Dunagan Diverio Design Group Transforms A Coral Gables Home
Natural stones and organic materials create a comfortable, relaxed environment inside this coastal residence. Design duo Charlotte Dunagan and Thomas Diverio had previously designed the home of this client’s sister, so when an opportunity to work with the family arose again, it was a no-brainer.
As the firm’s founder, Dunagan prides herself on the experience she gives her clients in coming up with individual concepts for each project. “I love the human connection and creating a home that functions for my client’s way of living,” she says.
Professionally, Dunagan has been in the industry for more than two decades—however, she’s been designing her entire life alongside her mom, who was an interior designer in France and would tote her around to job sites.
Diverio, on the other hand, has an architectural background. After moving from New Jersey to attend the University of Miami, he thought his path was set. Then he met Dunagan and fell in love with high-end residential interiors. By combining both of their passions and strengths, Dunagan Diverio Design Group delivers luxury, new construction homes each with a multifaceted vision—from architectural space planning to lavish details and fixtures.
The manicured driveway of the 11,589-square-foot home acts as one of the exterior’s focal points with a concrete and grass abstract checkered pattern that’s both beautiful and functional. The entryway’s coral stones and white railing add to that texture. A flat roof designed to look similar to a wood shake roof, even in its color variations, is actually cement, a much sturdier material.
The client’s love for blue is showcased from the start, with a cobalt blue door that adds pizzazz to the entrance. Similar blue hues were also carried throughout the home’s décor. A stunning floating staircase is the star of the foyer with a black powder-coated iron railing, wood-capped handrail and custom wood tread. At the top of the stairs hangs a family heirloom—an antique silk shawl. Flanking the glass double doors opposite the front door are four paintings by Cuban artist José María Mijares from the client’s private collection.
The focal points in the dining room are the stunning chandelier designed by Baylar Atelier and the custom wine cellar. Metal chains are suspended from a polished stainless steel structure to illuminate the room, while the wine cellar reflects the light and gives the room a vibrant feel. A custom Bon Vivant walnut wood table and Artea Home chairs finish it off. Playing with texture here, the two end chairs are done in a gray leather while the rest have leather seats and a herringbone linen back. The 200-bottle temperature-controlled wine cellar has a mix of storage variations and display cases for those extra-special bottles.
The design team took on the task of incorporating several furniture pieces from the client’s former home, including the chairs and sofa, in this room. They did, however, reupholster the pieces—the sofa with a gray prewashed linen and the chairs with a cobalt blue velvet fabric. The glass coffee table, Lucite end tables and painting above the sofa are all from the client’s collection. Two vintage hand blown glass lamps from Vermillion bookend the couch.
Located off the great room, the outdoor terraces are the most convivial rooms of the house. The client’s family loves to entertain outside, so ensuring plenty of space for the entire clan to gather in the backyard was one of the top priorities for the design team. Complete with a barbecue, summer kitchen, roller shades for extra protection from the sun and mosquitoes, and even a fireplace, the space’s décor extends the relaxed waterfront atmosphere inside with tongue and groove ceilings in a stained gray hue, coral stone columns and plush outdoor furniture.
The blue theme throughout the home all started with the eye-catching agate semi-precious island countertop in bright blue and turquoise, which the client fell in love with. In conjunction with the outdoor terraces, the great room is the main living space of the home with its kitchen, family room and breakfast nook. Integrated oak ceiling beams give the room a casual, warm feeling while the different cabinet door profiles in white lacquer and gray oak give it a contemporary twist. The breakfast area, large enough for the whole family, is elegant but approachable. A wet bar with extra storage sits adjacent.
The duo wanted to give this space a whimsical feel, so they used Cuban tile to pay tribute to the client’s heritage, added a plank board accent wall and designed the shower frame in a dark bronze frame to match the plumbing and lighting fixtures.
A Bungalow Classic bush-hammered iron canopy bed with leather headboard and tufted beige linen bench sit on top of a soft area rug in gray and blue tones. Simple silver leaf J. Alexander night tables are finished off with glass lamps and linen shades to ensure the window light is never obstructed. The bathroom in dark gray lacquer with custom millwork contrasts the bedroom’s soft color palette, but a white glass countertop reflects the light and gives the space a feeling of airiness.
MASTER BEDROOM AND FOYER
The master bedroom’s pitched vaulted ceiling is accented with an Aerin two-tier glass pearl chandelier and silk wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries. The Ralph Lauren nightstand lamps with rounded glass balls mirror the chandelier’s design. J. Alexander end tables in walnut, metal and glass add texture while embracing the king bed with its custom deep gray and taupe velvet headboard, and the room’s bamboo silk shag rug from NIBA Designs. Before stepping into the home’s main sanctuary, the master has a vestibule that has a custom Bon Vivant walnut cabinet table with Urban Electric glass-stem sconces, a beveled mirror from Powell & Bonnell, and a custom display case for family photos and books. The best part of this room is a secret integrated door that leads from the entryway straight into the walk-in closet.
Made with only two materials—Thassos premium polished marble and AKDO ash gray polished mosaic tile—the design team wanted to play with texture in the master bathroom by using the tiles in the shower and along the bathtub wall. The tub, from BainUltra, also has a beaded white marble mosaic detailing around it. Vessel sinks sit on the white marble countertop while beaded light fixtures mimic the bedroom’s beaded chandelier.
This nearly 400-square-foot space with custom white millwork, a marble island and a hand blown glass OCHRE chandelier is a room with plenty of bright natural light and space for every wardrobe piece. Glass displays for exceptional shoes and purses are found throughout the closet, and a window-side vanity is a perfect space to get ready for a night out.
The dock, made from dense and durable South American Ipe wood, is decorated with Restoration Hardware aluminum lounge chairs, while the 30,000-gallon infinity-edge pool sits just 15 feet away and is wrapped in glass mosaic tiles with a range of blue hues. From this angle, the array of outdoor spaces the home has can be appreciated. The outdoor design mirrors the interior with organic materials that give the landscape a relaxed, yet tailored, look with coral stone steps and oolite stone planters.