102 el cortez


Mavrix Equity Vice President & Co-founder Erin Wicomb came to DBRDS in 2011 with an opportunity to help him redesign a 1,000sqft+, 1 bedroom, 2 bathroom New York style loft that he had recently purchased in the Historic El Cortez building of downtown San Diego.

The existing space was rather bare & predictable. The original beige kitchen cabinetry remained with the dated white appliance package. Oversized air conditioning ducts running through the space with no consideration of placement, while a highlight green color paint had been used in an attempt to brighten up the space. It seemed that while this apartment had evolved over time with each owner, no consideration had been given to make the 2 story space a cohesive loft. This was the challenge.


102 el cortez floor plan


Being a high energy young entrepreneur, Erin wanted this loft to be a very contemporary, minimal loft, with a hint of texture & something unexpected. He specifically wanted a dynamic book shelf design for the entry way, a double height space with 18′ ceilings that could be viewed from all spaces in the loft. The introduction of angles into the bookshelf design was a simple reflection of how the floor plan felt upon entering the loft. From the front door the space seemed to extend diagonally away; we wanted to exaggerate this notion by introducing additional diagonal lines here. The randomness of the shelving design too was very intentional as reading is a great source of inspiration for Erin’s business life. Anyone who knows Erin will know that he talks 100mph about everything, from his passions, to Mavrix, sports & life…so we wanted to have a bookshelf design that reflected the energy that Erin brings to everything he does.

The color palette was a simple choice for this space – white to reflect as much natural light into the deep unit, contrasted with an ebony stained wood flooring & black painted concrete ceiling & exposed fire sprinkler pipework.

All photographs are © Darren Bradley Photography & DBRDS












  1. jun

    I like the book cases at stairways, also the matching coffee table…same color and form….I think bathroom will look more complete with the same tiles on wall walls…especially the wall behind the mirror.

    Overall, the color is very clean and contemporary. Great improvement.
    Check out Armani Milan hotel bathroom…

    Happy Friday!


    • Always appreciate your thoughtful comments Jun! This particular likes the strong ‘black & white’ contrast so we were ok with that for this project. Thank you!

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