John Knox Village of Florida, Inc. and John Knox Village Foundation will host the inaugural Aging Greatly 2022 Symposium on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the John Knox Village Cultural Arts Center in Pompano Beach. The informative event will feature industry leaders (in-person and virtually) on aging, including New York Times bestselling author...

A few years after interior designer Marcela Villalobos and her husband, Juan Pablo (aka, J.P.), moved to Miami and opened their boutique interior design firm Concepto MV in 2001, they launched a division exclusively providing a wallpaper hanging service that became an overnight success. And when the pandemic started making in-person, full-service interior design too challenging, they started offering virtual interior design consultations with partner Ana Maria Caicedo and growing a team. This shift helped their business thrive. “Before, I would have two, three, maybe four full-service clients annually,” Marcela explains. “Since we’ve gone virtual, we’ve had more than 350 from the end of 2021 through today. It’s lucrative and exciting.” Her design consultants see photos of clients’ homes, charge by the room, and then provide suggestions and links for purchasing furnishings and finishes. In March 2002, Marcela and Ana Maria opened an office in Colombia now that Concepto MV has transformed more than 1,000 homes in South Florida. Concepto MV also creates custom-built high-design furniture. Interestingly, Villalobos has met only about one-fifth of her virtual clients in the flesh, though she estimates 80 percent of her roster resides in Miami. And while it might seem counterintuitive in the world of interior design, where everyone likes to say they cater to a diverse array of client tastes, the secret to the firm’s success is that Concepto MV has a definitive “look”—organic, modern, neutral and clean. However, when one of her clients purchased a 1950s-built, 3,600-square-foot home in Key Biscayne with four bedrooms and three bathrooms in 2020, Villalobos knew it would be a hands-on project. “The home was really outdated,” she recalls. Working with Nandez Design and Development in Miami, Villalobos set to work on the full redesign/renovation, which started with painting the walls white and installing 48-inch-square storm-white porcelain tiles from Prosein in Doral. Aside from a convex ceiling with some rafters near the entry foyer—which she transformed into an attractive feature with Thermory’s radiata pine cladding—the home had low ceilings throughout, and one of her top priorities was to let in as much natural light as possible. Visitors get an immediately feel for what’s to come the moment they step inside. To their left is a stunning wood and marble Tides dining room table from Pure Project Home in Coral Gables, paired with chairs from Italian brand Midj and dynamic pendant lights from Addison House. To the right is a living room with conversation-worthy decor accents, like a cheeky Fornasetti Antipatico vase, gold plant stands and a semi-precious stone-topped accent table. Orange leather chairs from Nicoline Italia provide some spicy color to the otherwise neutral room. To break up the monotony of the ground covering, Villalobos had Nandez installed a long, whitewashed wood step with an LED strip. “The client wanted a unique art piece that didn’t take away from the space,” she recalls. “This was the perfect solution.” Another Concepto MV signature, which Villalobos installed in the great room, is a vertical wooden slat wall. Here the radiata pine slats helped solve myriad issues, by hiding the stairs and creating a wall to open opportunities for furniture placement.