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Photography by Hayley Hudson
When you move into a small space, there are big decisions to be madesuch as where will we store all our stuff? How can we make the place look and feel larger than it really is? And how can we have a sizeable TV without it dominating the living space?
Answering those kinds of questions is seldom straightforward; sometimes, it takes the brain power of a Sudoku master, the creativity of a skilled artist, and the teamwork of a winning lineup.
That triple threat could describe the group effort that went into designing the gorgeous media centre at Christen and Kyle Downie's new two-bedroom home in the heart of Vancouver. California Closets designer Zainub Malik worked closely with the couple to create just the right unit for their Olympic Village condo.
In between the pair's many travels, the three brainstormed and tried all sorts of variations on a theme over the course of a full year. Meeting at the Downies home, they swapped ideas and tweaked details until the piece was perfect.
The personalized design process reflects the kind of one-on-one service and custom experience that sets California Closets apart. In other words, It's not about cookie-cutter solutions.
In fact, the wall unit is the first thing people see when they enter the Downies home, so it had to be beautiful. Yet it also had to be highly functional, given the couple's limited storage space.
The stark white media centre is evenly balanced on the wall, with space above, below, and to the left and right of it. It houses a 65-inch TV, the unIt's sleek appearance belying the flat-screen's size. With a mix of open and closed storage, the unit has drawers for the Downies to tuck away blankets and shelves to display items they love. With bare touch-release doors, the unit fits into the home so seamlessly It's hard to believe it didnt come with the place.
Kyle wanted as big a TV as possible that could fit, but they didnt want it to be the key feature or for it to steal attention from other things, like the new couch or the stunning view, Malik says.
The team decided on two types of lighting: task lights (one for each cubby); and ambient, with a strip of lighting along the bottom of the unit. The latter gives the living space a nice, cozy feel.
Everything about it just makes it feel like a home, Malik says of the media centre. Everyone's happy. They love it, and I'm really proud of it. And I'm thrilled to work with them on the next project.
We had different iterations of the design, and the clients were really involved in creating the final look, Malik says. We talked a lot during this time: With their new apartment, Id come over and see their new chairs and their new table; they saw me get engaged and get married. We were really able to create a relationship over the year. They consulted each other over all different aspects, from measurements to lighting; we were a true team.
The process was very collaborative in nature, she adds. The end goal is always to have clients who are very happy, and I love that the three of us came up with this really good design. It became a work of art over time.
To book your personalized, complementary design consultation, visit California Closets at californiaclosets.ca
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