Two Luxe Coal Harbour Condos Become One Sophisticated Penthouse
A pair of luxe condo units is transformed into a singular home with twice the sophistication.
What’s better than a penthouse on the 62nd floor with sweeping views of Coal Harbour? Two penthouses, of course. Which is why one local entrepreneur, on the hunt for a new Vancouver home back in 2014, scooped up a duo of presale units with a plan to merge the suites into one dream condo.
Cobbled together, the double suite clocked in at 3,700 square feet, but there was a problem: even though the original suites were brand new, the layouts were poorly designed—the bedroom and office were shoved up against the window, blocking the amazing view—and in need of an overhaul before the homeowner even moved in.
Luckily, interior designer Franc Ranieri was in the right place at the right time. “I was introduced to him at the display centre as they were finalizing the deal, and I saw the plans and thought, ‘I can’t let this poor man live in something like this,’” laughs the Kreel Creative principal. “That same day, I came back to him with a sketch.” The homeowner hired Ranieri on the spot, and the designer set to work converting the problematic condos into one
The homeowner’s passion for entertaining was the key driver for Ranieri’s new layout: he frequently hosts functions for charity, sometimes inviting as many as 120 people over at a time. “You’ve gotta have flow; you can’t have doors. You want to absorb the beautiful views—it’s like being in a plane up here,” Ranieri says. Dealing with the pre-existing infrastructure proved to be tricky—combining two units meant there were twice as many pipes, structural elements and wiring as there are in a typical renovation—but Ranieri found the natural flow around these obstacles. “I followed these things with my pencil, and as I drew, I found a vernacular of curves,” he says.
The designer describes the resulting condo as having “a sculptural feeling,” with gently curving walls naturally guiding guests throughout the space. And Ranieri built in plenty of areas to settle in and linger, too. The dining room (“the heart of the apartment,” according to Ranieri) seats 16 around a custom table and offers access to the condo’s most spectacular viewpoint. Should the homeowner want to share the sight with more people, he can simply bring in the matching table from the nook. (The chairs in both rooms are the same design but in different materials—some leather, some fabric—so the mismatched look remains polished.)
There’s also a coziness to be found in the den, situated right by the front door: paldao walnut panelling—which conceals built-in cabinetry—gives the room a smoky cigar-room feel. “The homeowner’s partner had roots on the East Coast, so she’s all about New York,” says Ranieri. “There’s less glass and steel here, which gives it more of a lounge-y feel.” A trio of plush, grey velvet sofas (custom made by WD Western Designers) create space for intimate conversations even during larger gatherings, but the star feature in this cozy room is the built-in bar. A marble countertop prep station sits beneath a cabinet of glasses; to the right, a back-lit, glass-doored unit displays the homeowner’s collection of beautiful bottles. “I think that whole entryway sets the pace and tone: you hang your coat in the closet, get a drink and settle right in to stay a while,” says Ranieri.
Though the master bedroom has a glass door, the room still feels private, thanks to textured glass and the room’s location at the far end of the apartment (the guest room, meanwhile, is located all the way on the other side of the floor plan). An upholstered wall behind the headboard and gorgeous custom drapery—both from Ravi Design—create a sense of intimacy. “The colours envelop,” says Ranieri. “It’s like big arms around you.”
A sophisticated palette of navy, charcoal and cream is quiet enough to let the almost-360-degree views take centre stage. Grey limestone flooring adds a stylish finish that’s also durable enough to handle hundreds of party guests, but Ranieri layered in elegant neutral custom carpets from Salari and East India Carpets for some soft texture. These finishes are low-key, making room for statement pieces like the “wow factor” onyx kitchen island, one of a few deluxe details that appear in surprising places inside this suite. The homeowner’s partner fell in love with a quilted ’70s-inspired fabric (something Ranieri describes laughingly as “atrociously expensive—we may as well have put gold on the walls”), and it’s on full display in the anteroom, paired with walnut panelling and a built-in vanity.
With a custom-designed space now at his disposal, the homeowner is entertaining more than ever. Because while it may have started out as two distinct units, Ranieri’s clever edits and additions have turned the space into something greater than the sum of its parts: a home.