S M A L L S PA C E
At Home In The Guardian
A young entrepreneur enjoys the vitality and ambiance of OKC’s downtown living.
Photography by David Cobb
arshall Matlock remembers growing up in south Oklahoma City and visiting the downtown area with his parents for special events. “Then, downtown didn’t seem like much of a place to live,” he recalls. Now, Matlock is one of the city’s most enthusiastic advocates for downtown living. He stands at one of the large industrial windows in his corner condo in The Guardian and points to the many attractions he enjoys. It’s a quiet Saturday morning. No trafﬁc. Downtown is just waking up for the weekend. Four blocks to his right are Bricktown, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Film Row, Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Plaza entertainment district. Food trucks and bike and river trails abound. To his left are four blocks that feature stately churches and two historic, tree-lined residential areas – Heritage Hills and Mesta Park. “I love living downtown,” Matlock says. While the interior of his one-room loft might seem small, the view from his second ﬂoor windows provides an expansive vista of the iconic Capitol dome. This is not Matlock’s ﬁrst experience with downtown living. He lived in downtown Houston in 2001. After graduating from Oklahoma State University in 2003 with a business degree, he lived in Arlington, Va., while working in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol. From 2005 to 2013, downtown Kansas City was home. Those experiences introduced him to the vitality of urban living. Working from his condo, Matlock has created a comfortable living/work space, using furniture leftovers from former downtown residences. The condo bears remnants of its previous industrial life: Ceilings are high, some pipes are exposed, concrete ﬂoors are smooth but paint-stained. Windows have special shades for ﬁltering sunlight. The open stainless-steel kitchen overlooks what Matlock calls a “ﬂoating” living room. A black leather sofa and chair ﬂank an unusual coffee table of cantilevered glass nesting in a teakwood ball. Contemporary art adds sparks of color. Matlock uses two armoires on casters to conceal the bedroom, dividing the open space and giving the illusion of two rooms. His corner “ofﬁce” is opposite the kitchen/living room, and the expansive windows bring downtown inside. The bathroom, utility
OKLAHOMA MAGAZINE | APRIL 2014
Matlock prefers a streamlined look for the corner ofﬁce in his condo.
The cozy living room/entertaining area is anchored with an unusual glass coffee table that grooves into a large ornamental teak ball.