Homes: By Phyllis Van Doren Photography by Martin Mann
WHEN A COUPLE LIVING IN Albuquerque, New Mexico, want to get away, their home-away-from-home is a City Walk loft in the Marina neighborhood of downtown San Diego.
When they first saw the location, they knew it was great, but making the 1,330-square-foot interior space work for them was a problem. Interior designer Dara Simic came to the rescue with a solution.
“They wanted a fresh contemporary space,” says Simic, “but didn’t know how to improve the open-plan space of living/dining room. The only furniture they brought with them was a bed and one painting.”
Simic retained the existing bath and kitchen and the hardwood floors. To the large open room she added a wood-capped low wall to create living and dining spaces. This made a backdrop for the media requirements and defined the conversation area. It also created a “dining room” without cutting off site lines through the space.
City Walk was built in 2003 but the interior had choppy crown moldings and dated light fixtures. Simic convinced the owners to let her remove the downstairs crown molding that ruined the slick contemporary look they wanted to achieve. After only one shopping trip with the owners to purchase a sofa, lounge chair and dining table, Simic swiftly completed the renovation and furnishing via daily e-mails and phone calls.
When the owners arrived for their first visit, they were surprised by the fully furnished and completed installation — everything from wall sockets to paintings.
Simic’s Simple Solutions
Repaint all walls, except two, in a Sherwin Williams white with a slight minty green cast called Opaline.
Paint one wall in mezzanine bedroom the brown named Polished Mahogany.
Repeat same brown in dining area on wall directly below bedroom, visually tying upper and lower levels together.
Add screwless switches and plate covers to electrical sockets to match paint.
Close off extra door to outside balcony with blackout shade, creating soft feel to room and ideal living area furniture layout.
Update all lighting.
On Simic’s future wish list: replace the dated mezzanine and stair railings with a sleek stainless-steel design.