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WSJ – Chad Oppenheim’s Minimalist Miami Home

The sleek, austere living/dining room of this Miami home belies the playful pandemonium that goes on here. On the sofa: jumping and dancing. Bicycles, scooters and games of tag pass through here. And when a rainy day befell a toddler’s birthday party last year, the two ponies clomped inside for rides.

Chad Oppenheim, the home’s owner and architect, explains that while most of the furnishings are limited-edition, museum-quality pieces, the space, which he calls “the everything room,” revolves around family—himself, his wife, Ilona, son Hendrix, 6 and daughter Liloo, 3.

“You design around life and not around the architecture,” says Mr. Oppenheim, the 43-year-old founder of Oppenheim Architecture + Design.

Here’s a breakdown of the elements selected by Mr. Oppenheim and his wife over the course of about a year for the home, which they call Villa Allegra.

1. The “Esse Sofa” by Italian company Edra is covered in synthetic ostrich skin, perfect for a room with juice boxes and sticky fingers. “If something gets on it, you can wipe it off,” Mr. Oppenheim says. The piece came from the couple’s previous home and is a good fit with the room’s neutral palette.

Price: $15,000

2. The area rug comes from the Miami-based Stephanie Odegard Collection. Made from Himalayan wool and hand-spun silk, the rug offsets the naturally dark Brazilian chestnut floors, called sucupira wood.

Price: $35,000

3. The dining table was custom made in Indonesia using reclaimed teak. The family eats at the table, which also gets plenty of use with the kids’ activities.

Price: $55,000 for the table and two benches

4. Like many of the home’s furnishings, the small marble table was a serendipitous find. “We weren’t necessarily looking for it,” Mr. Oppenheim said. Rather, when the couple sees something they like, “we find a place for it.” The piece came from the Stephanie Odegard Collection.

Price: $4,000

5. “From the moment I saw it, I wanted it,” says Mr. Oppenheim of the “Blossom Chandelier” designed by Tord Boontje for Swarovski Crystal Palace. His wife purchased the cherry blossom-inspired fixture as a surprise. “I’m a fanatic about nature.” Still, the chandelier is seldom used. “In the daytime, we get a lot of natural light. At night we use candles everywhere, along with floor lights and dim ceiling lights,” he says. “The [chandelier’s] light is a bit cold—LED bulbs—and it has settings that, quite frankly, are a little hard to control.”

Price: $40,000

6. The white “Crochet Chair” comes from Marcel Wanders Studio, a quirky, contemporary firm based in Amsterdam. The surface is basically resin-impregnated lace—firm but with a little give to it, Mr. Oppenheim says. While nothing in the room is sacred, “I would not be too excited if the kids were jumping on it.”

Price: $25,000

 ARTICLE PDF: WSJ_Minimalist_Home

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