Monday, September 26, 2022

Florida Style & Design: A Tropical Sanctuary

After living in bustling cities like Caracas, New York and Miami, Angel Sanchez and Christopher Coleman wanted a respite from the concrete jungle. A friend mentioned Delray Beach, so they drove north from their Miami home to explore the seaside town. Making their way around Delray’s neighborhoods, they perused available homes solely out of curiosity when they stumbled upon a hamlet down a dirt path in west Delray. The designers fell in love with the clandestine enclave and especially this mid-century modern home. After a year of renovations and several quarantine projects, Sanchez and Coleman decided to become full-time Delray Beach residents and relish this stylish botanical paradise they created together.

Christopher Coleman and Angel Sanchez; photo by Ken Hayden

The couple met 23 years ago in Caracas. They were both burgeoning artists—Sanchez an architect turned fashion designer, and Coleman an interior designer. Sanchez has designed wedding gowns for A-listers like Eva Longoria and Sandra Bullock alongside generations of devoted clients, and was a judge on “Project Runway Latin America.” Coleman is a renowned interior designer whose work has been fêted on an international level. Five years ago, the dynamic duo decided to combine their talents into Sanchez Coleman Studio. The two-story Miami lifestyle atelier is where Sanchez creates bridal and evening couture along with ready-to-wear collections, and Coleman welcomes clients into their interior design playground.

A master of mixing high and low pieces, Coleman works with clients on any budget, looks forward to exposing them to international brands and prides himself on being there to support them through the entire design process. A self-proclaimed people person who loves to have fun, he fancies creative suggestions and really dives into what a client needs and wants based on their lifestyle.

For Coleman and Sanchez, they were looking to create a vibrant space to entertain friends as well as a peaceful place to unwind. They kept the integrity of the 1950s architecture while adding custom features like full-height frameless Italian doors. Coleman also has several storage containers with furniture he’s collected over the years and already had a few mid-century pieces in mind for the home. The main living area was divided into three separate rooms, so they took down the walls, doubled the size of the kitchen and added two more bathrooms to create the open-plan, three-bedroom, four-bathroom, 2,400-square-foot home.

Living Room

The living room walls were taken down to allow for a large open plan. The acrylic “Cash 2 Trash” sign is from Art Basel and complements the room’s mid-century vibe; the metal-leg sofa is from Design Within Reach. Photo by Ken Hayden.

The acrylic “Cash 2 Trash” art piece, which Coleman purchased at Art Basel a few years ago, really spoke to him. “I’m always looking for things in thrift stores, so it had some meaning for me. It looks great at night; it glows,” he says.

In this room there are different woven fabrics, for example the Design Within Reach metal-leg sofa in grey textured chenille. Coleman is big on tone-on-tone but in different textures. “I like woven and textured fabric, because they wear well with the dirt and create an interest.”

A sunny reading nook reflects the house’s earthy green color palette. Photo by Ken Hayden.

To design a warm, comfortable space, Coleman used curved furniture like the vintage coffee table and CB2 rattan chairs. He shies away from too many angular square shapes that he feels make a space feel like a boardroom. He customized the chairs’ checkerboard cushions and amplified the vintage feel with green grosgrain ribbon. An Italian chandelier has the similar customized wrapped-rope detail as the dining room chairs, while a custom rug ties in the home’s color palette. Coleman explains that for him, the use of color or pattern is all about the dose.

Dining Room

The dining room incorporates vintage rattan and wicker pieces with an edgy mesh-metal chandelier from Uruguay. Photo by Ken Hayden.

Coleman’s passion for thrifting is ever present. He snagged the chairs at the Lincoln Road flea market and reupholstered their snakeskin vinyl with a rich, leaf-green woven fabric. During quarantine, one of the projects the pair tackled was weaving the rope detail to the back of the chairs and metal-mesh chandelier’s cord, which he purchased 10 years ago in Uruguay. Looking to incorporate vintage rattan and wicker pieces, he was happy to find the vintage rattan chair on Charish, which he calls their Instagram-moment chair—everyone gravitates to it for a photo. “I like bringing the outdoors in, so the green, black and sand color palette dictated the direction,” he says.


The kitchen, which has no upper cupboards, has a show-stopping backsplash crafted by Mosaico, black dekton countertops and vintage leather stools. Photo by Ken Hayden.

Devoid of upper cabinets, the backsplash is a showstopper—a stunning feature wall that is visible upon entering the home. Mosaico can print any design and set it behind resin to create a completely customizable tile. The couple played with the pattern incorporating the home’s earthy color palette. Some say it resembles piano keys, but to Sanchez it’s reminiscent of Venezuelan kinetic art from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Black dekton countertops and black metal and leather vintage stools finish off the space.

“I wanted a big, open, clean kitchen,” Coleman says. “We entertain a lot, so everyone hangs around the big kitchen island.”

The wood-vinyl floors, consistent throughout the home, create continuity and add to the home’s natural, organic aesthetic.

Primary Suite

A verdant refuge, the bedroom almost feels like it’s outdoors, a part of the landscape. Coleman kept all the bedroom and bathroom designs consistent, including a leaf-green feature wall, organic rattan pieces and front-of-the-bed runners that Sanchez made using leftover fabrics from previous collections. Almost every room also has a vintage black metal piece, a nod to the 1950s wrought-iron furniture that Coleman enjoys.

To create a sense of height, he designed a low black wainscot around the perimeter. He also painted out the window frames in the same color as the wood blinds to make a bold statement with a simple window treatment that reads as one. And he purchased the vintage rattan lights, which bookend the metal-frame bed, from IKEA 20 years ago.

The primary bath mirrors the bedroom’s design with a leaf-green glass tile from USA Tile & Marble inside the black-framed shower. Photo by Ken Hayden.

Mirroring the bedroom’s design, a leaf-green glass tile from USA Tile & Marble creates a feature wall in the primary bathroom inside the black-framed shower. A hanging mirror creates interest in the space while still allowing daylight to stream in.

Powder Room

The powder room brings greenery and vibrant tropical birds indoors and features a green-resin, black-metal-frame sink and vintage rattan mirror. Photo by Ken Hayden.

“I wanted something a little decorated,” Coleman says. The Pierre Frey does just that. Lush greenery and vibrant tropical birds are brought indoors and are complemented by the green-resin, black-metal-frame sink and vintage rattan mirror.

This story is from the Summer 2022 issue of Delray magazine. For more content like this, pick up a copy on your local newsstand and click here to subscribe to Boca magazine.

Christie Galeano-DeMott
Christie is a food lover, travel fanatic, bookworm, Francophile, and she believes art in all its forms is good for the soul. When she’s not writing about the incredible dishes, people and places that capture South Florida's culture and vibe, Christie is irresistibly happy in the company of her husband and a glass of red wine.

Related Articles

Latest Articles