The Miami Design District: How to Spend a Splendidly Stylish Afternoon

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The Miami Design District is a veritable mecca for design lovers who can’t get enough of sleek, contemporary furnishings and accessories, not to mention art and innovative cuisine. This compact neighborhood north of downtown attracts you and your friends with its sophisticated, urban reputation.

The first destination to explore is the de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space, a stunning private collection of artwork open to the public. As you tour one of the sleek galleries, the bold abstract paintings get the group chatting about their use of moody colors. After this cultural feast, you’re ready to try one of the Design District’s popular restaurants, Mandolin Aegean Bistro. The charming spot serves Greek and Turkish-influenced mains such as lamb burgers and moussaka. The salad your friend orders is created with organic greens from the restaurant’s garden. One discovery you’ll be glad to try? That would be Mandolin’s tasty Aegean Sangria.

When lunch is over, it’s time to indulge in some retail therapy. Your first foray takes you into the cheeky Jonathan Adler boutique, where his “Happy Chic” aesthetic reigns supreme. Adler’s signature pottery beckons you and your friends from across the room. Should you treat yourself to the curvaceous, mid-century influenced Belly vase, or maybe the Dora Maar planter? Needlepoint throw pillows also catch your eye with their mod styling. Can you resist them, when they’d look so good on your sofa? You decide that a bit of Adler’s cheerful vibe is just the thing to perk up your apartment.

Next up, the modern sound systems at Bang & Olufsen lure you in for a listen. One of your friends claims that once you’ve heard music on a Bang & Olufsen, you’re spoiled for anything else. That may be true, but the television is what looks truly intriguing: it measures the light in any room and adjusts the contrast, color, and sharpness accordingly. Despite the fact that you’re not exactly a technophile, the shop turns out to be an interesting place to spend time in.

The window displays of Design Within Reach are the next to capture your attention. One chaise seems so sublime that it gets you mentally reconfiguring your living room, while an ingenuous coffee table makes you stop and take a closer look. The white Saarinen tulip armchair with a red cushion reminds you of a piece of sculpture you once saw in a gallery. You give it a try, and pose as your friends snap a photo to remember your afternoon spent together.

Although part of you loves your home decorated along sleek, modern lines, you’re also a world traveler with an appreciation for the exotic. The imported accessories at The Bazaar Project get you thinking about your friend’s upcoming birthday. The glass evil eye pendants from Turkey are beautifully handmade, and just her taste. Then again, the lime and coriander pillar candle smells delicious. Or would she rather have a spectacular black coral necklace? What a terrific dilemma to have, surrounded by so many attractive objects. As your friends make their selections, you understand why people recommend the Miami Design District: it’s a neighborhood to inspire and delight all the senses.

  • De la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space

    23 NE 41st St, Miami, FL 33137

    305-576-6112

  • Mandolin Aegean Bistro

    4312 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137

    305-576-6066

  • Jonathan Adler

    4040 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137

    305-576-0200

  • Bang & Olufsen

    3841 NE 2nd Ave #101, Miami, FL 33137

    305-504-8930

  • Design Within Reach

    4141 NE 2nd Ave #101, Miami, FL 33137

    305-604-0037

  • The Bazaar Project

    4308 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137

    786-703-6153

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