Smart Space

For Architects, Interior Designers and Contractors, Here’s the Secret to Winning Million-Dollar Projects

Dennis Clemente
August 25, 2022

MIAMI, FL – South Florida top architects, interior designers and contractors already have their work cut out for them but one thing some of them have not thought of until a few years is how they can easily partner with a smart technology integrator and make more million-dollar projects. They’re also in the right location to do so. South Florida has the most number of smart properties for sale at 2,242. 

Only five other states have more than 1,000 smart spaces available: Texas (2090), South Carolina (1,714), North Carolina (1,454), California (1,120), and Iowa (1,018). 

Claudia Yances of GY Builders Atelier, learned how she can earn more as a construction planner-partner for Premium Digital Control & Automation. In her latest project with Premium, she worked on the most prestigious Ritz Carlton Residence in Sunny Isles. Together, they flipped the Ritz penthouse with all the smart technology bells and whistles: structured wiring; secured networks and enhanced Wi-Fi; an audio and video system; all-round smart lighting; automated window treatments; a climate control system; CCTV and surveillance cameras, and a water damage protection system. The experience helped her expand her business.

The property was initially valued at $15 million; it sold for $30 million.

Partnerships are essential and can go a long way. These days, many of these properties are on the Gold List of Luxe Interiors + Design lifestyle magazine as well as Florida Style & Design’s own publication. 

Below is the combined list of top professionals that the two magazines have featured (in alphabetical order here) as the top tastemakers of South Florida and what Premium Digital Control suggests when it comes to integrating smart technology and how it can help them add an additional revenue stream for their respective companies and other partners. Some of the names here are partners of Premium Digital Control.

Disclaimer. Better assessments or recommendations can be provided if Premium Digital has more information on the properties shown here. Please send us photos and plans for review.

& The Associated Studios
Source: & The Associated Studios

& the Associated Studios 

Industry: Architecture

Specialty: Tropical, clean-lined timeless spaces

Says president Clemens Schaub on his website:  “I believe h----s are as individual as our clients. Based upon this premise, we have never repeated a design. Each one should be unique based upon client dreams, the site’s potential, orientation, topography, and views. I take great inspiration from history. 

“I do not replicate historical period architecture. I believe the past’s sense of climate, texture and romance can be fused with modern lifestyles. It gives a h---s a contemporary integrity. I am passionately a tropical architect. To be a success in the tropics, a h---- must address the climate on all levels; interior, exterior and garden.”

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

Structured wiring can help the firm maintain its clean design and offer its clients an outdoor lighting and audio system to enhance its tropical aesthetic, to name a few.

Carl Vasile and Joy Pahlavan
Source: Palm Beach Designers

Carl Vasile and Joy Pahlavan 

Industry: Interior design

Specialty: Residential and commercial interior design, event planning 

Carl Vasile and Joy Pahlavan work for their high-end residential, commercial and luxury real estate clients with astute attention to detail and unique masterful collaborations. 

With more than 30 years of combined design industry experience in Palm Beach, New York and Atlanta, their approach is to make every design project reflect the individual tastes, personality and vision of their clients, always with a clear understanding and respect for their expectations and timelines.

From sprawling idyllic Palm Beach mansions to quaint cottages and corporate headquarters, their projects are diverse and in demand. 

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

A smart h---- integrator can set in motion customized h---- or commercial automation that also fits their aesthetic for custom made furniture and window treatments.

Causa Design Group
Source: Causa Design Group

Causa Design Group

Industry: Interior design

Specialty:  Renovations, additions, remodels, turn-key and commercial common areas

“I start with a blank canvas and pull inspiration from the homeowner and the surrounding environment,” designer Dawn Causa says. “Then there’s my design role, where I interpret my clients’ desires and transform their spaces, creating a beautiful, modern style that embodies elegance, functionality and harmony.

A lot of focus is given to what I call ‘thoughtful design,’ as each client’s lifestyle is different. In some cases, that requires me to consider things like environmental sensitivities, medical equipment, mobility and handicap accessibility.

By developing close relationships with her clients, Causa makes it easier to help those with very personal needs. She claims to have worked with paraplegic and neuropathic clients. “I truly care about people,” she says in Boca Mag. “I’m fortunate to be spreading joy through design. It’s a pretty amazing job having the chance to impact people’s lives in such an artistic and meaningful way.”

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

Project management is underrated in this business, which comes in handy when building a smart home or smart office. Having space planning and commercial design experience can play a huge factor when designing a smart h---- or office. 

Cudmore Builders' proiect outdoors
Source: Cudmore Builders

Cudmore Builders 

Industry: Builder

Specialty: High-end waterfronts, golf course estates, Mediterranean and traditional coastal ocean-facing marvels 

President Terence Cudmore strongly believes in having a team composed of a builder, owner, architect, interior designer and landscape architect.

