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Industrial loft renovation by tech guru Justin Tse includes Silestone surfaces

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How do you bridge the gap between thoughtful design and functionality? Canadian YouTube star and tech guru Justin Tse tackled this challenge in his recent loft renovation. Justin saw the space as an opportunity to house his office and production studio, but also wanted the space to feel casual and relaxed. We sat down with him to chat about the space, his design vision, and why he chose to include Silestone surfaces to bring his industrial loft renovation to life.

 1. Share with us a little bit about the space. What was your overall vision for the studio loft?

When I first saw the space during a showing, I didn’t find it very appealing. It was a 20-year-old building with an outdated design and questionable layouts. However, the fun part of interior design and real estate is seeing the structure of a space and envisioning what it has the potential to become.

From the beginning, the plan was to create a bold, industrial and modern aesthetic that embodied both a great living space and office. As someone who has always worked from home, it was important that the office still had the feel of a living space – a place that would not only be great to work but also hangout after a busy day.

2. What was your favourite part when going through the design process?

The best part about going through the design process was making individual selections for each element for the design. From the surface samples to the furniture swatches, changing everything in a space definitely has a lot of moving parts! For me, it was hard to visualize the final product for much of the process. Watching a large renovation from start to finish is an incredible learning process from a project planning and (amateur) designing perspective! Working with Thomas & Birch for the kitchen design was a lot of fun; going through the drawings, layouts, and finding ways to create an open concept kitchen was something that I couldn’t have done on my own.

3. When planning out the kitchen and bathroom spaces, why did you choose Silestone?

Quartz is a material that I have been very fond of in my last few projects, from both an aesthetic and durability standpoint. This was the first time I was introduced to a Suede finish which I really liked. It was an easy decision to work into the neutral kitchen tones and matte concrete finish throughout. Silestone’s stain resistance and a non-porous finish was also an important characteristic when looking into surface options, especially in a high-traffic office kitchen and bathroom.

4. Why did you choose to include two different Silestone colours for your kitchen space?

With Silestone’s incredible selection of colours and tones, it was quite tough to narrow it down the options. I opted for a two-tone stone kitchen, playing off the ideas of light, dark and contrasting design.

The options I considered for the main dark stone were Silestone Charcoal Soapstone and Et. Noir, while for the contrasting white backsplash and bathroom countertops I was set on Et. Calacatta Gold, both of which I chose in a Suede finish. I ended up selecting Charcoal Soapstone due to its charcoal nature and different hues dependant on natural light throughout the day. The shade has a good balance of light and dark, and leans cooler in overall tone. A waterfall-style countertop on the end saw the Charcoal Soapstone transition nicely with the raw concrete also in the space. The Et. Calacatta Gold, on the other hand, is a more subtle shade, lending itself to be the perfect backdrop for the main features and millwork range hood to stand out.

5. Describe your vision for the bathroom spaces?

The original bathrooms in the loft needed a full makeover. In fact, the principal bathroom didn’t have a door and was partially covered by a plexiglass transition. The decision to remove the shower and tub not only expanded the workable upstairs loft space but allowed for a larger shower to be installed. I also opted to extend the cabinets as much as possible to increase counter space and storage in the principal bathroom. For the downstairs bathroom, we maximized counter space and storage once again, while using a matching material to the kitchen’s walnut accents. The Et. Calacatta Gold surface choice in 2cm gave everything a clean and minimal feel, bringing the entire design together.


6. Industrial aesthetic played a big role in your overall design. What is your favourite element from this style of design?  

I have always really liked having both a bold and neutral blend of raw materials with clean modern elements to help create contrast. From the concrete and walnut, the main aspects of the space all followed a neutral colour scheme while bringing warmth and colour to the space. Furthermore, while the furniture leaned towards a neutral colour palette, the books and decor added a personal touch. Although I have a large admiration for minimalist, Nordic design, the industrial blend of wood and stone in this space is something I really enjoy and would consider doing again.

7. How does this space represent your personal style and taste?

The objective of going with a residential loft as an office space was to have a casual and enjoyable work environment with no boundaries. The core design featuring black and white also represents my business personality in various ways, while the elements of detail that often go unnoticed can be seen in the design process as well. As someone who isn’t a designer by profession, starting with a base colour palette and making individual choices on raw materials such as wood and stone was a good way to ensure everything could come together cohesively. Personality can always be brought into a design afterwards, through furniture and decor pieces, in order to adapt to constantly changing styles and tastes.

To learn more about Justin Tse, visit his website, follow him on Instagram or watch his videos on  YouTube.


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