Condo of the Week: It’s Not Your Uncle’s Bachelor-Pad Penthouse

(But it is $3.1 million.)

(But it is $3.1 million.)

Colour us impressed, that given the chance, a downtown Vancouver penthouse didn’t just put concrete down in a double-height airplane-hanger-of-a-space with wall-to-wall windows and call it a day.Yes, it’s a penthouse, but its loft design with entertaining spots and cozy defined hangouts makes this feel the way a cookie-cutter condo box never could—like a bonafide house—even though it’s right on Robson Street. McDonalds and Cobs Bread are the neighbours and yet somehow this fourth-floor condo isn’t overshadowed by skyscrapers (hello, natural light!) and we’re looking out onto trees! Birds! West End vapers waiting for the bus! Last thing we’ll say about this unbeatable location is that Santouka, one of the city’s top three spots for steaming bowls of miso ramen, is literally just downstairs. Quartz countertops, appliances from Miele and Fisher & Paykel.It was built in 1999, but has recently faced a complete reno (which is why we thankfully don’t see any black granite countertops or cherry wood floors) and there’s a lot of thoughtful planning that went into the first floor. You can flow from kitchen to dining to living room easily, and yet there are distinct rooms so not all of your millwork or furnishings have to match perfectly. Kitchen shelving can stay open without you eyeing mismatched dishware from your spot on the sofa. Sound is contained and atmosphere is easy to control.Go ahead, get the largest sectional this side of Restoration Hardware! You’ve got the space. And the back of it will create a nice room divider between living and dining areas. Lofts can sometimes feel too wide open, like you’re exposed and vulnerable to the elements and errant drafts, but the lowered ceiling here keeps things cozy. Geometric print cushions on the sofa add interest while keeping the colour palette soothing and neutral. Playing with the ceiling height is another fun option (as evidenced by the chain lights hanging in the corner), a tip for the next time you’re decorating your $3M loft.Proof that even $3 million doesn’t guarantee a tidy solution to the disruptive black hole of a television. If we were in charge we would have rigged that fireplace (sleek AF as it is with its asymmetrical slate grey blocking) with doors for a peek-a-boo TV. And then we’d replace the TV with a series of lit photographs from Sally Mann. Or just keep the lone ostrich, because you’re wild, you’re eccentric!Classic loft bedroom. Perhaps not the safest option for anyone with small children, but there is a walk-in closet and for some people clothing is all the kids you need.Cohabitating-friendly double sinks and a full soaker tub are sweet perks that make early mornings that much more palatable. For millions of dollars we would hope the owners would throw in the furnishings too, which is a win because this vanity-that-looks-like-furniture is totally on trend.Not exactly the guest bedroom one would expect in a listing of this price, but the new owners can always jazz it up with gold and family diamonds.We’ve gone live edge wood in the bathroom and we’re not looking back! Likely lacquered like crazy to keep from warping. In addition, the textured wall and black-brown mirror are such a nice organic departure from white lacquer on white marble on white everything.OK, is it just us or is this penthouse falling a bit short when it comes to the patio? The square footage might be there on paper, but the long and narrow profile means butler Jeffrey is going to have a devil of a time serving canapés to any al fresco guests. “Oops, excuse me, pardon me…” “Christine, it seems you’ve dipped your elbow in the caviar, darling!”

The Details

Address: PH7 – 1688 Robson St.

  • $3,098,000 (or $12,934 a month to rent)
  • 2 Bed + Den, 3 Bath 2-Storey Penthouse
  • Gas fireplace
  • 2 parking stalls
  • Building: Indoor pool, sauna, hot tub and gym