His “team approach” results in seamless work with the client’s desires as everyone’s priority. It’s essential as he collaborates with clients, thoroughly understanding their requirements and constraints to achieve the best outcome for a project 

“We can execute any aesthetic, as long as we attend to every detail,” says Cudmore who is known for developing high-end waterfront work and for crafting larger residences.

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

Landscape lighting and audio systems can add drama to Cudmore’s waterfront works. He’ll like to know that Premium Digital can work based on his plans as part of a team.

Ritz Carlton penthouse h---- in Miami, fully automated by Premium Digital Control & Automation

Ritz Carlton project with GY Ateliers

GY Ateliers Builder

Industry: Construction Planning 

Specialty: Construction planning with smart technology integration

Claudia of GY Builders Atelier is a partner of smart technology integrator, Premium Digital Control & Automation. Together, they have built the most prestigious and efficient smart technology, workplace and commercial enterprises in South Florida. 

As a construction planner, Claudia follows only the most rigid processes, compliances and safety standards. Her attention to detail and dedication was a key element to the successful completion of a high number of customized units at the Ritz Carlton Residences in Sunny Isles, Florida.  

Claudia has also worked with top architects and interior designers such as Rene Gonzalez, Max Strang, Britto Charette, and Touzet Studio in the coordination of the construction of high-end customized properties.

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

Smart h---- integration is best done in the planning stage and this is where Claudia continues to do well in her collaboration with Premium, knowing she can offer the full spectrum of smart technology in her work. The photo shows the full automation of the project completed with Premium Digital Control. It involved audio-video, smart lighting, automated window treatments, climate control, surveillance & CCTC, structured cabling,  network security, enhanced Wi-Fi and water damage protection.

Hubley Lasher Design, living room
Source: Hubley-Lasher Design


Industry: Interior Design

Specialty: She collaborates with architectural firms in creating exciting, stylish interiors that juxtaposes lighting, color, texture and form to create dynamic timeless spaces. 

Jeanette embraces classic interiors with a modern sensibility by using traditional elements and classical motifs and infusing them with a modern aesthetic. Every project is approached with sensitivity to the architecture of each space utilizing scale and function to create highly effective and welcoming design solutions.

Her passion for fashion and art are reflected in her diverse range of projects from h----s, condos, lofts, casual weekend retreats, and residential building lobbies. Jeanette has worked on many projects, including residential h----s, lofts and condominiums, residential building interiors, staging, corporate interiors, lobby and common area renovation, façade renovation, resorts, conference centers and universities.

Jeanette personally selects artisan pieces to enhance her designs, from the souks in Morocco; the markets in Istanbul, and Paris’ flea markets as well as shops and villages in southeast Asia.

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

With her eye for classic interiors, her sensibility for the modern esthetic and her diverse repertoire of clients, it’d be interesting how far she can make use of h---- and office automation. 

Ken Golen design of a room

Ken Golen Design

Industry: Interior Design

Specialty: Residential and retail projects, multifunctional h----s

Ken Golen Design considers space planning, style, materials, furniture placement, lighting and color selection when creating the perfect atmosphere, mood and ambiance in your h---- or office.

“Clients are turning to me to upgrade their most important investment. A single room makeover easily turns into a total h---- remodel once they see the results,” says interior designer Ken Golen.

That’s great news for a contractor or architect who wants to partner with Ken. 

Ken sources local artists and vendors for his finishes, flooring, tile, countertops and fabric. “Our team gives personal attention to your needs and crafts the place exactly how you want it – there’s no communication gap when working with us,” he said.

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

Since they also design spaces to be more multifunctional, Premium can help make Ken Golen Design convert one room into an office during the day and a guest room at night.

Mike Stake Studio 

Industry: Interior design

Specialty: Sophisticated yet comfortable aesthetics as well as interior architecture and design services, custom furniture, smart technology integration and landscape design

In the height of COVID-19, Mike Stake had a client who bought a h---- in Miami Beach but returned to Europe before the shutdown. Coordinating 100% virtually with the client was a challenge but he finished the project. 

This is just one of many cases where the Luxe Gold List honoree found himself coordinating with clients remotely. Communication happened through video meetings, emails, phone calls, FedEx and if at all possible, the occasional in-person meetings. 

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

H---- is everything these days. Mike says it is a “kindergarten, high school, gym, movie theater, wine and tequila bar and full-on working restaurant.”  Every part of our life at h---- is connected to the outside world which makes smart h---- automation is essential nowadays.

Construction by Mackle Builders
Source: Mackle Builders

Mackle Builders 

Industry: Builder

Specialty: Superlative construction, efficiency of building processes, strict professionalism

Says president Tom Mackle, “The phrase ‘Honesty and Integrity–It’s Simply Good Business’ has been our motto. The fourth generation builder focuses on fulfilling each customer’s unique vision to life with masterful skill and a clear passion for results.” 

Other than residences and commercial projects, it’s not surprising to see them do historical renovations.

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

Hiring Premium’s technicians mean you get honest and highly trained technicians with full certifications, including the most prestigious CEDIA (Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association) certification.

