By Lara Becker
Eilyn Jimenez always saw herself becoming an attorney or a judge when she graduated, but discovered she was more interested in her friend’s major: architecture. She got her start at the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. This led her to change career paths from law to architecture, and eventually to the study of interior design.
Now, Jimenez is the founder of the Miami-based design giant Sire Design, and is headlining a new Netflix series titled “Designing Miami,” spotlighting her journey throughout her stylish successes. When she was getting her start, her hands-on experience in the field spanned various avenues.
After graduating from college, Jimenez was hired by a developer overseas who provided her the opportunity to work on private homes, offices, hotels, and restaurants.
This allowed her to get a feeling for different kinds of floor plans, materials and furniture arrangements. Leveling up another rung on the ladder, she then earned a position in a Miami showroom, where she spent her time furnishing the homes of celebrity clients. Following her breadth of experience, Jimenez decided she wanted to zero in on the true intricacy of design and its processes. So, she made the pivot to become her own boss at her own studio: Sire Design.
Here, Jimenez serves as interior designer, creative director, and founder. She now also has the assistance of a talented team behind her, who have perfected the art of transforming rooms and spaces, whether it be residential, developmental, or commercial.
“The Sire Design team and I naturally gravitate towards a minimalist aesthetic, but love to play with touches of maximalism like color, fun pieces, and unique elements every now and then,” Jimenez says.
As noted on its website, the company values a great attention to detail, and an analytical approach to stylizing a room, while still maintaining an open mind to innovation and creativity. Being detail-oriented is the key here, with a purpose of revitalizing, and breathing new life into each room they construct.
As far as developing its own personal style, Sire Design describes itself to be bold, yet timeless. It’s important to them to implement modern pieces in a room, but also to make those features stand the test of time. They stray away from the need to be “trendy” — they’d rather be daring and everlasting.
“The Sire Design team and I naturally gravitate towards a minimalist aesthetic, but love to play with touches of maximalism like color, fun pieces, and unique elements every now and then,” Jimenez says, describing common themes throughout their work. “At the same time, we like to embrace simplicity in design — no matter the style.”
She prefers that the team not stick to just one style when curating its designs. They enjoy pulling together an amalgamation of different elements, patterns, and textures in a room to create one cohesive piece.
Their most recent masterpiece, a modern coastal home in Tierra Verde, Florida, spans 4,040 square feet and features 5 bedrooms and 5 baths directly on the waterfront of the Gulf Coast. It is the definition of a modern coastal home, with monochromatic and simplistic touches throughout.
Upon entering the first floor, seating options and plenty of open space provide the option for entertainment at any time of day. The living room is meant to accommodate a large group party, while an adjacent space gives way to a more intimate reception area.
This area of the house boasts sliding balcony doors draped in sheer curtains, allowing in as much natural light as possible. The balcony and windows are specifically crafted to spotlight expansive water views on site — truly capturing the majesty of picturesque, cerulean waves from any angle.
Leading your way through the house, the open floor plan takes you to the kitchen next. The center focus in the kitchen is a detached island with built-in cabinets for storage, a sink, and seating for three. Next to the kitchen sits a fully windowed alcove and a dining room table for eight, with another direct exposure to the home’s coastal surroundings.
Throughout these rooms, the cabinets, countertops, and ceilings meld different tones of white; an intentional choice to provide a light and airy feeling. “I love the mix of coastal yet modern elements in the design, and how we playfully used wallpaper throughout the residence,” says Jimenez of the Tierra Verde project.
In the bedrooms, the colors are complementary to those of the rooms downstairs. Upstairs, darker grays and browns are introduced, in order to accentuate a warmer, cozier feeling. Modern nightstands, flexible-use sconces, and stone table lamps keep on par with trends, while staying on theme as traditional and timeless.
The intention of the Tierra Verde residence is to foster a tranquil feeling, with calming cool colors on the interior. This is offset by a clean black-and-white color scheme, and accented with notes of subtle blues. This simplicity offers the opportunity to make the home feel more spacious, especially with elongated ceilings.
Statement chandeliers, custom millwork, interesting furniture pieces, and notably coffered ceilings are delicately placed throughout the home to give a sense of charisma and personality; differentiating the property from other homes designed with simplicity in mind.
While the home is a masterclass in gorgeous, sleek design, the company also puts an emphasis on functionality here, as well as in all of the spaces they design. “We don’t feel there is a need to compromise between great aesthetics and function,” Jimenez notes. She said that when designing, they take into consideration how each space is intended to be used, and infuse it with unique, comfortable pieces. This allows for a functional, yet beautiful design.
Another crucial aspect of interior design for any space, Jimenez discusses, is to incorporate the area’s natural landscape into design choices. For the Tierra Verde project, this comes in the form of creating the classic modern coastal home that blends into the Miami shoreline. “It’s the perfect representation of West Coast design,” she says. “With the home sitting right on the water, we want to ensure the calm and cool atmosphere was brought inside.”
This can also be seen in the use of mixed materials throughout the home. Stone, metal, wood, and textiles are all used equally in each space. These layered patterns and textures come together to form a contemporary, practical home, and uses the Florida setting as a mesmerizing backdrop.
Sire Design is known for making long-lasting relationships with its clients, which is exemplified by its work on this property. The team has worked with this client in Tierra Verde, Florida, time and time again. Beyond the custom crafted walls of the Tierra Verde home, Sire Design has curated designs throughout three countries and a dozen cities. The company has been featured throughout the likes of HGTV, Mansion Global from Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and Architectural Digest.
The commitment and time spent on each product ensures precise results every time for members of this design team, making them all the more ready for their Netflix debut. The series “Designing Miami” features Jimenez and her husband, Ray Jimenez, who is also a leader in design at another interior design firm, Raymond Nicolas. The show follows them as they navigate the needs of their clients, staffs, and relationships with their close-knit families.
Looking back on the road that led her to this point, Jimenez recalls the early days of her career as transformative, and sees her time at university as the first stepping stone. “Design has always been part of my life, but after stepping foot onto the architecture campus, I knew the design industry was where I belonged,” she said. “Architecture eventually led me to the path of interior design, and the rest is history.”