Aleem Kassam of Kalu Interiors shares why his condo is the perfect balance of function and high style.
When you find true love, you know it right away. You feel it in your bones. It’s the same with real estate! When I saw this two-bedroom condo, I knew we were destined for a life together. The 10-year-old, 19th-floor sub-penthouse packed plenty of promise, with its coveted corner placement, stunning views, and 1,150 sq. ft. of living space to play with.
One of the benefits of being both designer and client, in this case, was not having to adhere to a strict timeline or deadline. Another significant advantage was the opportunity to live in and experience the space, which allowed me to assess its functionality first-hand. With time on my side and a clear view of what worked in the area – and perhaps more importantly, what didn’t – I had a great launching point for my pending project.
Now, before I get into the design side of things, let’s revert to myself in client form. I love dinner parties. Entertaining is essential in my household, so this was a key consideration, from concept to completion.
As it was, our new home’s layout wasn’t conducive to how I live. The kitchen was tiny, with an adjacent bedroom that didn’t offer proper privacy. This would require moving walls, but the result was well worth the effort. The new kitchen is twice as large and stocked with all the trimmings, including a butler’s pantry, corner cabinets, a 36-inch fridge, full-sized wall oven, microwave, wine fridge and coffee maker. Essentially, everything you need to throw a good dinner party. Designer advice: Function first!
The condo boasted an excellent balance of wall space and windows, which facilitated ample natural light throughout. The finishes, on the other hand, were much too dark. We replaced the circa-1990s dark-stained floors and cabinets with white oak millwork, which lightened up the interiors. And, since it’s an open floorplan, the impact benefits the entire space. Light in this space also comes via mirrors – a trick of the trade, when used correctly. By positioning mirrors opposite windows, you’ll double the view and bounce natural light throughout the room.
Gold is the trending embellishment in this space. I love its warm glow and simplistic opulence. This modern metal became a running theme throughout this space, carrying from the kitchen and dining area, into the bedroom and retreating to the bath. But notice that this trendy addition comes in the form of “soft” accessories. Translation: Relatively inexpensive and easy to replace, when this trend eventually runs its course (which it will). Behind that, you’ll find a space that is neutral with solid staying power.