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June 02, 2009

Cruz Control

Bachelor pad focused on function and feeling

Anne Gafiuk

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“It's colourful!” claims engineering technologist Jeff Cruz, 28.
Perhaps, but its vibrancy is found in just about every room in his 1,200 square foot townhouse, including his garage. “I didn’t plan it that way!” he chuckles.

What started it all was a Marimekko fabric print entitled Kaivo by Maija Isola and Kristina Isola that Jeff’s father had stretched and framed in the ‘70s. “I grew up looking at it in my living room, but later, Dad put it away in our basement.” With its bold pattern of red, black and white, Jeff found it one day and resurrected it when he moved into his own home. “Everything else flowed with it. I started to get more red things to coordinate with it and it snowballed from there.”

Jeff’s shiny red 2000 Toyota Celica is parked in the garage for the winter, so he is driving his red Suzuki Swift at present. There is plenty of storage in the single car garage for his hockey equipment and automobile paraphernalia. From the garage, he enters into the black tiled foyer. On this level, the guest room, or “quick crash pad”, full bath with shower are found. Jeff’s computer, bean bag chairs, and DJ centre are set up in the flex room, with décor items featuring an award for his Celica, as well as pages from magazines from the 1950 s, something his brother brought back from a poster shop in Seattle.

“Knowing I was moving out and had to buy furniture, I got a part-time job at EQ3, so I bought a lot of my stuff from there,” including the brown leather couch and mini-sectional. A low coffee table matches the furniture. “I wanted something that would not take away from the flat screen HDTV and the view,” out his balcony.

Technology is evident throughout Jeff’s unit. “I moved the ceiling speakers’ location three times before construction began,” as he just had to have them in the right spot. “I like to throw parties from time to time,” he explains. His computer is hooked up to the television, so when his friends are “spinning LPs downstairs”, the webcam catches all the action there; with a wireless webcam placed on top of his fridge, guests downstairs can see what is happening upstairs. “Everyone is in contact” during one of Jeff’s get-togethers.

Even though Jeff has a breakfast bar with two red leather bar stools and a dining area equipped with a glass topped table and four stylish roller wooden chairs (“great for extra seating in the living room”, Jeff adds), he generally eats at the boomerang table on the couch.

“I want things to flow. Anything I buy must have function and feeling.” It is not difficult to see how much thought has gone into furnishing and decorating his townhouse.

Jeff upgraded many features in his unit including the tile flooring, which is found throughout the living spaces with the exception of the bedrooms and flex room. This tile is also used as the kitchen’s backsplash. Lighting, the paint colour and the black appliances were also upgrades. “I like the tile floor because it is easier to maintain – and I hate vacuuming!” Jeff laughs.

Above the maple cabinetry in the kitchen are two funky red vases and a bag of basmati rice. He explains: “It is a Filipino tradition for good luck. My aunt bought me this bag of rice after I moved into my new home.”
Jeff’s master bedroom exudes luxury and warmth with its brown tone on tone theme.

Curtains from IKEA break up the dark brown feature wall behind the bed, as well as offer a continuation on to the window. Floating shelves on the same wall as his large low profile bed hold many accents, including four, yes, four clocks. One has a 6 a.m. alarm, the second: 7 a.m., the third “just tells the time”, and the fourth displays Manila time so he can call either of his grandmothers or his cousins in the Philippines.

Four months after moving into his townhouse, he realized he needed to buy a stackable washer and dryer. Going to his parents’ in Panorama Hills to do his laundry was not convenient, even those visits when his mom sent baked goods back with him.

Because Jeff’s unit is quite new, moving in last June, he is “living in a construction zone. We share the road.” Being on the condo board of the forty eight units in the twelve building complex, he adds: “Our requests haven’t been met to keep up the roads. But it will pass.” He is thinking of becoming a dog owner next year, however with “no real yard space”, he will have to get out and walk his companion further a field, but “that is okay because I need more exercise,” he grins.

Jeff enjoys his first home in Country Hills Village.  “When I first looked at it, I instantly knew it was the layout I wanted. I thought that if I had a room-mate, they could have their space downstairs and I would have my space upstairs, but now, living on my own, I don’t think I will have a room-mate.” He saw the show home about two years ago, having looked all over the city on weekends. “I know I wanted an attached garage because I work on my car.”

“I like walking to my grocery store,” but Jeff usually drives downtown to meet friends or to go to his hockey related sports activities. Work is located in the north east quadrant of the city, so he does not have to worry about rush hour traffic to the central core.

To start a possible new Cruz tradition, Jeff, with his father and younger brother’s assistance, recently framed another bright and colourful Marimekko print, placed in a prominent location: the landing to the townhouse’s upper level. Who knows, Jeff pondered, “Someday, my future son or daughter may want it in their first home!”

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