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Urban Retreat


 After years of visiting friends in San Diego, Darin Osborne and Mike Sparaco came up with the idea of buying a second home and establishing it as an urban retreat. “San Diego seems like a big city with a small-town feel,” notes Darin, who, with his partner of 21 years, calls Phoenix, Arizona, home. Together, they own a commercial printing and communications company as well as a property development firm.

The couple’s main goal in designing a weekend getaway loft was to escape their hectic work lives. The contrast of walk­able downtown San Diego to the sprawling Phoenix metro area was top of mind when the couple discovered the M2i building in the East Village.

Darin and Mike worked closely with architect Jimmy Sullivan of CitiZen Design to create a refined, masculine look that requires very little maintenance. The intent was to retain the openness of a space that boasted incredible views of the bay and the downtown skyline, while also creating obscured privacy for evenings unwinding in front of the fireplace.

Sullivan used eco-friendly design throughout the remodel, from FSC-certified wood flooring to translucent wall partitions made from an eco-resin by Planet Rooth Design Haus. The dividers stretch two-thirds of the way up the 15-foot ceilings to help establish designated living areas while allowing plenty of natural light to flow from room to room. Dramatically tall drapes by Stephen Folks Interiors frame bay views by day and create a cozy backdrop at night. Even the Eco-Smart fireplace is flueless and emits no toxic or harmful fumes.

Darin and Mike are thrilled with the results: “We've accomplished a crisp and striking ‘bachelor pad’ that is very functional for the space,” says Darin.

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