Interiorssneak peeks

Sneak Peek: Michelle Weinberg + Brian Fatih

by anne

Michelle Weinberg’s
work has always referenced architecture and design, with her projects frequently extending into surfaces for interiors, architecture and public spaces. What begins as a painting in her studio may end up as a handmade rug or tiles. Today, we have a peek inside the Miami Beach, Florida, home she shares with her boyfriend, Brian, and their dog and cat. She describes their home as classic MiMo (Miami Modernism) that has aged into Shabby Chic Tropical. I, for one, am in love with her touches of fun, use of color and the way her work is displayed in their home. Many thanks to Michelle and Stephan Goettlicher for the photos! — Anne

Image above: The living room is the largest all-purpose space, with original 1950s jalousie windows that fresh breezes and the maniacal bamboo creep into. The rug is one of my own designs — hand-knotted wool, GoodWeave certified, and made in Nepal. All my limited-edition rugs are derived from imagery in my paintings. (See more rugs on my website.) I love how it works with my new couch from the IKEA PS series 2012. The print on the door is a mash-up of punk/glam rock and Swiss modernism by graphic designer Mike Joyce.

Image above: When I find a piece of furniture I love, I hang on to it for a long time. It becomes a prop in my personal stage set. This chair is a find from Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road Flea Market, nearly 14 years ago now, and the poster is a 1950s color lithograph by Beric, given to me by a friend.

More inside Michelle and Brian’s Miami home after the jump . . .

Image above: I bought the lockers from another artist for my son when he was small. Joseph, sitting on top, lights up — he’s from a Christmas creche. The long skateboard is my boyfriend’s, and the gouache painting is my own Aster/Astro pattern.

Image above: My office is very compact. I found the vintage desk at one of South Florida’s fabulous thrift shops — and the giant color chip, as well. Artworks are by the TM Sisters, Kristiina Uusitalo, Mike Genovese, Bob Bailey and others.

Image above: A view in the “South Studio” (I have two!) shows one of a new series of graphic works, painted on watercolor paper. This work was incorporated into an installation currently on view in Downtown Miami called “Shelf Life.”

Image above: This wall in my studio has pictures pinned up to inspire me. Some are works of my own; others are snippets of designs, advertisements, colors. Notable: football hero Rosey Grier with his needlepoint self-portrait, a page from Chris Ware’s incredible comics, a scene from John Adams’ opera Nixon in China.

Image above: Some works in progress in my studio. I paint with gouache, tempera and acrylics on paper because I love the flatness and opacity of the color. I’m interested in scenes of improbable decor and architecture, inspired by geometry and the built environment.

Image above: The most wonderful feature in my kitchen is the tile backsplash that I installed myself. A friend gave me small amounts of three different ceramic tile patterns, each of them wonderful, and I created a layout of one flowing into the next that I love looking at every day. A marble counter and a smaller, deeper sink help make the most of a small counter space.

Image above: Our bedroom is the tiniest sleeping alcove, which just fits an Eames Case Study bed from Design Within Reach. Artworks are by Carolyn Swiszcz and Elisabeth Condon, two amazing painters. See the complete image of Carolyn’s incredible “Weinberg Apartment” (how it all looked circa 2007) on her site.

Image above: Two full baths in my apartment feel luxurious. All the original 1950 tile is in place, in good condition. Alas, the original sinks had to be replaced, but the compact IKEA sinks fit perfectly.

Image above: My cat, Daisy, and my dog, Lucy, are my animal babies. Now that my son is grown and in college, they keep me company, and they permit me to fuss over them and exercise my maternal instinct. Artworks on the wall are by Ai Kijima, Susan Lee-Chun, TJ Ahearn, Nate Cassie, Brian McKee and Ernesto Oroza/Gean Moreno. The paint in the living areas of the house is Benjamin Moore Super Spec. The color in the living room is a pale, grayed out lavender that I mixed myself. The walls that are most in shadow are painted lighter shades to maximize the amount of light.

Image above: The building I live in is classic MiMo (Miami Modernism) that has aged into Shabby Chic Tropical. The ground orchids won’t quit, and the bamboo threatens to take over, but seeing pink hibiscus blossoms out my windows year round is a lovely experience. Living right by the water is wonderful.

Suggested For You


  • Creative use of different tiles for the backsplash. The result has a strong impact–a piece of art in itself.

  • These homes are so amazing but all white walls. Can someone please inspire us with color again? It’s the same old white walls!! Not everyone’s home looks good in stark white. Now let’s see what some cool mid-century, etc. homes can do with color!!!! The white walls are boring me to death.
    From, a huge fan of this site for many years. Lauren

    • Hi Lauren –
      Thanks for commenting. We honestly are doing our very best to try to bring you a variety of homes each week – we have a team of three working nearly every day to do just that! I think that white walls are just a big trend right now – we’re not really getting a lot of color on the walls. Instead, people are incorporating color in other ways – I actually thought this home with it’s green curtains, colorful artwork and furniture was pretty vibrant! We have Best of: Color and Patterns here – http://www.designsponge.com/category/sneak-peeks?best-of=patterns-color

  • This place does looks so comfy. And I was so pleased to see the original tiles in the bathroom — v. cool.

  • Love this home!! And love the artwork!! What materials did you use to make the artwork that is in pic 6?? It is soo pretty!!

  • i think this sneak peek is great! i like that it is somewhat messy, shows some real living and real spaces, not the trendy tiny staged vignettes that just seem so vapid after we’ve been seeing them for so many years . . . great post. thanks.

  • Ok so:
    1. LOVE her work!! Totally inspirational, awesome colors!
    2. I love seeing other peoples studios (that they’re super messy justifies my mess! :D) and how they work. Its always such an intense and often very personal space that its really neat when people share it in its natural state.
    3. Her kitchen is totally rad, I love the mixed back splash.

  • Hi all
    So fun to see all your comments – here are some answers
    – I agree re: white white white walls, BUT I use most of this place as a workspace, so I’m keeping to white in the studio – the main living area, you will note, is a weird pale lavender-gray of my own concotion – even tho I’m in the tropics, it’s very shady indoors, and I want to maximize natural light.
    – I highly recommend the IKEA couch – I love it, so comfy, converts easily to a bed too
    – bedspread is again (sigh) from IKEA! not sure if they still have it, but I love the color
    – and, my paintings are mostly gouache, tempera, acrylic
    thank you all for your warm responses!

  • Michelle, is my favorite artist, love her place, love her. I was just wondering where she got thta green chair?

  • Michelle– Beautiful images of your wonderful abode!!! Having been there I can attest to the welcoming tropical ambiance and all of the places one’s eyes can find a special delight — in your work and all of the other art and design touches.

  • Lovely. I live in NYC and am on a trend with vintage and recycling. We waste in this country and the trend has been picked up as an expanded middle class takes over the world… kidding but..not really. I love how vintage and recycling force one to be more creative. I found this home to be utterling charming and full of soul. The backsplash in the kitchen with 3 different kinds of tiles; totally inventive and totally worked. I “got” how she shared that looking at it every day brought such pleasure. That’s when you know you “got it right”. It’s how it makes you feel.

  • I’m crazy about your White computer desk. Would it be possible to Know where you bought it?

  • Hi Michelle, I’m from Miami as well. Can you tell me what thrift shops you shop at? I use to go to Flamingo Plaza in Hialeah but a lot of stores closed down in that strip mall. Thanks!