Even after Chelsea Hirschhorn happily left the Big Apple for Miami, she still found herself in a New York state of mind. So when it came to decorating her Spanish Mediterranean–style home, she decided some urban spice was in order. “I wanted to create a Manhattan-meets-Miami vibe,” says Chelsea. She pulled it off beautifully by combining dark floors and big, bold artwork with light linen sofas and sisal. Having two boys in the house—sons Hunter, 3, and Jaxon, 1—meant durability was also top of mind. “Most of the materials we chose, from the window treatments to the rugs, are made for indoor and outdoor use, so nothing is sacred or off-limits to the kids,” she says. The same goes for grown-up guests, because as CEO of Fridababy, a company that makes innovative baby and toddler products for millennial moms, Chelsea does tons of entertaining—most of it barefoot. She and her husband Eric, a marketing executive, want friends and family to feel completely at ease. “We planned for wet bathing suits to be all over the place,” she says. “And they are!”
Chelsea came up with a clean, crisp black–and-white theme that’s echoed throughout the house, from the outside awnings to the curtains and rods in the living room. The driftwood tones of the side table and floor pillows are a nod to the beach, which is just 10 minutes away. Sofa and pillow covers can be unzipped and tossed in the wash—a must, says Chelsea. “From sandy bottoms to spilled smoothies, we’ve seen it all.” Diagonal shelving dramatically frames a small window and literally turns books and travel mementos on their sides.
“Most parents shy away from using dark accents in a kid-centered space, but it can actually be a great canvas,” says Chelsea.
The sleek leather side chairs and comfy, cushioned benches around the dining table are stain-resistant and can be wiped clean in a jiffy when family meals get messy. “Sitting down together every night is a priority for us,” says Chelsea. “We’re homebodies by nature.” A glass-and-brass chandelier, which stands out against the dark window treatments, adds a touch of industrial chic. Dark hardwood floors look elegant and sophisticated, bringing richness and polish to a space.
“The master bedroom is where we unwind at the end of the day,” says Chelsea. The seating area functions as a spot where she and Eric can kick back and work on their laptops or read to the boys. “They hang out there in the morning too, so I can keep an eye on them while I get ready.” Natural, grasscloth-textured wallpaper evokes the shore, while the patterned ottoman and pillows play off each other for an ethnic touch.
A striking, mural-sized photograph sets the tone in the music room, where Eric and the boys enjoy mini jam sessions whenever the mood strikes. The cowhide patchwork rug feels wonderful underfoot and is so sturdy—spills don’t absorb and just wipe right off. “This is very much a design-conscious home, but there’s nothing precious or fancy about it,” says Chelsea.
Chelsea went a little wild in the boys’ playroom, drawing inspiration from both her honeymoon in South Africa and the amazing zebra daybed that was a graduation gift from her grandparents. The low, round steel tables have no sharp corners and are ideal for doing puzzles or building block towers. White walls and shades provide a neutral backdrop for the bright, eclectic design elements in this kids’ space. The indoor-outdoor rug is durable enough to hold up to years of use, says Chelsea. “Better yet, it looks great. We wanted every inch of space to be inviting to our adult guests and our mini-me residents.”