Pride of Place
If you think you hear a lion from inside a Spanish Eclectic home’s courtyard on a Point Loma hill, it could be just a gurgling fountain. But both would be in your imagination. Beyond the Moroccan-inspired, wrought iron gate, colorful blooms filling the entrance’s fountain centerpiece don’t make splashing sounds. And the guardian lion statue can’t roar — although
the tale behind the kingly beast is an uproariously good one. “It’s the kind of lion only a mother could love,” says homeowner Jolene Jackson. “On walks, my husband, Kirk, and I would pass by that hideous lion at a cutoff by Dennis Conner’s office on Shelter Island. I loved it. I would joke to Kirk, ‘You’ve got to get me that lion.’ My husband, who is tenacious, talked to Dennis. Dennis told him that the lion was one of a pair used in a ploy to get back at a sailor [billionaire Bill Koch], who had obnoxious, up-lighted statues in the yard next to Dennis’ lot. He agreed to sell the statue to Kirk, who gave it to me on my birthday.” The only “roar” comes from the Roaring ’20s Art Deco furniture collection within the modern Mediterranean residence — or, if you have excellent hearing, perhaps from the Pacific Ocean, which stretches out in the sweeping views from picture windows and a roof deck. Both embrace a panorama of bay and sea, downtown San Diego, North Island, Cuyamaca Mountains and Mexico beyond.
“Besides the amazing view, the first thing we saw when we walked in was the living room’s fireplace,” Jolene says. “It’s very simple yet modern, and it goes all the way from the floor to the ceiling, which is impressively high. Then we saw the marvelous circular staircase. This house has lots of round features and curved walls, with very few square angles. The architecture speaks for itself; and as far as the bulk of the house goes, we didn’t change anything in particular except the walls. They were all white, and I’m not a white-wall person.”
For a helping hand with color “and lighting, fabric, furnishings, tradespeople and any design things that a trained eye can help with,” Jolene says, she relied on Lynn Oberg’s expertise.
“There is a wide variety of color through-out the home to enhance the extensive collection of artwork throughout,” says Lynn, an ASID designer and color consultant. “The palette ranges from neutral, earthy grays and ivory to rich greens; from bold, contemporary electric greens to bright reds; and from metallic finishes to fun pastels. It is an eclectic mix of styles, art and color that flow and work well together.”
Across from the living room, the dining room’s dramatic green walls intensify a large watercolor painting of a calla lily. The bright hue was taken from Jolene’s hand-painted floor cloth, which lies underneath the vintage Art Deco dining table and chairs.
“I used to have a faux-painting business,” Jolene says. “In my other house, I used all the walls as my [experimental] palette. My husband, who is such a sport, would come home and say, ‘OK, what have you done now? Where is it?’ It was comical. Eventually it seemed to me that faux paint-ing just kind of died, and I gravitated to the stenciling part of it. I started with floor cloths. I do faux painting in the background to give them character and depth, but it’s mostly about stenciling.” The powder room on the main floor showcases Art Deco-style stenciling. For luscious glamour, Jolene employed elegant metallic paints, embellished with faux crystals. The flooring shines with luminescent glass tiles in blues, grays and greens. A silvery ceiling finish tops off the artwork and “makes it feel like you are stepping into a 1924 jewel box,” Lynn says.
Upstairs, adjacent to the master suite and its expansive outlook, more of Jolene’s stencil-painting artistry complements the makeup table in the vanity area. The faux work, which at first glance appears to be wallpaper, echoes fabric on the vanity stool. But Jolene’s creative flair doesn’t end there. Back downstairs at the northwest end of the house, the kitchen, which is open to the family room, includes an island with a glass countertop that she designed. “When everyone stops looking outside, they gravitate toward the kitchen,” Jolene says. “The island seats six, and they can take in the view from there. I decided the glass island top should have some bronze in it, because that would be a nice transitional color between the gray walls and the colorful backsplash. The sinks are hammered silver, so I had to include some silver. I got metallic construction paper and just started to cut out a little design. I put silver strips that have a rippled look on top. Glass Cast Images fabricated it for me.”
The kitchen and family room share a wall of glass sliding doors leading to a small deck featuring the extensive vista and a barbecue area. A wave pattern on a window keeps the outdoor grill hidden from view when one is in the kitchen or family room. “When we redid the kitchen, I kept finding cases of wine in this closet or that closet,” Jolene says. “It drove me crazy. I strongly suggested to my wine-collector husband that there was enough space downstairs, next to where the gym is now, to include a wine storage facility.” The temperature-controlled wine cellar houses 1,000 bottles of wine. (It and a home office above the detached garage are Kirk’s domains.) The partially subterranean level features recycled wine-cork flooring and cogs from San Diego Foundry Works used as wall art. “Kirk’s dad bought hundreds of cogs,” Jolene says. “They were covered in metal dust and, when Kirk was a kid, his dad paid him to clean them. I thought they were cool, so I hung them in the hallway of the master bathroom and in the basement.”
The lower level includes another bed-room suite, as well as Jolene’s studio, which she calls “The Mad Scientist Room.” Here, leftover fabric scraps wait to be made into miniature fantasy Christmas trees (several are displayed upstairs) or dressed-to-the-nines, just-over-a-foot-tall mannequins (designed as table toppers for a golf tour-nament reception).
“I’m the queen of the glue gun,” Jolene says, laughing. “And I do have my own style. That’s what’s so wonderful about Lynn. She takes my ideas and broadens them. Many designers want to put their stamp on a home. Lynn just wants to help me put my stamp on my home.”