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Jeffrey Liu Studio renovates a couple's stark concrete Waterfall condo into a bright, cozy and sophisticated sanctuary.
The ’90s R&B group TLC may have cautioned against chasing waterfalls, but renovating them into a cozy dream home? Well, that’s another story.
Vancouver’s Waterfall building (designed by the great Arthur Erickson) became an instant icon when it was built in 2001. The interiors of the lofts, however, have not weathered the passage of time quite so well. Still, when healthcare professionals Frank and Alicia saw the high ceilings and concrete walls of their 1,189-square-foot unit, they saw beyond the impersonal feel, and knew the loft could become the cozy home of their dreams. And so, the couple reached out to Jeffrey Liu, founder of Jeffrey Liu Studio, to help the space reach its full potential.
The loft was a blank canvas—a sea of concrete, with high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. The kitchen was functional but lacked personality, with the cooktop tucked away against a wall; the primary ensuite, meanwhile, was cramped, with a single sink and limited storage. All in all: the space was begging for a transformation.
Liu and his team, including G2C Contracting and Platinum Millwork, embarked on a full renovation in early 2022. “Frank was incredibly easy to work with,” Liu shares. “He had a palette in mind—he wanted something dark and moody. That was his only kind of instruction.”
The loft is now truly personal—a space worthy of the legendary architecture that encloses it. The kitchen island is the star of the show, with the cooktop relocated to face the floor-to-ceiling windows. “We wanted to create a space where Frank could entertain while cooking,” Liu explains. A full-height bar with open walnut shelving and integrated lighting adds a touch of sophistication. The thin shelving profile with integrated lighting adds a layer of refinement to balance the thick counters and concrete surfaces of the kitchen island.
On the upper level, the hallway wall was extended and the laundry closet was relocated. This allowed for the ensuite door to be shifted to the south side, creating a better sense of privacy for the owners. Now, the expanded primary ensuite includes a second sink and additional vanity storage, and increase of both open and closed storage. A full-length mirror adds a touch of luxury. “We wanted to create a space that was both functional and beautiful,” Liu says.
The loft’s industrial roots are still evident, but they’ve been softened with warm, inviting touches. A dark quartzite countertop contrasts beautifully with a matte embossed stack mosaic white Stone Tile backsplash in the kitchen, while indirect lighting adds a soft glow to the space. “I think the trick is to add texture into the space to add that bit of coziness,” Liu explains.
Thanks to Liu’s touch, this renovated Waterfall Loft is now a testament to the power of thoughtful design. It’s a space that embraces its industrial roots while offering a warm, inviting place to call home. And for Frank and Alicia, it’s more than just a loft—it’s a dream come true.
Liu’s advice for those looking to achieve a similar look? “Develop a minimal palette that works throughout the space. Don’t go too crazy with colours and different finishes. Let the architecture shine through.”
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