Exclusive Look: DawnElise Hamilton and Jeannette Gonzalez Share Interior Design Inspirations

Two prominent local industry experts break down the key elements that went into these soaring spaces.

When orchestrating the interior design of a home, no matter the size or the location, there are several common tenets to adhere to. It’s important to acknowledge who will be inhabiting and enjoying the residence and what specific feeling the homeowner would like to experience when they enter the living spaces. For South Florida-based designers DawnElise Hamilton and Jeannette Gonzalez, fixtures in the local design industry for years, making sense of these elements comes naturally. To understand the process behind Hamilton and Gonzalez’ techniques, we’ve deconstructed three rooms and one outdoor living space that were recently completed.

Entertainment Room

Positioned directly on the sand in the picturesque enclave of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, this townhouse is a special property, boasting three bedrooms and four full bathrooms and one half-bath. In what Hamilton—president and principal designer at DawnElise Interiors in Oakland Park (dawneliseinteriors.com)—called a “total gut remodel,” she envisioned a residence with “a contemporary feel that is also durable and can withstand the demands of an oceanfront home.”

Design style: Fashion-forward and sophisticated

Furnishings: Sleek and handsome, this custom pool table functions as a hub for hanging out, while a patchwork cowhide rug provides a soft framework underfoot. A wet bar with plenty of cabinetry is the ideal spot for mixing cocktails and prepping snacks for hungry competitors.

Lighting: Visual Comfort’s Strada chandelier by Kelly Wearstler twinkles overhead.

Walls: NLXL’s Rough Concrete wall covering evokes a cool, industrial feel.


This chic entryway leads to the main living area of a condo in Fort Lauderdale Beach that has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It was Hamilton’s second time working with the client, a couple who has a penchant for collecting art. Therefore, even in the foyer, highlighting unique fixtures and furnishings was essential.

Design style: Tropical contemporary

Furnishings: To create an area that is elegant and modern, Hamilton floated a mirror by Sovet Italia above a stainless-steel console by LexMod. A candy-colored rug by Angela Adams adds a pop of color, and a fiery piece of artwork by  Jennifer Haley hangs beside the doorway.

 Lighting: Recessed lighting throughout the space casts a calming glow.

Walls: Benjamin Moore’s Black Bean Soup envelops the space to create a moody feel.


Situated on the penthouse floor of a Miami Beach condo, this home has three bedrooms and four bathrooms, as well as a rooftop deck. According to Gonzalez—principal at Opzioni Design in Weston (opzionidesign.com)—“the clients are art collectors, so it was important to conjure an eclectic ambience and a gallery-like feel while making the stunning ocean views a focal point.”

Design style: European modern

Furnishings: Gonzalez kept the furniture minimal, as the space is focused on a sweeping view of the ocean; the leather bed is from Addison House, and a single Tulip armchair by Cierre offers a cozy spot for relaxing.

Lighting: An elegant, beaded chandelier by Allegri Crystal infuses the space with a sophisticated vibe.

Flooring: The neutral light wood floor is topped with a silk rug.

Walls: A custom geode-inspired wall covering in shades of purple stretches to the ceiling, creating depth. The mirrored ceiling further expands the room.

Outdoor Deck

For the same penthouse project in Miami Beach, Gonzalez was tasked with bringing this outdoor space to life.

Design style: Clean and modern, highlighting the ocean vistas

Furnishings: A sofa with a coordinating coffee table and a pair of chaises from Belamo Patio Furniture allows for frequent lounging, offering several spots for curling up with a good book or napping.

Lighting: At night, a trio of planters by Vondom emit ambient light. Gonzalez also integrated lighting into the walls for a soothing feel.

Flooring: Gonzalez worked with Pembroke Pines-based Syntech Turf to cover a portion of the deck with artificial grass.

Walls: A faux green wall extends behind the elevated swimming pool, allowing for privacy while saturating the space with vibrant greenery.

You May Also Like

Miami Art Week 2023 Showcases Fashion and Celebrities

The events brought together design, music, and artistry.

When Doing a Home Renovation, What Room Is Most Important to Floridians?

How does Florida stack up against other states?

Cocoon Gallery Plans to Launch Second Florida Showroom in Palm Beach This December

The company is well-known for its expertise in designing and producing contemporary furniture made from organic materials sourced primarily from Southeast Asia.

The Art of Coworking Spaces

Laura Kozelouzek, CEO of Quest Workspaces, is giving her clients residential-style choices.

Other Posts

PGA National Resort Unveils Stunning Renovation That Brings the Legendary Golf Property Into the Modern Era

For the longest time, PGA National has been synonymous with one of the most devilish three-hole stretches in all of golf—the Bear Trap at The Champion course. Named after the

She’s Not There: The Pérez Art Museum Miami Mounts an Homage to Author Joan Didion

The exhibition is an impressionistic, spectral rendering of Didion’s vivid life and times.

Inside the Design of Shoma Bay

Adriana Hoyos offers insights into her work at the 24-story condominium project.

Hapless Tourist Smashes $42,000 Jeff Koons Sculpture at Art Wynwood Fair

Now there’s one less balloon dog in the world.

Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.