Alison Spear and Claudine Claus Wheeler

Credits: Photographs by Bob Hiemstra, styling by Carlos Mota.

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A serious architect with a party-girl personality, Spear makes headlines all over town, zipping from her own light-filled apartment in the glass high-rise known as the "Miami Vice building" to the run-down 1960s spa-motel she's returning to its flamboyant roots. At the Wheelers' house, however, she set aside her cocktail-modern signature look. "I didn't come in and announce, 'Get rid of all your furniture,'" she says. "I'd rather edit, add, and style—give new life to the things that somebody owns."

Spear, left, and Claudine stand in front of the house to consider architectural plans in the best light.