In the world of home interiors there is custom design, and then there is custom design. The difference is more than mere emphasis. It is an exercise that reaches past the ordinary or the expected and pushes the boundaries to recast ideas about the fundamentals.
This is what Dario Drinovac wants you to discover. But be forewarned. You may have a few questions.
“I like customers who ask questions,” says Drinovac, a designer and the co-owner of Vancouver-based design house ROOM8. He says that when customers start asking questions, they discover new possibilities. Horizons expand as they realize that there are many degrees to customization.
Drinovac says his ideal customers are “people who are looking for extraordinary things.” That is where ROOM8, which has been building its reputation since 1992, distinguishes itself from other design houses, he says.
Customers are often surprised when they are introduced to what he calls “new-generation” products, items and materials that the company sources from Europe and around the globe. “Our understanding of what is available on the market makes a huge difference,” Drinovac says. “We actually look for the most advanced finishes in the world.”
Everything is custom-made. “We find something suitable for our clients’ homes, not the entire neighbourhood.”
As an example, Drinovac points to ROOM8’s use of porcelain in kitchens.
“Porcelain is the strongest man-made material,” he says. “It is resistant to scratches, heat, stains, acid.”
ROOM8 designs all the major components within the space – countertops, islands, cabinet doors and drawers – of porcelain. “The whole door is made of solid porcelain,” Drinovac says. It is specially engineered, using three sheets of porcelain that are laminated together. The process increases the material’s strength and allows the manufacturer to securely fasten the hardware to it. “It’s a very beautiful piece of engineering,” he says.
ROOM8 creates entire islands in porcelain, including the countertops. Other materials such as wood, lacquer, glass, and metal are added to accentuate the look. The result is a customized space that is unique, contemporary, functional, and refined.
Porcelain can be used for flat surfaces in any room. “It has too many advantages to be ignored,” Drinovac says. “The colours and textures available will surprise you. Fireplace surrounds, wall units – the limits are gauged by the imagination.
“There are options, and you should explore them. Get engaged. Ask us questions. You might be surprised.”
Drinovac knows “what can be done, what should be done, and what should not be done.” That leaves homeowners with the task of merely having to consider a few new possibilities.
110-1706 W 1st Ave., Vancouver