Built with Bustelo Coffee’s Jose Enrique Souto’s art collection in mind, this coffee baron’s palatial Miami abode is a work of art in its own right. Designed by celebrated Miami architect Bea Pila, the home’s design incorporates Pila’s philosophy of “sacred spaces,” which imparts the idea that a room should be oriented towards the homeowner’s specific needs and personality and not necessarily the strict notion of what a room “should” be used for.
In particular, Souto’s needs are oriented towards his massive art collection, which represents over 30 museum-caliber artists. To this end, much of the space was designed with each piece he owns in mind, in an effort to elevate the collection as a whole. Among Souto’s favorites are his Cuban paintings, all of which are bursting with color and life. When showcasing these pieces the space around the paintings become a neutral canvas, allowing the artwork to shine. Neutral furnishings make a statement with shape and silhouette versus patterns. A blend of irons, woods and solid fabrics provide a masculinity and maturity without being pretentious. Luxe wallpapers, including velvet-embossings and overlays and grasscloth textures, placed on select walls imparts sophistication and invites interest.
The villa is 14,000 square-feet designed in classical style with a modern twist. The archways, door frames and windows are outfitted with dark wood and the family room flooring is pieced together with marble cuts in two finishes, honey and sandblasted leather, creating a striped effect in shape and texture.
The foyer has four large marble slabs, which create a diamond-shaped ripple effect that blends so seamlessly it appears cut right out of nature. The master bathroom’s shower also employs this technique while the flooring was completed in classical mosaic style, compounding on the theme of traditional style with modern subtleties.
The wine room is modeled after the idea of an old cellar but has been refreshed with high-designed functionality. Stainless steel chillers inserted into the patterned grey stone slabs limit refrigeration behind glass doors, thereby enabling guests to sit comfortably. Swivel industrial-like wooden seats flank the steel table, anchored by a beaded chandelier of corks.
Other spaces in the home allow for elevated leisure, too. Various alcoves throughout the estate have different functions: a foosball table occupies one, just outside the office terrace. Souto’s collection of Bonsai trees inspired the creation of a zen garden. What was initially supposed to be a simple screening room turned into a full-force entertainment area with a bar bar console and the living room bar lights up the space with its glowing top. The pool is a literal oasis, providing a comfortable sanctuary in an otherwise serious home.
For Souto, his intense love of art and beautiful spaces meant one thing: his home needed to be not just a place to live, but also a museum. Pila’s challenge was to produce a design plan that reflected sophistication and good taste while creating a comfortable, livable space that didn’t feel overly-intellectualized or cold. With the incorporation of traditional design elements, natural materials and neutral colors with a variety of textures, Souto’s Miami villa strikes just the right balance.
By Jackie Bryant