Retire in the City
The goal for this project was to combine two condominiums in a downtown high-rise to create a permanent living space for our retired couple, who had determined that “city life ” was for them! They already owned one of the condos that we had helped them furnish and “lightly” remodeled. They enjoyed city life so much and found they were spending much more time at their downtown retreat than at their suburban home that they had remodeled as well. When the adjacent condo became available, they decided it was time for a lifestyle change. Thus, leaving their suburban home and asking us to develop their dream home.
This started out as an exciting project until all the restrictions of mechanical requirements became evident! Only one separating wall could be removed between the two units, but venting, plumbing and electrical needed to stay intact for obvious reasons being in a condo hi-rise. The design focused on providing a gourmet kitchen with a five-foot wide professional range; which they had previously experienced in their suburban home and were not prepared to compromise. We re-space planned the entire footprint to accommodate a spacious open-plan kitchen with a living room, family room and dining room–all open to our creative culinary center. Either side of this great room we had a master suite and guest suite providing sleeping accommodations.
The generous pantry was transformed from the master bedroom closet; the second kitchen became the laundry and utility area, and the previous living room became the master bedroom, with the first kitchen transformed into the master closet. The most challenging aspect was to accommodate mechanical services behind the scenes as well as providing ambient and task lighting without penetrating the ceiling. This culminated in a soffit design, which we are most proud of, this concealed all the necessary services, but also subtly defined the various zoned living functions. We used surface-mounted track lighting from an existing junction box to provide task lighting over the kitchen island and dining table. In the family room / TV zone, we designed a glossy painted “cloud”, accommodating slick recessed lighting with a concealed LED perimeter, which helped in accenting the suspended design element. It took a while to work through all the obstacles, but our clients are comfortably settled in their new city digs and loving it!