Inside a Breezy Florida Villa Where Exotic Glamour Abounds

When Mark D. Sikes arrived at his new clients’ Mediterranean Revival–style villa, nestled within a leafy enclave near Miami, he heard the distinct call of the past. “The house felt timeless and elegant,” the AD100 designer says of first seeing the property, which, while only some four decades old, echoed the early-20th-century work of the celebrated South Florida architect Addison Mizner. A key objective for the project was immediately clear: embrace the region’s grand architectural tradition of that era to make the house feel like it had been there forever.

Classic sophistication is one thing, but fustiness is quite another. And if there’s one person who can differentiate between the two, it’s Sikes, whose roster of clients includes Reese Witherspoon, Nancy Meyers, and a flock of discerning hosts and hostesses with quieter profiles. “There’s something so exotic and definitely glamorous,” Sikes says of the six-bedroom pile’s tropical surroundings. “You can just feel the sensuality, and I think the interiors evoke that as well—in a weird way, there’s nothing prim and proper about it.” The New York City–based homeowners, Stefano and Angela Dukcevich, who have two college-age kids living nearby, came to Sikes with that same delicate balance in mind. “We wanted to decorate the house in a timeless, beautiful manner and infuse it with a casual, joyful touch,” says Stefano of the couple’s similar intentions.

Of course effecting a successful blend of old-world charm and contemporary livability is no easy order. First, to imbue the voluminous interiors with a sense of intimacy, Sikes and his team called in a longtime collaborator, decorative painter Joseph Steiert, to ground the expansive ceilings, columns, and arches with archival stencil patterns. Those intricate architectural accents are perhaps most notable in the double-height entry hall and neighboring living area, separated by a groin-vaulted arcade; as well as in the media room. In the lattermost space, custom blue-and-white Casa Gusto bowls on the walls, antique British colonial–style armchairs, and plush seating covered in a custom Brunschwig & Fils Moroccan-blue print offer an informal appeal. Integrating the family’s contemporary art collection in thoughtful yet unpredictable ways—as seen with the abstract canvas by Enoc Perez above the living room mantel—was another vitalizing opportunity. “A lot of people want to match the art to the room,” the designer notes, referring to the painting’s darker colors, “and I just don’t believe in that.”

Mindful of the daily routines of his two clients, who were born and raised in Europe, Sikes was keen to add a surfeit of personal touches. In a sitting room within the primary suite, he installed a cabinet with a refrigerator and other accessories for their morning coffee ritual. A game room downstairs dressed in blue-and-white stripes from Fermoie, meanwhile, doubles as an afternoon-tea salon for the family. “The spirit of this house felt a lot more European, more ancestral compared to the house they live in New York,” the LA-based decorator observes. “It was cool to talk about the way these rooms could function a little bit differently than a natural American floor plan.”

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