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Home Design

Palms Down

Even though Hawaiian style was a favorite for globetrotter clients, the palm-tree stair posts in their newly acquired Escondido home didn’t blow them away. That décor seemed more like a tropical motif for a vacation rental. What they wanted was a sophisticated Hawaiian-inspired theme.

Get Stool Height Right

With a wide variety of stool styles available, choosing one to complement the look of a kitchen or bar area shouldn’t be too difficult. Finding the correct stool height, however, can pose a problem. The optimum seating height is always a 10-inch difference from the counter- or tabletop to the top of the seat. Here’s a vocabulary list to help you get the height right.

Beyond the Pole

Porcelain-tile flooring delineates the kitchen from the dining and living rooms, where wood flooring (a surprise discovery under the carpet) rules. For continuity, porcelain tile also was installed in the back-to-back guest and master bathrooms along a hallway on the east side of the house.

Beauty Before Age

Materials, especially wood and metal, gain their own character after being exposed to the elements year after year.

Unconventional Wisdom

A traditional living room and kitchen belonged to the days when designer Megan Bryan and her husband, architect Bruce Peeling, lived in their Point Loma home as a family with children. Now that the last of the trio of kids —Brian, 38; Sam, 25; and Madeline, 22 — have moved out, Megan and Bruce have loosened conventional notions of what their living spaces should be.

Frames of Mind

Framing can make or break a work of art, be it a painting, photograph or sketch. The right frame can add value to the finished piece or, to the chagrin of many an artist, detract from it.

Reclaim Garage Space

From tools and stools to trunks and junk, it seems that the garage is home to just about everything these days — except the car. According to a recent survey commissioned by the Lehigh Group, the garage is the most disorganized area of the home by a wide margin. Here’s help on how to get the mess out and the car back in.

Modern Family

What they call “the San Diego of Orange County” served Tracy and Jennifer Maziek well for 13 years. They enjoyed the “comfortable lifestyle” and their ocean view in San Clemente. But their house sat on a postage stamp-sized lot, and T racy was commuting some 50 miles to La Jolla when they decided it was time to move.

Conscientiously Contemporary

The look of a contemporary La Jolla home may appear effortless with its clean lines, diffused sunlight and bamboo swaying in the ocean breeze. But its creation was the culmination and refinement of myriad ideas.

Bi-coastal Sensibility

Originally from the East Coast, Sue loves the Cape Cod/Nantucket style. James, from California, likes cleaner lines. “So we tried something that would blend both styles,” Sue says.

Kitchen of the Year: Modern Zeal

By tearing down walls and adding folding glass doors that sweep open to an under-the-sky courtyard, designer Donna T ran of Borrelli Design + Cabinetry unleashed a Point Loma kitchen from its boxed-in position between dining and living rooms.

Stairway to Heaven

Balancing on a teeter-totter between modern and Mediterranean style interpretations, a hilltop Point Loma residence’s makeover could have tipped in either direction.

Make the Perfect Bed

Your bedroom is a reflection of your personal style and a comfort-first haven. By complementing equal parts of design and function, you can transform the space in which you spend a third of your life into your favorite sanctuary — with your bed as the focal point.

Divide and Conquer

With an emphasis on nothing, the flat expanse of hardscape and sod in a Carlsbad back yard needed embellishment.

10 Essential Tips for Small Spaces

Living in a small space has many benefits, but requires organization to make the most of any storage space. You need to think about your lifestyle and how your home functions. Here are my best tips for making a small space work for you.

A Fresh Perspective

Every June, the view from Tony and Angie’s balcony changes. Their Del Mar hillside perch affords them a year-round view of car lights on Interstate 5. But when the San Diego County Fair rolls around, they also can see the midway lights and Ferris Wheel at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Finding this .66-acre property took the couple two years; replacing its 1940s house with their custom contemporary home took another five and a half years.

Furniture Placement

Are you living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)? The good news is that CHAOS is treatable with the correct arrangement of your furniture and accessories. It doesn't matter how comfortable, beautiful or expensive the furniture is; if you haven't set up the foundation of the room with furniture positioned so that it welcomes and encourages conversations, then people will not use the room. With proper placement, you will be inviting your friends over.

Enrich Small Spaces

Make the most of small spaces with these principles from Tucson architect Robert Gay, one of more than 50 professionals who have contributed to the collection of articles found in The Art of Natural Building — Second Edition.

The Art of Accessorizing

Like the icing on a cake, accessories are the finishing touch that keeps the interiors of your home from looking bare. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you go shopping for décor.

Sand Castle

Some beachcombers unearth beautiful seashells along La Jolla’s shoreline. Sean Morgan made a more rare find after a morning surf: a flat, corner, residential lot two blocks from the ocean, newly for sale and prime for new-home construction.
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