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So it follows that Randy knows how to make smart use of a tiny space, most recently in a Miami Beach getaway for his young family—17-year-old Jesus, 6-year-old Daley, 4-year-old Essie and Randy's longtime partner, Sean Patrick Maloney, a lawyer and former White House staff secretary under President Clinton.
Randy bought the apartment on a whim in March 2005. Its location, at the quiet end of trendy Lincoln Road, sold him on the spot. But the space—a white concrete box with bland ceramic tile floors—defined style-challenged. Undaunted, the designer cut to the real predicament: how to make 750 square feet yield the right degree of togetherness for a dynamic family of five—and all within his $16,000 budget.
Now, the one-bedroom apartment is beautifully designed to meet everybody's wish list. "For my son, it's all about TV and wireless Internet," Randy says. "The girls need some soft space, so I did the Flokati rugs."
The living room drapes and the ottoman were custom made, and the lamp was converted from a Mercury-glass vase purchased at John Derian Company.
The condo now boasts a terrifically economical setup, with separate hangout areas connected by an upbeat color scheme. Throughout the apartment, Randy's mix of elegant antiques and flea-market finds—combined with an innovative use of fabrics (bought in one hour at a discount store)—conjures up a beachy, retro-modern vibe. "I wanted it to look like a page out of Architectural Digest from the 1960s," he says.
The nondescript living room was recast as a youthful, yet elegant lounge that doubles as the children's dorm and entertainment zone; they sleep on two Moda Furniture sofa beds. Randy bought the blue-framed mirror at a Ferndale, New York, antiques store. "My son thought it was awesome right away," he adds. "The girls assumed it was a hotel room. It took a while before they realized that it's ours."
The family's new dining room certainly has a vintage feel. The painted wood dining table, from Malek Furniture, is lit by a 1940s French chandelier Randy purchased at Chelsea Home Collection. The plates are from the Upper Rust Antiques.
Pocket doors between the bedroom and the living area also provide a quick fix for a small space that, depending on the situation, needs to be open and airy or private.
The second time Randy ever saw the apartment was on move-in day—four months after he discovered it. Randy made the trip a family affair. "My brother, who is the foreman of my construction company, drove the furniture down and helped hang everything," he says. "Within two hours, we were done unpacking. Within 12 hours, it looked like it looks now. So we had a great vacation."
Now that everything's settled, Randy and his family love their close quarters. "There's something really genius about being that close with your family. It forces us to communicate," Randy says.