Inside of Phyllis Taylor’s Tropical Colonial Residence

The terrace affords vistas of Fishers Island.

by Marion Laffey Fox | Photography by Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

When Donna Shalala became president of the University of Miami in 2001, she moved into the tropical colonial residence the school provided and enlisted the help of designer Phyllis Taylor to do a facelift on the Coral Gables house. Phyllis, who owns Taylor & Taylor, Inc., with husband and architect William, recalls being initially impressed with but not intimidated by the diminutive yet vivacious woman. After all, Shalala had been Secretary of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and president of Hunter College in Manhattan.

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