Perrone Construction waterfront residence
Source: Perrone Construction

Perrone Construction

Industry: Builder

Specialty: Palatial waterfront residences

“We take great pride in our ability to help each client achieve a sense of timelessness in their h----,” says president Ricky Perrone whose company has a four-decade experience in building the finest luxury waterfront h----s.

Known for building luxurious custom h----s with the area’s most sought-after water views, a “Perrone h----” has come to mean a break from the ordinary but firmly grounded in delivering the highest-caliber luxury waterfront residences.

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control: A smart h---- integrator that has worked on the biggest projects in South Florida would complement its business. Since it has done many waterfront projects, it’ll do well with a smart h---- integrator that has done some work with.

Portuondo Perotti Architects
Source: Portuondo Perotti Architects

Portuondo Perotti Architects 

Industry: Architecture

Specialty: Mediterranean villa style using stucco, stone and clay roof tiles 

“We treat each project like one long conversation that starts on the first day and ends when they move in. We are known for our ability to incorporate our clients’ wants,” says president Rafael Portuondo who works with Jose Luis Gonzalez Perotti. 

“We visit h----s we have completed, so that they can experience spaces and materials first hand. If we are working on the furnishings, we will invite them on shopping trips. Experiencing things together is telling beyond words.

“One of the biggest compliments we receive is how much of the completed work looks like the sketches we drew along the way,” he added.

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

Premium Digital can work on a detailed smart h---- plan with Portuondo.  It's even better for Premium to work on big projects like this, because it can then restructure the wiring of the entire building. It can then build a whole suite of automated systems. These involve audio-video, smart lighting, automated window treatments, climate control, surveillance & CCTC, structured cabling,  network security, enhanced Wi-Fi and water damage protection.

Smith and Moore Architects
Source: Smith and Moore Architects

Smith and Moore Architects 

Industry: Architecture

Specialty: Modern ideas and standards of living fused with classical traditions and frameworks

“We take a holistic approach, understanding the variety of architectural traditions, contextual relationships and the critical seamless integration of landscape and interior design,” says Daniel Kahan, principal and partner.

“Our relationship with our clients is one of immersive collaboration from the initial introduction through the life of the project,” he added.

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

A professional smart h---- integrator provides a holistic approach to a client’s needs – a system that allows all networked devices to work and complement each other based on customers’ needs.

Watlee Construction pool build
Source: Watlee Construction

Watlee Construction

Industry: Builder

Specialty: Custom new build or remodel

“We think truly successful execution of a vision depends on perfecting every detail,” says president Ryan Watley whose company has completed more than 130 projects in a span of 20 years. 

It has construction software that allows it to see everything its managers and supervisors are seeing. “We strive to keep everything as transparent as possible,” says Watley.

Founded in 1984, the firm has designed residences and boutique commercial projects in numerous regions and countries, while focusing primarily on the island of Palm Beach.

The four partners, Harold Smith, Jonathan Moore, Peter Papadopoulos, and Daniel Kahan pride themselves on well versed and creative use of traditional forms to address each project uniquely as a synthesis of modern taste and historical models. 

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control

Customize h----s and workplaces with a full range of custom-designed smart technologies, even before a property is built.

YRA Design's interior design
Source: YRA Design Inc

YRA Design Inc. 

Industry: Interior design

Specialty: Layouts that flow with an abundance of natural light and an attention to scale

President and lead project designer Dennis Rainho travels to Europe and South America for inspiration. His work entails the cultural, lifestyle and surroundings of the local environment, keeping in mind their client’s persona.  

How they can make more with Premium Digital Control: Have automated blinds that close during the hottest part of the day and open during the optimal time your space needs just enough sunshine. A good smart h---- or office automation system should also be able to scale up for the homeowner or business. 


The past year or so have seen many people from high-tax urban areas like New York and Northern California moving to South Florida, setting a record growth in home prices which is again predicted to increase by another 6% next year.  

Reports usually concentrate on the bigger number of people who moved (about 300,000 in the past year) to South Florida purchasing single-family h----s at $475,000 and not the ultra-luxury properties valued at $10 million or more which grew by 118% last year.

There were 384 h----s sold in the ultra-luxury category last year in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, up from 176 the previous year. Of the 384, 334 were waterfront or oceanfront properties with many of them equipped with smart technology. 

“South Florida’s ultra-luxury market has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years, the most rapid growth of any state in terms of sales volume and sales quantity,” the report said.

Volume in the ultra-luxury category was $7.8 billion in 2021, compared to $3 billion in 2020. The number of sales in the category was strongest in the second quarter of the year but remained steady throughout.

While all this is good news for South Florida, all people involved in the real estate industry – from construction planners, architects, interior designers, electrical contractors and smart h---- integrators as well as homeowners and commercial building owners and lessors, need to plan ahead as supply chain issues continue to persist, brought about by the pandemic. 

There will be delays in shipments, so making sure to coordinate better and ahead of time is key to meet the demands of a flourishing smart h---- automation industry. 

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