Calico HiFi Console Cues up a Warm California Mid-Century Mood

05.07.24 | By
Calico HiFi Console Cues up a Warm California Mid-Century Mood

As is often the case with many startups, Los Angeles-based Calico began as a personal passion project that eventually morphed into something more life changing. Founded by Geoff Owens, a former recording engineer who detoured into interior designer, then into furniture design, Calico could be considered the creative culmination of a eccentric mind that finally followed the beat of his own drum. And the brand’s Hi-Fi Console a testament to Owens’ storied journey.

“I always loved interior design,” says Owens when asked about the career change. “One of my favorite parts of working in recording studios was the interior design. The dim lighting, wood walls, and warm low hum of the racks of gear in a dead quiet room not only brought me a sense of calming peace, but created a space that separated you from the world and allowed you to get in touch with your inner creativity.”

The HiFi Console’s centerpiece features a custom turntable placed seamlessly in its center, ample record storage in its cabinet below, and a quickdraw record slot on top. Listening settings range from vinyl, bluetooth, aux, and 2 external RCA inputs that are selected with a turn of the dial. Its built-in custom amp is 100 watts and easily fills a large space with sound. Its two 8” coaxial speakers create a natural sound.

After years of interior design, Owens ran into a wall common to anyone toiling in the client-serving career. “I was tired of the compromise and wanted to move to a role where I could express more of my design. So I moved to furniture design around the same time I was getting very into hi-fi.” Thus Calico was born.

Using his own home as a testing and staging area for new builds, the burgeoning designer began with a console for storing his own collection of hi-fi components gear – amps, speakers, turntable, and cabinets of all shapes and sizes, for all sorts of applications.

“I craft everything from gear storage cabinets to hi-fi consoles, speakers, retail builds, and built-in audio consoles.” Owens shares Calico is planning to launch an architectural hi-fi department to further and formalize the services.

Exemplifying Calico’s design ethos is the brand’s Hi-Fi Console, a plug-and-play 3-piece set made up of two freestanding speakers and a center turntable unit crafted in oak with a built-in turntable and amp. Hand-built by Owens, the design manages to honor a bygone era when such large dedicated consoles were commonplace without being completely retro – a contemporary interpretation in line with the new school audiophile resurgence embracing an analog aesthetic that could assimilate within numerous design eras.

“My goal is to create furniture that not only looks great, but feels amazing to interact with,” explains Owens. “There’s no screens, no menus or pairing buttons. It’s just stripped back – simple, intuitive, and really nice to use. Whether it’s the warm glow of the lights or the satisfying ‘click’ of the ON switch, I aim to evoke a sensory satisfaction in every interaction.”

Ultimately what inspires Owens is exploring the connecting lines between his passion for interior design with a love for home audio, one inclusive of one another. “Instead of shoving your sound system to a corner, why not make a statement with a bold, beautiful hi-fi console front and center in your living space rather than relegating it to become background music?”

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Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at