HOM on the Champagne

Domicle has started marketing their new condo on Champagne Avenue at Hickory Street. It’s a 12 storey tower on a podium facing Champagne with six townhouses facing Hickory. The name HOM has an accent over the O to make it sound like HOME in Swedish.

The marketing scheme is interesting. It’s big on IKEA style signage. The green exterior signage vandalized (graffiti) on Sunday was cleaned up by Monday morning, so they are alert.

The market package inside (kitfolder) follows through on the same Ikea theme. With the popularity of design TV — the HGTV channel, for example — viewers/consumers are becoming much more design-conscious. In this case, they took it one step further, featuring a Pantone-style colour swatch right on the some of the materials, to make the viewer feel part designer themselves( ie , project themselves into the picture):

The builder has set up two model suites in the old printing plant that is now on the site, which they will later demolish  to construct the tower. He even built a simple but effective portico to the entry:

Just inside, there is a scale model of the tower and townhouses for those who prefer to dream in 3D:

model of terrace between townhouses and tower
model of townhouse fronts facing Hickory Street

Inside, they furnished the two models to appeal to two different markets. There is a one-bedroom-plus-den furnished with simple mod furniture to appeal to first time buyers. There is a considerably larger two bedroom unit with traditional furniture that appeals to downsizers/empty nesters. The model suites have poster-sized aerial photos * mounted beyond the windows and patio doors that are most effective in making you forget you are only on the ground floor. Indeed, it is easy to be oblivious to the fact that the model is a fake room, as seen here:

looks like a dining suite, with a view from an upper floor, until...you look up ...

kitchen mocked up, note the columnar fridge -- shallow, thin, tall
living room, viewing into the sales office


I loved this rug, and rolled it up to take it home. But I couldn’t carry it and the clear glass coffee table both, so I had to leave it for a subsequent visit. Enjoy it while you can.

Some people like fantasy sport teams; others dream of whatever. I enjoy visiting sales models, it’s a great chance to poke at a curated set of furnishings and accessories designed to impart a particular impression or message. Deciphering the message is part of the fun.

The sales models are open for viewing. I was there on a preview for area bloggers. Domicile is trying to use relevant social media to convey its marketing message and get the word out. John Doran, the owner, was shrugging this off with an aw shucks: “I don’t understand any of this, but my daughter said we’ve gotta get with it and use social media” stuff, but the phrasing, launch, and marketing effort was slick, comprehensive,  and very well done. The medium is the message. The medium today was amateur unlicensed bloggers. The MSM, with professional educated hacks   writers/journalists was arriving to conduct interviews as we left, having eaten their lunch.


* the aerial shots for their prior project at Holland used a remote control helicopter to take the pix:   http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/boys-toys/

5 thoughts on “HOM on the Champagne

  1. Couldn’t we leave more of these old warehouses on site and convert them? Maybe this isn’t the best quality, but I love how in other cities, there are these hip neighbourhoods that still feel like old warehouse and packing districts (think DUMBO in Brooklyn).

  2. They look pretty good from what we see here. Certainly the white theme is contemporary Swedish as is the use of exposed wood beams. However, HOM with a small “o” is not Swedish for home, if that is what they are trying to imply. Hem is home in Swedish.

    1. I think Eric was just making stuff up. If the word “hom” were pronounced in Swedish, it would sound not like “home” but like “holm” without the “l” sound. If it was spelt “höm” it would sound more like “heum” more-or-less as one would in French.

      I’m unable to create the bar over a letter, but I recall from elementary school that those bars were used to help teach pupils the oddities of English pronunciation: the bar signified the so-called “long” vowel sounds of “ay”, “ee”, “eye”, “oh” and “you” or “oo”.

      Ov kårs, Ï köd täk tû speling in u hål nü uðer wä…

      (nôt ðat Ï’m üsing ‘å’ får ðu saund it mäks in Dänish, not Swëdish)

  3. Erinn: I’ve stayed in a converted factory in NYC once, great experience. And the conversion of the old Cream Jeans factory on Beech was a successful convert to condos in phase one, and then offices in phase 2. But these conversions have in common a large building. The one on Champagne is small, only a few thousand feet. The replacement housing (intensification, remember) is many times larger. Still, nothing stops one from taking a 8th floor condo with 9′ ceilings and adding the bottoms of some “beams” to get that look if that is what you desire. Sure its synthetic loft conversion but if that’s what you got …

    Recall too that most of our old factory buildings have been torn down already, not that we ever had very many.
    thanks for reading,

  4. Here are some badder-ass condo names for the future use of unimaginative developers. Remember, everything’s badder with umlauts:

    HÖM – for metal-heads
    HÔM – for faux-French cachet, when you can’t get away with calling your project “on the parc”
    HØM – for the Scandinavian esthetic.
    HÒM – for extreme Scandinavian esthetic, when nothing less than “Viking” will do
    HŒM – for Angles or Saxons

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