Speed boats. Crocket. Tubbs. Linen suits. And interior design that positively swaggers with style. In the 1980s, the TV show Miami Vice introduced us to many things that are perhaps better left in the 80s. But you don’t even need to remember the show to be grateful that it also introduced many of us to the unparalleled glam and style of Miami.
As an interior design motif, it’s art deco meets eclectic and tropical. It’s simple, contemporary, and modern. But—decidedly—not monochromatic and spartan. And today, it’s here for you.
We’ll spend some time hanging out on South Beach. We’ll take a tour of tips for getting those Miami vice…err, nice vibes in your home. Up first, we’ll cover the design style foundations that set you up for a style win. Then on to the fun of Miami’s fabulous colors and textures. And finally, the flair—because, c’mon, Miami has some flair goin’ on. Cue the theme song and the speed boats. Let’s go.
Your Sunny New South Beach Style Starts With Your Upholstery Basics
Here’s where Miami’s design style and art deco are the same: the foundations. The goal in both is to create expansive spaces. Spaces that feel welcoming, light, and full of energy. Miami interior design—and South Beach in particular—is especially attuned to that kind of flow so that nothing gets in the way of offering sweeping views of the ocean.
What does your upholstery have to do with all that? Great question. Dark walls, floors, and/or fabrics as the predominant palette in any space can warm and ground the space, but they also have a tendency to define and even confine the feel.
Instead, think minimalist and light neutrals for the majority of the upholstery and other foundational choices. This frees the eye to take in the whole space and beyond.
Like dressing sofas in cotton white fabric with the softness of chenille and the strength and durability of Crypton. If white’s not your jam, try silver gray jacquard or even stone gray Brazilian leather to set the glamorous stage for your room while keeping things light (psst… both have Crypton, too).
And you’re not limited to just earth tones. Just keep your Miami vibe design foundations luxurious, simple, and light so you lift rather than weigh down a space.
Picture your headboard upholstered in pale rose pink tweed. Or a tufted bedroom chaise in luxurious lilac lavender microsuede. Keeping the vibe open means you’ll steer clear of heavy window dressing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock metallic white silver faux silk curtains or something else sheer and flowy.
Miami Design Fun Means Fabrics That Celebrate Color And Fun, Too
When you imagine the tropical beauty of Miami, you imagine brown, murky waters and cloudy skies, right? No! Of course not. It’s vivid blues and turquoise, wildly colorful exteriors, white sands, and deep green palm trees. It’s the same with the South Beach take on art deco design: brilliant, bold, and beautiful. You can let your love of all things colorful shine—the more eccentric and electric, the better.
Here’s where art deco, Hollywood glam, and South Beach styles part ways. While the other two do offer pops of color, it tends to be a bit more subdued. Your new Miami design vibe is all vibrant jewel tones and colors full of energy and pop.
Take your neutral sofas and add throw pillows in sunshine yellow tweed or coral-meets-sunset orange tweed. (Oh, but we’re just getting started.) What about accent armchairs in South Beach teal vegan suede—that’s right vegan suede. Help your loveseat live up to its name in rouge pink eco-friendly velvet.
The idea is that every day on Miami’s shores is a day in paradise. Your space wants to smile and dance with that energy, and it gets to with the bright and bold colors you choose. Think super playful. And then dial it up a notch even further.
One Last Miami Design Style Message In A Bottle: Give It Flair
We’re not done with the fun yet. Now it’s time for that added bit of flair that says, “Honey, this is Miami.” Let’s start with the one key thing to know, the one rule you must follow: too much is just enough.
Okay, you don’t actually have to follow that “rule,” but when you’re taking your home’s style in a Miami vibe direction, you certainly get to. You’ll still want to keep things uncluttered, but as you add accents, you can let yourself go as wild as you want to be.
Back to Miami Vice. Add some flashy artistic details like neon light art pieces in the dining room. Use metal elements—also on style “brand”—like a large faceted mirror in the entryway. And speaking of bold Miami-style flair, how about an accent wall with a floor-to-ceiling mural? And, of course, bring in as much tropical feel as you’d like with plants, palms, and other greenery.
Carry this through in your upholstery with even bolder pops of color. Make your upholstered dining chairs elegantly gorgeous in purple, pink, and white tropical floral print. Or go playfully gaudy in pink flamingo patterned matelassé fabric. Add an ottoman to the living room mix that’s sure to bring out the “wow” in poppy red recycled leather.
And if all that feels a little bit too much for your home, no need to abandon your South Beach dreams. Bring in that greenery, add some more subdued metallic glam details, and look to our old friends for flair with flexibility: throw pillows and drapes.
Curtains in the master bedroom in a soft pink deluxe silk offer elegance and the uplifting vibrance of a Miami color palette without overwhelming the room. Get the tropical pop in your throw pillows with just a little softer edge in tropical foliage patterned pale teal color.
Your Home’s New Miami Nice Vibe Sure Feels Like A Getaway — Every Day
We’ve played a lot with the myth and mystique of Miami Vice the show—and the city. But what we really love is how Miami’s interior design style offers such a uniquely energizing and expansive path to expressing more of yourself in your home. All while making your place feel like a world removed from the everyday grind.
On the upholstery side of your new look, there are a few things to remember. First, we’re here for you, and we love to help you dream from start to finish. And, as you choose your fabrics, focus on simple, luxurious neutrals for the basic foundations, build on those with accent pieces in bold colors, and finish it all off with details to offer that extra dash of funky flair.
Whatever you do, make it your own. At the end of the day, that may well be Miami’s greatest contribution to interior design. Always remember to let you be you. And let that you-flag fly proudly in your home’s interior design style.