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Designer Reena Sotropa transforms this industrial space into a warm and welcoming office.
Photography by Phil Crozier.
High ceilings, polished concrete floors and plenty of natural light added up to a loft-like look in this Calgary financial office. But the firm's owner was aiming for a more sophisticated space, so he brought in designer Reena Sotropa of Reena Sotropa In House Design Group. The owner is a pretty young guy, and the building itself resembles a warehouse, says Sotropa. So he wanted to make sure that the interior kept that same industrial vibe, but didnt get too funkybecause a lot of his clients wouldnt be comfortable with that. The shell of a space needed to be transformed into something that finance folks would take seriously.
So the designer set out to create a hybrid design: part industrial loft, part old-school gentlemen's club. We wanted to instill a little bit of an old world, time-worn feel, says Sotropa. A difficult task in a new build, but they tackled it brick by brickliterally.
Sotropa started by building feature walls of floor-to-ceiling brick, which felt foundational rather than tacked on. We were able to warm up the industrial feel through finishes that had a patina, the designer says. The bricks had rough, reclaimed-looking edges, metals were chosen for their texture and natural materials were incorporated whenever possible. Furnishings-wise, comfort was key: We tried to give it as residential a feel as we could, just to combat the kind of coldness that a loft space can exude. An olive-green sofa, cognac leather chairs and a custom walnut veneer desk by MR Construction cozy up the reception area. In the conference room, another custom solid walnut table from Calgary's Out of the Woodwork and blue-green chairs get to work. For the colour scheme, we knew that navy blues and olive greensbasically sort of men's suiting colourswere going to be a good direction to go in, says Sotropa.
The open kitchen had to double as a paper management area, so Sotropa designed a strong division to keep the coffee away from the photocopying. The kitchen's cabinetry (white vs. muted green) and backsplashes (hexagonal marble vs. walnut veneer) secured the separatebut connectedspace.
We didnt want it to feel intimidating or cold, and I think the finishes actually worked really hard to get us there, says Sotropa. The final result is a space that's stylish, comfortable and ready for business.
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