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The word on design from Joseph Pubillones


If you could say one thing about designer Joseph Pubillones, it is this: The man never slows down.

He’s not necessarily a jetsetter, but one week may find Mr. Pubillones flying from West Palm Beach to Milan. Or Paris. And back.

He has received national attention for The Art of Design, the syndicated column he writes. Here’s a peek into his philosophy.

Your clientele is as diverse as the projects themselves. How have you come to work on so many different kinds of projects?

I think of every project like an extremely fine couture gown, individually designed for each client so no two projects look alike. After being in business for 16 years, most of my work is referrals by word of mouth. Clients are usually repeat clients. I also work out of town for clients in South Florida who have homes elsewhere and that includes Canada, London, Spain and even the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

PUBILLONES PUBILLONES If you could expand, where would you most like to work more?

The majority of my work is high-end residential and many are either second or third homes, but I’d love to do more work in New York and California.

What's your favorite home design trend right now?

That would be kitchens that are almost sculptural in nature. I attended a few shows in Italy and the designs of kitchens are getting more compact, like working machines that fit in the middle of the room, expanding as you need more. They may look like just an island in the room with components that open up to reveal sink, stove, ovens, wine coolers concealed behind doors. Probably by next year it will be catching on more in the states and people will revisit the attitude about kitchen design. This clean look is great for loft apartments and helps you maximize every inch of square footage into your living space.

Certain trends have gone out of style. Which are you glad to see go?

Here in Florida I’m glad to see people adopt a softer approach to tropical décor. Not everything requires a monkey or grass skirt or wicker. There are other ways to achieve a relaxed and laid back look without having to knock you over the head with a coconut. For a time, you would go to any condo and you’d see that, but there are other styles that are adequate for interiors and a tropical climate without having cliché décor.

Do you recommend clients read architecture/design build books or magazines? If so, which ones?

I always ask clients to produce a look book filled with pages torn from newspapers and magazines, even if they are not sure what they are selecting. Good designers are able to discern from pictures the type of color palate or themes the client likes. I live surrounded by magazines and have probably 15 or 20 different subscriptions from national and international magazines. It is a great way to keep current on a more global view of the design profession.

Please share any advice you have for a homeowner embarking on new home construction, or any resources.

Do your research. Interview two or three designers and make sure your personalities are compatible and you are on the same page in terms of what the scope of work on the project. It will make the process fun and easy if it happens.

What's the most over-the-top, luxury space you ever saw or developed?

I have a project here in Florida that included an indoor pool for a professional swimmer. It’s someone who did not want to be bothered with whether it is sunny or not, too hot or too cold. Another client turned his whole living room into a workout gym because his whole life revolves around fitness. We had to do a little creative mix of lounging and exercise equipment. ¦

— Joseph Pubillones 44 Cocoanut Row Palm Beach 561- 655- 1717

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