LORIE MERTES OF LOCUST PROJECTS BLENDS ART WITH HER EVERYDAY STYLE

An expert in art, Lorie Mertes is executive director of nonprofit gallery Locust Projects — and she knows how to incorporate beautiful things into her Miami lifestyle. Here are eight of her current obsessions:

1. The Gallery

“Locust Projects has some stellar exhibitions lined up by Nancy Davidson and Miami-based artist Pepe Mar, and we are also participating in NADA Miami during Art Basel.”

3852 North Miami Avenue, Miami; 305-576-8570; locustprojects.org.

2. The Clothing

“I do the delivery services like MM.LaFleur. It is a great way to see a range of things you likely would not find in one store. I go for comfortable modern pieces that have an interesting cut, and I try to make them distinctive through accessories.”

MMLaFleur.com.

3. The Makeup

“A colleague at Locust introduced me to Fenty Beauty, and I am so happy! Real-life skin tones that cover my sensitive, heat-flushed skin and have awesome staying power.”

Foundation, $34. Sephora, 721 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-532-0904; sephora.com.

4. The Restaurant

“I’m intrigued that there are still restaurants where you can expect the unexpected and be wowed every time. My faves at KYU Miami include the roasted grouper, Thai coconut creamed spinach and coconut cake.”

251 Northwest 25th Street, Miami; 786-077-0150; kyumiami.com.

5. The Art

“Miami’s museums and galleries pull out all the stops this time of year, and locals are lucky to go check them our before or after Basel. I’m looking forward to the Dara Friedman retrospective at Pérez Art Museum Miami.”

1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami; 305-375-3000; pamm.org.

6. The Late Night

“The Corner is my go-to bar. They have great cocktails made by attentive bartenders, an extensive beer selection and good noshes. It’s a reliable haven to keep those great conversations going.”

1035 North Miami Avenue, Miami; 305-961-7887; thecornermiami.com.

7. The Ring

“My grandmother’s color-coded drawers of vintage costume jewelry informed my collecting obsession. I’ll mix big and bold vintage statement pieces like ’70s black chains and ’50s multistrand beads with modern touches, including my Elsa Peretti Cabochon ring that looks like a crystal ball.”

$775. Tiffany & Co. at Miami Design District, 114 Northeast 39th Street, Miami; 305-428-1390; tiffany.com.

8. The Read

“The most beautifully written book I’ve read recently is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Richly visual, enchanting characters. Begs to be made into a movie. Can’t wait to see who they cast as Count Rostov!”

$27. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables; 305-442-4408; booksandbooks.com.

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Jenine Howard’s 8 Miami Essentials

The best local finds for holiday gifts and everyday delights? That’s easy when you’re as in the know as Jenine Howard, a Miami philanthropist, basketball wife and cool mom. Her eight essentials in the 305:

1. Must-have margarita at Houston’s 

“The Cadillac Margarita at Houston’s is made just right! The perfect Grand Marnier-to-lime ratio. That and the artichoke dip? Nirvana.”

Houston’s, 17355 Biscayne Boulevard, North Miami Beach; 305-947-2000; houstons.com.

2. Southern-style brunch at Whisk

Whisk is our go-to. They serve organic and seasonal Southern-style comfort food, and the service is warm and wonderful.”

Whisk, 7382 Southwest 56th Avenue, Miami; 786-268-8350; whiskgourmet.com.

3. Sneakers for the kids

“My sons Jett and Jace are sneaker collectors, and they go to SoleFly for the latest and greatest kicks.”

Air Jordan 8 Retro, $190. SoleFly, 8099 South Dixie Highway, South Miami; 305-661-3423; solefly.com.

4. Best-smelling perfume

“My signature scent is by Kilian called Straight to Heaven. It’s inspired by rum and is melded with sexy patchouli and spiced up with nutmeg. Very Caribbean — like me!”

$315. Saks Fifth Avenue at Brickell City Center, 81 Southwest Eighth Street, Miami; 786-907-3800; saksfifthavenue.com.

5. The Juice Foundation by Jenine Howard and Juwan Howard

“Our family’s cause is The Juice Foundation — it’s our seventh year partnering with the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our mission is to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle.”

