecting on the blue ocean. Now, we move forward to our next build-out project in this incredible building.