Fort Lauderdale Loft

Gil Rigaud, a doctor in Fort Lauderdale, wanted to downsize from his 3,000-square-foot house and completely change the way he was living. “I wanted to use every room, simplify, downsize, and get rid of a lot of my stuff,” he explains. “I wanted my home to be comfortable but not overdone; I get overwhelmed by too much stuff.”

When he found this loft in an arts district downtown, he knew it was a perfect fit. Rigaud wanted the vibrance of his art collection to provide the color to the space and opted to keep the concrete walls and white painted drywall just as it was.

“I wanted to keep everything open,” he says. In planning out how to use the space, he focused on the entertaining he wanted to do, keeping things uncluttered, choosing the right light fixtures and providing the right backdrop for his Haitian art collection.

“I love to cook, I love to entertain, and I love to throw dinner parties, says Rigaud. So he took the space most people use as the living area and made it the dining area.

Large windows on two side of his unit flood the home with natural light.

This is a TV-free zone. “When I entertain people, we don’t sit around and watch TV,” he says. Thus, he turned the second bedroom into a den and relegated the television to that space

You can get a good feel for the layout of the public spaces in this image. The bedrooms and public spaces form a U-shape around the kitchen and two bathrooms. “I already had this table, and because it was wooden and so heavy, the wire chairs were a good match,” says Rigaud. He also installed the light fixture, called Larmes, which means “teardrop” in French. It is composed of 24 teardrop-shaped bulbs that cast a wonderful light for entertaining.

“I didn’t want to leave this area empty, or fill it with too many things,” says Rigaud of this space next to the front door. Four Barcelona chairs surrounding a marble coffee table from CB2 create a conversation area. A perfectly-scaled drum pendant, also from CB2, hangs overhead, and a floral painting by his mother, Jeanne Rigaud, brightens up the space. In fact, most of the paintings of flowers and women you see around the loft are his mother’s work.

“My mother is 86 years old and is self-taught,” says Rigaud. “She started painting about 20 years ago, in her 60s.”

Rigaud kept the cabinets and granite counters that were already there when he bought his loft. He added a beautiful and reflective glass mosaic tile backsplash he found at Clad Tile and Stone.

Acrylic counter stools give guests a perch where they can keep Rigaud company while he prepares dinner

A bookcase separates the master bedroom from the main living space. A mix of books and Buddha heads fill the shelves. Rigaud has been collecting Buddhas from all over the world for many years.

The mermaid on the wall is from another Haitian artist who creates sculptures from junk found on the streets

The vibrant floral painting over the bed is by the late Haitian artist St. Pierre. It extends draws the eye up from the headboard.

Two fun owl table lamps from West Elm provide reading light.

Tate Bed and nightstands: Crate and Barrel

Here you can see how bedroom number two is tucked away beyond the public areas of the loft. In order to keep those areas TV-free, Rigaud transformed this room into a television den.

More paintings by his mother, a Noguchi coffee table and a comfortable sectional outfit the cozy space


While this is a fairly well-sized balcony, there isn’t room for a lot of stuff,” says Rigaud. “I wanted to provide seating and room to move around.” A well-timed visit to a DWR closeout sale provided him with the sofa and chairs, which he says he got for “just about nothing.” The West Elm stools work double-duty as cocktail tables and extra seating

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