By Maria Tettamanti
Dont be fooled by the blonde mane and striking come-hither looks. When it comes to creating stunning surroundings, Sara Colombo is more than a pretty face. Shes a virtuoso. Since 2008, Colombo (wife of powerhouse developer Ugo Colombo and mom of two) has been making Miami homes prettier places, compliments of her interior décor store, Nest Casa. As for Nests famously impeccable selection of furniture, lighting and accessories, Colombo touts her modeling career and its inevitable travels as the explanation for her discerning eye. Im not an interior designer, its not what Im trained to do, Colombo said. What I like to do is hunt for objects and things you cant find anywhere else. Colombo handpicks Nests unique collection from Italy, France, Belgium and other faraway places. While her recently relocated Design District-based showroom focuses on furniture, lighting and fabrics, Colombo is already planning her next expansion: shes opening another accessories boutique at Bal Harbour Shops in May. Here, Colombo shares some of her best advice for making your home beautiful:
EMBRACE COLOR: A lot of people are afraid of living with the same hue for many years, so I always tell them to start off by using colorful throw pillows and cashmere throws that dont require the same commitment. Brightly colored accessories like colored glass or acrylic objects can make a space pop. Of course, Im not afraid of color so in my favorite room in my housea little sunroom filled with booksI used a turquoise sofa with chocolate brown piping and its super chic!
KNOW WHAT YOU NEED: From an architectural standpoint, people need to be clear on what the space theyre designing or creating is going to be used for. Is it a work or play area? Knowing this dictates how to decorate and how to utilize the space to its best potential.
GET COZY: While I appreciate a modern aesthetic, Im not a fan of cold spaces. I gravitate toward warm ones, and by using warmer textiles you can warm up a home. For example, in my Aspen home, I used a grey flannel fabric and it keeps everything neutral but still cozy. You can also add warmth through lighting. I covet new artist Jeremy Cole, whose lighting fixtures are handmade from porcelain.
SAY NO TO BARE WALLS: Art changes everything, Colombo says, and the right piece of art can significantly alter the way you see a room. Finding what you love is highly personal and few rules applyjust trust your instinct. "I am a huge art collector, but art doesnt have to mean you have a Jeff Koons hanging on your wall. If you cant splurge on art, a great go-to is photography. And if you love a certain photo, try creating a gallery-style print for your home.
DONT FORGET THE BLOSSOMS: To finish off a space, living plants are essential. I love orchids or a ficus lyrata for a 70s vibe. In my home, I use ponytail palms because they dont take up too much space. I am also loving the pencil cactus! When youre picking a plant, she says, take into account the lighting and try hearty indoor plants like the fiddleleaf fig, snake plants, English ivy and ferns.
Nest, 120 East 39th Street, Miami; 877-661-0417; nestcasa.com