At Home in Wynwood
A South Florida couple trades suburban bliss for an urban adventure.
Words: Alex Reis
Images: Mary Beth Koeth
Jonathan and Carlos de Jesus found tranquility living in a quaint Kendall home — but tranquility wasn’t exactly what they were looking for. “We loved our five years spent there, living close to family, but we felt like we were missing something in our life,” Jonathan recalls. The dynamic Miami downtown area was calling, and getting there and back in an evening just wasn’t convenient for the duo.
When they decided to take the leap from home to high-rise, Jonathan, a product expert at Compass, knew just who to turn to. He had connected with South Florida agent Sarah Desamours over her enthusiasm for the Compass technology ecosystem and was certain that she was the perfect person to guide the couple to their next space.
Yours was a unique journey — from owning a home to renting a condo! Tell me about this transition.
We’re at a time in our lives with a lot of freedom and flexibility. We wanted to move to the city and enjoy all it has to offer, to connect more with young people, explore professional life, and experience the legendary Miami nightlife. We love being in the heart of the Wynwood art scene!
Our best friend lives on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and we visit her often. Her lifestyle appealed so much to us, so we thought, let’s try and replicate it here in Miami. Now, we live in New York City style with Miami weather!
When you were searching for a new place, what were some of your considerations?
We wanted to try the high-rise life with a gym and a pool. Of course, we needed it to be dog-friendly to accommodate our two pups, Zoe and Gimli.
It sounds like you had a great idea of what you were looking for. How long was the search process?
It took us a month—we told Sarah what we wanted and immediately she said, “I know exactly what you guys will love.” We toured a few other buildings, but she saved the best for last. As soon as we walked into the unit, as she had predicted, we were sold.
What about this particular unit spoke to you?
My husband is an avid cook and baker, and we enjoy hosting our friends at our place. The layout of this kitchen and living room appealed to us — we envisioned our guests sitting at the bar while Carlos cooks. The terrace is so spacious and there are no other buildings in front of us, so we have complete privacy out there. We like to sit out there, have wine, and watch the city light up at dusk.
Working at Compass, you must have felt an even stronger connection to our mission as you began your own search to find your new place in the world.
I love working at Compass. The culture is unique — I can go to any other [Compass] office and still feel like I’m at home. Agents fuel my passion, and I feel excited to come into work every day. My role as a Product Expert led me to connect with Sarah. She showed passion for Compass technology from day one, and throughout our search, she demonstrated its importance.
It was amazing to see the experience from start to finish. As soon as we signed the agreement, we made our Kendall listing a Coming Soon, which means it was exclusively available on Compass.com. Within 24-hours, someone had already contacted her with interest in our home! She also sent out an email newsletter and promoted it on social media. She used our product, Collections, to make a ‘New Life, New Location’ collection, and it made my husband tear up. He was so excited about the potential she saw for our next home.
Now that you’re settling into your new space, tell me about your design process.
My husband is the one who designed it, I just approve or veto! Let me quote him here to get it right. Carlos says, “The natural flow of architecture dictates the flow of ideas.”
Your living room is bright and colorful yet your bedroom is set in softer tones. It reflects how you experience each of the spaces.
Exactly. In the living room, we want people to feel energetic and comfortable — every time a friend comes over, we want them to make themselves at home. In our bedroom, I need to be zen and disconnect from the world.
Speak to some of the art and decor in the house — it’s so unique.
The art above the record player was the first piece of art that we ever purchased. It represented all the colors we wanted to display in our home. Every time we buy something new for the apartment, we always reference that piece. We want it all to tie together.