The Juice Foundation, juicefoundation.org.

6. Hot yoga is the way to go

“I am religious about my bikram yoga practice. It allows me to stay balanced, centered and limber. I practice at Sunshine Hot Yoga weekly.”

Sunshine Hot Yoga, 13847 South Dixie Highway, Miami; 305) 253-6978, sunshinehotyoga.net.

7. Her place for a moment of zen

“Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located less than a mile from our home. It is a magical place that I jog through every week.”

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables; 305-667-1651; fairchildgarden.org.

8. Add dramatic flashes to your lashes

“I go to Ohh! Lashes to add the perfect dose of drama to my eyes. Tamara, the owner, uses hypoallergenic mink lashes to increase my length and volume.”

Ohh! Lashes, 1390 South Dixie Highway, Suite 2120, Coral Gables; 305-890-8806; ohhlashes.com.

 

Originally published in Indulge magazine

TAKE A CHEF’S TOUR THROUGH SUNNY ISLES BEACH

This year, the city of Sunny Isles Beach celebrated its 20th anniversary since incorporating. This beach boomtown is a 2-mile stretch of luxe condos, diverse retail and high-end hotels that draw visitors from around the world. Sandwiched between Aventura and Bal Harbour, Sunny Isles put itself on the luxury map with the 2003 opening of Trump International Beach Resort. That drew other upscale hotels and residences, like Acqualina and Porsche Design Tower. More than just pretty buildings, Sunny Isles also boasts picturesque parks, beautiful beaches and globally inspired restaurants.

Meet our guide

Chef Kurtis Jantz might have the best view in the working world, overseeing Neomi’s Grill, Gili’s Pool Bar and Gili’s Beach Club at the seaside Trump International Beach Resort. “Sunny Isles has such a diverse culture for a small community, and we have the most beautiful, clean beaches,” he said. Born in Japan and with an affinity for modern Florida cuisine, Jantz has been the resort’s executive chef since 2003, picking up scores of accolades along the way.

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THE BEST OF THE MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT: AN INSIDER’S GUIDE

The Fly’s Eye Dome at the Miami Design District. (Photo by Ra Haus)

A creation of developer Craig Robins, the Miami Design District over the past decade has morphed into a go-to destination for locals and visitors. While the district began as and still is the “it” place for high-end designers and furniture stores, it has become so much more than that. Just three square blocks, the neighborhood features flagship stores from luxury fashion houses, mom-and-pop restaurants and independent boutiques. The Design District is the little Miami neighborhood that packs a big, artful punch.

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KELLY BLANCO IS A MIAMI TV REPORTER WITH ON-AIR STYLE AND OFF-AIR COOL

Photo by Zak Bennett

An intrepid traffic reporter at NBC 6 for nearly five years, Kelly Blanco knows how to hit the ground running while maintaining a flawless look. When she’s not working the camera, she forgoes her figure-hugging dresses for flowy, boho styles. We asked her to share her top Miami tips.

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INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE TOP HALLANDALE BEACH RESTAURANTS, SHOPS, SALONS AND MORE

Renovation Room in Hallandale Beach

Once a tiny town that first incorporated 90 years ago, Hallandale Beach is still a growing, exciting South Florida community. The southeastern-most city in Broward County, hugged by Hollywood to the north and Aventura to the south, is perhaps best known for sprawling Gulfstream Park, with its modern horse track, casino, shops and restaurants. But Hallandale Beach’s attributes stretch far beyond that. Its local businesses, inspired architecture and passionate locals are just a few reasons to visit. Here, one of those locals gives us an insider’s look at her city.

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My 305 Wedding: Kara Zeder

The newlywed president of Kristi House’s board of directors and member of award-winning family real estate company The Zeder Team tells INDULGE how she got ready for her big day.

