Michael Dawkins has led an accomplished career as a designer, builder, tastemaker, and fine jewelry maker. His bold, spacious interior design showroom in Miami’s Design District continues his trajectory of creativity and passion with a return to his love of residential interiors.
When you step through the English garden into Dawkins’ Miami showroom, prepare to spend the afternoon captivated. You’ll find clean-lined benches and tables, as well as classic-with-a-twist upholstered pieces. Charmingly simple, elegant glass pendant lighting. Original abstract oil paintings. Sculptures made from the portholes of ships or from castings of mushrooms. And beware: you may not want to leave!
Michael made us feel right at home while we had the opportunity to chat with him about this wonderful design resource.
IC: How would you characterize the Michael Dawkins Home aesthetic?
MD: Our design concept brings luxury and individuality to the home in a way that transcends periods or genre. We work with both homeowners and residential designers, and though we keep a healthy inventory of stunning and hard-to-find furnishings, we also showcase unique items—both indoor and outdoor furnishings and accessories.
IC: You opened your showroom in the Miami Design District in September of 2010. Can you describe the space?
MD: It’s a 10,000 square foot, split-level space in a 1924 building that we completely renovated. Visitors enter through the garden, and oversized glass doors let in the light. We exposed the wood beams on the second floor’s ceiling and reworked the floors with a high-gloss black Epoxy accentuating the natural tones of the furnishings. Throughout the showroom, there are individual room vignettes—the whole space evokes a warm, livable elegance. Miami has really become an international stage for arts and culture, and we’re excited to be here.
IC: What is one of your favorite design techniques?
MD: Contrast. So much can be done with the right contrast: for instance, a cypress tree table base placed next to a clear Lucite loveseat. I’m always looking for natural objects like unpolished stone, raw wood and linen, and pairing them with minimalist and modern design principles. It’s about drama and movement juxtaposed with a quiet elegance.
IC: You’ve worked in several different areas of design. Can you talk about that path?
MD: I’ve been designing for close to 20 years. I studied industrial design and architecture in college, and I’ve built and renovated properties: everything from a period estate in upstate New York to a ranch in Santa Barbara. I also design jewelry, and used to have collections at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, before transitioning my business to QVC. I’ve always been inspired by natural elements and by fusing different genres and textures and shapes. The Miami showroom brings those inspirations together in a return to my love of interior design.
The Michael Dawkins Home furniture and accessory showroom is located at 3628 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami. Telephone number: 305.573.4355. Website: www.michaeldawkinshome.com.