Photography by Ema Peter.

It's not surprising that someone with a background in traditional private equity would value the concept of balance. But facts and figures weren€™t top of mind for the owner of this downtown Vancouver office€”it was work/life balance that mattered most. €œHe was all about a culture of working hard, getting it done during the day, and getting home to your family,€ says Janay Koldingnes, partner and design director of Edit Studios. She set out to create a space conducive to both productivity and comfort.

The firm's (very well-travelled) owner felt that the French countryside had the warm, inviting feel he was looking for. €œWe had to be careful we didn€™t go too overboard with the theme,€ explains Koldingnes, who made sure to complement that classic aesthetic with contemporary furnishings. €œThe strong concept that came out was French country flavour meets modern office vibe, like a 19th-century flat that you€™d see in downtown Paris.€

The Parisian feel comes through in warm herringbone oak floors and traditional moulding details, but there'smore to this old-world design than meets the eye. Intricate panelling conceals hidden doors leading to bathrooms and storage areas, a trick reminiscent of the secret passageways one might find in an old French chateau. Iconic Serge Mouille chandeliers were juxtaposed with modern Flos lighting, and cozy Fredericia Swoon chairs create a living room-like environment. €œWe naturally went in a feminine direction, with softer palettes, textures and materials that I don't think are typical of a commercial office,€ says Koldingnes.

The soft yet sophisticated design is as atypical as the company's culture, where long hours are frowned upon and the 9 to 5 actually means 9 to 5. €œThe owner really wanted to influence his staff, and his future staff, to lead a balanced life,€ says Koldingnes, €œand this office is here to support that balance.€