A few of the larger trees and palms were there, but Newmark helped them redesign the garden. They filled in a swimming pool that was constantly leaking, added a cactus garden, a high hedge and other plants. The coup de grace is the waterfall and a white pergola with ceiling fan that allows them and their guests to relax and feel as if they are miles away from city life.
“People don’t want to leave,” Fendelman says. “After a while the sound of the waterfall makes you feel glued to the couch.”
It’s not only the house that drew them, it’s the Grove itself.
“I loved all the greenery and the people in the Grove,” Joffe says. “It’s a little conclave, a beautiful part of Miami that is more peaceful and filled the energy of old souls. People appreciate trees and honor them. It’s a community of people who believe in healthful eating and are open to new ideas.”
Fendelman says it is the only place he could live. “When you walk the streets, you see parrots and lush plants. You meet people enjoying life — walking dogs, running, riding bicycles. It’s paradise.”
Dunlop says she could have moved into every one of the homes in the book.
“These are very romantic little cottages,” Dunlop says. “We were seeking out storybook fantasies. We were looking for smaller houses. Another thing that separates this book from many design and decorating books is very few were by a decorator or had a decorator involved. It was about the lives of current owners and past owners who had stories to tell.”
Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.