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design-happens-eal-andreea-avram-portrait600x398Brooklyn designer, Andreea Avram Rusu, took an outdated Miami apartment and transformed it into a spacious vacation home for a large family. Read what Andreea has to say about this spectacular before and after.

I design for effortless living. This vacation apartment utilizes every inch of space to make living and entertaining easy, yet is stylish and vibrant. I believe a vacation apartment should be both uplifting and serene. I wanted to bring in the colors of the ocean and the exuberance of Miami.



The apartment accommodates three generations of a large New York family. To this end, a one bedroom apartment was converted into a two bedroom apartment. The existing kitchen is now a children’s guest room. With flexibility in mind, the master bedroom sleeps a couple or two siblings, while the living room sofa folds out for the grandchildren.



I wanted the apartment to be perfect for two or for 20 people. My client hosts frequently, especially during holidays. I created an open kitchen that is part of the entertaining. The bar conveniently doubles as a buffet thanks to a minimal cooktop.



The dining room table seats up to 12. A geometric arrangement of Chagall lithographs creates a focal point in this space.



In the living room, two side tables function as a coffee table. They can be used as occasional tables or moved out of the way for a crowded party. The furniture is placed to allow easy movement from the living room seating group to the kitchen bar and dining room table without stepping around large furniture. The living room’s round zebra rug playfully defines the seating group and visually answers to the dramatic dining room chairs. Discreet cable lighting highlights the vibrant silk curtains in the living room.

The secret of a successful modern apartment is plenty of storage. I designed the built-in cabinet, stretching from the dining room to the living room, to maximize storage and enhance both spaces. The recessed section on the living room side enlarges the space at seating level while creating end tables and a serving counter.

The interior design is very much a mix of high and low, custom and retail, vintage and contemporary. Nothing is too precious. The sofa from Room & Board and dining table from Bo Concept are combined with Phillippe Starck dining chairs, Eileen Gray Side Tables and Harry Bertoia bar stools.

Vibrant colors are offset by clean neutral tones. Formal textures are layered over informal textures as with the iridescent silk pillows on the cotton velvet sofa. The curtains and comforter covers are all custom made from Indian silks found in New York City’s garment district, while the striped sheer curtain fabric is from Kirk Brummel. The apartment is tied together with a white glass tile floor. A smaller tile of the same material covers all four bathroom walls. Carrara Gold marble sets the kitchen and bathroom counter tops apart. The dining room chandelier is vintage, as are many of the Murano glass accessories.

See more of Andreea’s work in Designers’ Portfolio »


Designers & Talent

17 Responses

  1. Carole Ann says:

    Her designs brought this apartment back to life. Everything about it looked so dated before. I'm not wild about the white tile flooring, but it's amazing what the colors in the fabrics do for a room.

  2. kris says:

    I adore this whole place. She clearly is super duper talented and I'm going to keep my eyes open for more of her work. I love seeing new designer faces; keep them coming!!

  3. I love it! While I find things like white floors hard to maintain in real life I think they, like many of the other touches, are SO Miami. The best kind of Miami…the Miami we want to believe in rather than the reality sometimes. Beautiful design.

  4. summer bug says:

    so modern and beautiful . love it .

  5. lanvy says:

    There are some really great elements…but more isnt necessarily MORE.
    +The light aqua nook in the living room is beautiful.
    - carrying the color of the nook to the dividing wall of the kitchen is too matchy-matchy and ohhhh so very miami (might as well throw in the pink flamingos to boot). It seems very design basic 101

    +the seamless white cabinet wall is gorgeous and brilliant to keep the space clean and easy
    -carrying the shiny lacquered feel to the floor feels very MIAMI VICE before the drug bust.

    +Choices of furniture is spot on
    -the red huge ceiling to floor theater drapery is so DRAMA QUEEN without the option for a graceful exit and thus competes with the elegant moden furniture.

    The BEFORE hurricane windows were more in keeping with the sleek aesthetics of the AFTER design.

    + The layout and choices in the kitchen is clean and perfect for the space ad n

  6. mblesko says:

    Ms. Rusu is genius with this reno! She is very in tune to updating the apartment with the whites and zapping bright colors in decor items.
    I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future. It is so fresh and ultimately NEW.

  7. manlive says:

    She is absolutely great! I couldn't think of anything better… there us NOTHING bad about this apartment… it's great and she should be proud…

  8. manlive says:

    Lets give her a round of applause for this great young lady!!!!!!!!!

  9. mfranc says:

    It's a beautiful space, I would love to see more of her work

  10. Tamara says:

    I thought that the space was beautifully transformed. It was elegant, chic, simple, livable, colorful, creative, and so on. It did not remind me of Miami Vice. There was nothing overdone or drama queen about it. I am going to save her to my favorites. Her work reminds me of Jamie Drake who has a gift for using colors, tones and shades.

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