Big box stores are quickly gaining in popularity because they offer ease and instant gratification. Though, there’s still a massive consumer market for well-made, thoughtfully designed, custom pieces. From our professional experience, many will gladly pay a premium for something that is tailor-made to their needs and desired dimensions. However, custom details don’t have to be all-encompassing or wallet-draining. A few simple, thoughtful elements can go a long way to customizing the overall look and feel of a home. For example, check out the custom details we’ve incorporated into an otherwise cookie-cutter condo.

Tips to Customizing the Overall Look and Feel of a Home

The most wonderful quality of this condo is its exposure. The condo is flooded with wonderful, natural light through the wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows.

Living Room

We strategically positioned the living room furniture in a way that allows the homeowner and guests to sit and socialize in front of the television and fireplace – that is, if they can tear their eyes away from that view! Our client’s primary focus was to add much needed storage. Therefore, we custom designed a large millwork built-in to house the television, linear fireplace, storage and display area. The result is a fabulous focal point that truly transformed the home’s overall function and aesthetic. Also, we offset the unit’s cool tones with a rich walnut finish. This added much-needed warmth and character. A walnut hexagon tile nicely frames the TV area adding texture, pattern and detail.

Custom Design in the Dining Room
Custom millwork dining room cabinet complements the adjacent kitchen cabinets.

Dining Room

In the dining room, a custom millwork cabinet houses a wine fridge and the client’s extensive collection of scotch. The colour of the cabinet was painted a grey tone to complement the adjacent kitchen cabinets. Overhead, the dining room chandelier harmonizes with the one in the adjoining living room area. Also, it adds further architectural interest. This style of fixture was chosen specifically for its “lightness”. The fixture style is neutral in tone with a minimal, sleek profile. Therefore, it doesn’t compete with the sweeping views beyond.

IdeaWhen selecting features and finishes for an open-concept space, sit in adjacent areas. Ask yourself, what will you be looking at when you’re trying to relax, or when seated at your dining table? Streamlining the style and colours of the space helps to create a harmonious and well-curated home.

Patio with a view.

Patio Space

The expansive sliding doors open onto a patio which is perfect for entertaining. A space where guests can sit and relax in front of the firepit on a crisp Vancouver evening. Planter boxes, filled with ornamental grasses, line the perimeter of the patio. Therefore, providing privacy from below without obstructing the views of False Creek and beyond.

Guest Bedroom
Guest Bedroom has a custom millwork built-in unit offering lots of storage.

Custom Design in the Bedrooms

Bedrooms are another great place to incorporate some custom storage details. For instance, in the guest bedroom we added a custom millwork built-in unit. It includes nightstands which flank both sides of the bed. Additionally, we incorporated bedside lighting into the millwork, leaving no detail overlooked. The bed-frame, sourced from Style In Form, features a lift mechanism, offering further storage under the bed-frame.

Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom has a high-end, boutique hotel vibe.

The master bedroom is large enough to comfortably house a king-sized bed and frame. However, to truly achieve a high-end, boutique hotel look and feel, we custom- designed a fluted headboard.  We paired this with a large-scale geometric wallpaper. This dramatic wallpaper selection was then balanced with simple, lighter tones. For example, the streamlined bedding keeps the space bright and airy. Further, to expand the visual space and balance the bold wallpaper, we opted for mirrored nightstands. They are neutral and reflective. Finishing touches complete the space. For instance, a quirky, custom tiger pillow reflects the fun nature of our client.

Personal Imprint

As designers, our work is driven by our clients’ needs, wants, preferences and whims. All of which is best delivered through custom design. Tailored furnishings, storage systems and details all play together to transform a project from four walls into a home. A home that offers comfort, function and style. When customizing the overall look and feel of a home, work with the right professionals. They’ll help you create a custom design that works for how you wish to live. Perhaps what your space needs most, is your personal imprint.

By Phyllis Lui & Aleem Kassam, principal designers for Kalu Interiors | Photography by Provoke Studios | Produced by RENO & DECOR

Launched in 1990, RENO & DECOR is Canada’s Home Idea Book, inspiring readers with the latest in tips and trends for their decorating and renovating.

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