 

 

THE SCENT “I’m not a big perfume person, but I love this nashi blossom and pink grapefruit blend from Kiehl’s. It’s light and refreshing, perfect for a beach wedding.” $42.50. Nordstrom at Dadeland Mall, 7233 North Kendall Drive, Miami; 786-709-4100; nordstrom.com

 

 

 

 

THE INVITATIONS “Brenda, the owner of House and Paper, is the best. She’s full-service, from my wedding website to the save-the-dates, invitations, linen napkins, cocktail napkin, menus, bar signs, custom map and guest itinerary. You name it, she does it.” House and Paper, 7221 SW 57th Court, South Miami; 305-6618545; houseand paper.com

 

 

 

THE SHOES “I wanted a flat heel and not be worried about tripping in the sand while walking down the aisle. Stuart Weitzman recently came out with a bridal collection, and it had the perfect shoe for my island wedding and my dress.” $395. Stuart Weitzman at Aventura Mall, 19575 Biscayne Boulevard, Aventura; 305-932-0080; stuartweitzman.com.

 

 

 

THE DRESS “I knew the cut I wanted, I just had to find it. Camille from Ever After was amazing to work with. She completely customized by Naeem Khan dress. Because we got married in the Bahamas, on Harbour Island, she made my dress ‘convertible.'” Ever After, 2977 McFarlane Road, Suite 100B, Coconut Grove; 305-444-7300; everaftermiami.com.

 

Read the rest at Indulge magazine online.

THE MUSICIANS Sam Hyken & Jacomo Bairos

The co-founders and artistic directors of Nu Deco Ensemble are changing the way Miami experiences classical music.

In an era when the musical greats of classical music seem to be on the cusp of being irrelevant or forgotten, Nu Deco Ensemble is dedicated to a revival.

At the helm of the Wynwood-based Nu Deco are co-founders and artistic directors Sam Hyken, 35, and Jacomo Bairos, 40. Friends for more than a decade, they thrive off the sounds of vivacious violins and booming bass. As Bairos, the conductor, leads the orchestra in a recent rehearsal, his body moves in time with the music arranged by Hyken.

They are preparing for a trio of April concerts at The Light Box in Wynwood, followed by a collaboration with a Brooklyn hip-hop dance company on Miami’s biggest stage: The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

“We try to bring relevancy to classical music, bring more connections to the popular world,” Bairos said.

Read the rest at Miami Indulge online.

My 305 Style: Lexing Zhang

The owner of Art Lexing Gallery in Miami describes her personal style and art preferences as “experimental and bold.” She believes that the more unique and irreplaceable, the better.

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THE DANCE “Miami City Ballet is a real gem. They have dancers from Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, scholarship programs, freelance dancers from all over the country, and I think it’s a true reflection of how diverse Miami is.” Miami City Ballet, 2200 Liberty Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-929-7010; miamicityballet.org.

 

 

 

the-beach-towel

THE TOWEL “I use them every time I go to the beach, and people always ask me where I got them. They’re a round shape with beautiful tassels on the edge. This takes beach towels to another level.” $148, The Bazaar Project, 4308 Northesst Second Avenue, Miami; 786-703-6153; thebazaarprojectshop.com.

 

 

the-art-typoe

THE ART “Typoe is one of my favorite local artists. Not only is this piece beautiful, it also has a very powerful social message.” typoe.com.

 

 

 

 

My305Style: Camilo Miguel, Jr.

The detail-oriented founder and CEO of Miami Beach investment company Mast Capital is a real-estate virtuoso with an impeccably curated look.

the-watch-vacheron

 

 

THE WATCH “I wear my Vacheron watch the most. I just think it’s a very elegant watch. It’s a little different, and not everybody wears rose-gold watches. My wedding ring is rose gold, too.” Vacheron Constantin, Tourneau at Merrick Park, 320 San Lorenzo Avenue, Suite 1225, Coral Gables; 305-448-6878; tourneau.com.

THE RESTAURANT “Milos is one of my favorite restaurants. I’ve never had a bad meal there. They have this dish called the Greek ceviche, and it has a little bite to it becuase it’s a little spicy. It’s one of my favorite things to eat there.” Estiatorio Milos, 730 First Street, Miami Beach; 305-604-6800; milos.ca.the-tie-brioni

THE TIE “I like the design and the silk they use to make the ties — they have so many variations, I always find something I like.” $230, Brioni at Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour; 305-868-9399; brioni.com.

 

Read the rest at Miami Indulge online.