This Miami Designer Fills Her Apartment With Vintage Furniture
Carla Lores at the travertine and chrome dining table she’d taken from a private seller in Key Biscayne.
Though interior designer Carla Lores rents an apartment in the historic Art Deco district of Miami Beach, the only recognizable relic from the 1930s is an ornate, non-working fireplace. The elaborate design and the pastel-colored mosaic stove give the otherwise empty, 600 square meter room character, but not enough that Carla is completely satisfied with its appearance.
“It’s frustrating that the terms of my lease don’t allow me to upgrade the apartment,” she complains. “I work within these limits. Right now, I express myself through funky vintage furniture. “
Carla has spent countless hours scrolling through OfferUp and the Facebook marketplace to put together her retro collection that brings life to the white plaster walls. Searching through thousands of posts to find those few gems among tons of junk is challenging yet rewarding. “It’s going to be a treasure hunt,” she describes.
While many of Carla’s finds, such as the travertine and chrome dining table from the 1970s, were made in late 20th century Italy, each object is sourced locally to reflect the city’s rich history as an international hub for art and design appreciate. “I want my apartment to feel like Miami,” she says. “Everything I found was here in South Florida. The pieces came from other countries, but they probably lived here for most of their lives. “
“The way it creates levels is really unique. It’s the perfect place to place artifacts and beautiful items, ”enthuses Carla.
Clear themes emerge in Carla’s second-hand selection. All of its surfaces have a distinct, monolithic solidity, from the orange laminate and lucite desk in the Milo Baughman style to the mushroom-like resin nesting side tables. The eye-catching desk with green laminate is also thick and clunky.
To compensate for the heaviness, Carla invested in wavy, curved lights that offer a layer of playfulness. The arched Mads Caprani floor lamp has a dreamy folding shade, the three-legged Memphis floor lamp sways bizarre and the vintage-looking Oscar Piccolo Lampada Cappello wobbles gracefully. “As soon as I’ve found a shape that I like, I inadvertently repeat it over and over again,” reveals Carla. “At some point I’ll move on to the next form.”
Carla’s seating is all made of beach wicker. She got a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe MR20 cantilever chair made of rattan, while her desk chair made of white lacquer and the Cesca chairs by Marcel Breuer were equipped with sugar cane. “I wanted to incorporate these natural materials in a special way because they could easily become tiki or bohemian,” says Carla.
Carla’s checkered swarm shines through between her KJP prints and the Robert Allen fabric. “I don’t want it to look like Brooklyn or the west coast,” says Carla. “It’s interesting to keep it relevant to Miami Art Deco.”