As experts in their field, Jackson Design and Remodeling professionals are often called upon by the media to lend insight about topics and trends in remodeling. We are happy to share a sampling of our media appearances and mentions with you here.
When a home overlooks the sea, highlighting the outdoors in the interior design is a natural inclination. One house near San Diego had top-notch views of the Pacific Ocean, but its cramped layout and dark design seemed to disregard its beachside location.
“It was hard to tell that the home was even close to the ocean,” said designer Rosella Gonzalez of San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling. “This was a challenge since the homeowners wanted an open and light-filled space connected to scenic natural surroundings and accommodating for an active family life.”
Open to Views
Using AutoCAD, Gonzalez redesigned the kitchen to be functional, highlight the exterior and embrace the clients’ love of mid-century modern design. The upper cabinetry and a peninsula were first removed, and a wall was moved back to open up the kitchen to the rest of the home. A formerly unused area was redone to hold a new pantry door, a refrigerator and a wine refrigerator, and an island was planned to replace the peninsula.
“The expansive island is defined with a trio of mid-century-inspired pendants in a fresh blue,” said the designer. “The island also allows for comfortable seating for three and contains a sink, ample storage and open shelving to display favorite cookbooks and pottery.”
Another functional change was for the original desk area, which the clients appreciated having in the kitchen. While the location of the desk was kept in the same position, Gonzalez included smart changes like efficient storage that matches the kitchen cabinetry to improve its style and function. The desk faces out of one of the new, larger windows, which now surround the kitchen perimeter.
“While some elements remain in similar positions to the original, new windows surrounding the corner reveal the ocean views and flood natural light into the space,” said the designer. “The kitchen, dining and living areas are now encompassed in an expansive, airy design with effortless views of the ocean and abundant natural light.”
To highlight the views further and emphasize their mid-century modern style, the clients asked for a one-of-a-kind backsplash. Both the homeowners and the designer experimented with different variations of tile designs before landing on the final composition – which is a mix of white, gray and turquoise parallelogram-shaped tiles.
“The variation in color and tile placement lends playful movement to the kitchen, enhancing a sense of harmony with the ocean seen through the windows,” said Gonzalez.
Dark gray countertops were chosen to balance the colorful whimsy of the tile backsplash. Natural wood cabinetry and white quartz countertops add to the mid-century modern appeal, while floating shelves in the upper cabinetry allow the homeowners to display their favorite dinnerware. The cabinetry also features minimalist pulls to refrain from visual distraction.
Oceanic Bathroom Retreat
Like the kitchen, the existing master bath was dark and dull with a cramped layout and outdated cabinetry and fixtures. Instead, this young, professional couple wanted a luxurious and expansive bathroom retreat inspired by their home’s location.
“This was difficult as the cramped layout would not allow for an airy design,” said Gonzalez. “To make the space feel more expansive, the tub was removed and the space repurposed for an extra-large shower.”
The shower – now its own walk-in room past the vanities – boldly includes several types of tile, which are meant to invigorate the senses. The black hexagon tiles on the floor echo the tile on the main bathroom floor, while the niche repeats the teal backsplash behind the vanity. A back wall of white mosaic tile is a calming backdrop that unifies this bathroom with the others in the home.
“The main goal for this bathroom’s design was to bring the outside in,” said the designer, adding that a real tree trunk in the shower – which doubles as a bench – adds a feeling of connection to nature. “The shower window was elongated to enhance the ocean view and designed to align perfectly with the shower opening.”
The vanity connects to the outdoors as well with its natural wood cabinetry and white quartz countertop. Black floating shelves with brass detailing balances the bold black flooring and can be used to display collectibles and jewelry. Large custom mirrors framed in black complement the shelving.
“These reflective surfaces throughout the bathroom amplify light and make the space feel larger,” said Gonzalez, also pointing out the mirror on the door and the glass section of the linen closet door. “Each design element helps to make the once-confined bathroom feel spacious and tranquil.”
Designer: Rosella Gonzalez, Jackson Design and Remodeling Residential Designer: John Kavan Interior Stylist: Karina Kmiotek-Ally Photographer: Jackson Design and Remodeling
A Renovated 1950s House Is Full of Colorful Tile Inspiration
By Apartment Therapy, November 21, 2018
Name: Stacy and Ben Location: San Diego, California Size: 2,930 square feet Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned
It was the enviable views of the ocean and quirky mid-century details that appealed to Ben and Stacy when they bought this house, which hadn’t been renovated since it was built in 1958. Located in a bohemian beachside community in San Diego, the couple was expanding their family and looking for a place to settle where growing kids would feel comfortable for many years to come. They hired Jackson Design and Remodeling to help them remodel the house.
Ben loves to cook, Stacy loves to bake, and the kitchen was one of the first spaces they focused on remodeling. “We spend the majority of our time at home in the kitchen,” says Stacy. In the now expansive space, a large island allows room for the kids to work on art projects or help with kitchen tasks during mealtimes, keeping the whole family connected.
The rest of the home was designed to capture the couple’s desire for both natural and colorful elements. Hand-crafted details pop up throughout the home, including a hand-forged iron stair rail leading between the upper and lower levels. Two bathrooms echo the detailed tile design in the kitchen with their own vibrant color palettes and patterns. Open, airy, and full of light, the design looks stylish and interesting while also feeling relaxed and comfortable for family life. Ben and Stacy call it “Mid-Century Practical.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: We still aren’t sure what our style should be called, but we love natural tones, colorful tile, most everything at West Elm, and we chose a lot of other mid-century modern decor during our remodel.
Inspiration: Our design inspiration relied heavily on websites like Houzz and Apartment Therapy. Thankfully there are a lot of creative people out there willing to share their great ideas.
Favorite Element: The kitchen! My husband is a talented chef and I love to bake, so we spend the majority of our time at home in the kitchen. We made the kitchen window bigger in order to see more of the ocean view, knocked down the wall between the kitchen to the living room, built a walk-in pantry, splurged on a wolf range and sub-zero fridge and built an island big enough to give our kids some counter space to help with meal prep and/or do art projects while we cook.
Biggest Challenge: We moved into the house one and a half years ago, and just last week we finally selected a light for our dining room. This sounds silly, but we have a large skylight over the dining room area, which makes mealtime during the day lovely, but it has been a challenge to find the right pendant that can be suspended beneath the skylight. It should be delivered next month and hopefully we like it!
Proudest DIY: The kitchen backsplash. We decided on an ombre geometric tile concept for the kitchen wall after looking at hundreds of backsplash examples online. With the help of our designer and one of my close friends, I spent several hours creating the tile pattern that is now on our wall.
Biggest Indulgence: Sub-zero fridge
Thanks, Stacy, Ben, and Jackson Design and Remodeling!
With a love of hosting and three teenagers under the same roof, one couple in Carmel Valley, Calif., felt their cramped kitchen needed more than a quick update. Along with being detached from the adjacent living room, the kitchen lacked warmth, enough seating and adequate storage.
“The clients wanted their home to communicate their sense of style and to accommodate cooking and entertaining,” said designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas of San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling. “They wanted their space to reflect an appreciation of traditional luxury.”
The former kitchen was unusually small given the scale of the home, and it seemed distant from both the family room and what was a mostly unused breakfast area. In the family room, the original fireplace and TV also felt like afterthoughts.
To correct these issues, the design team pushed a wall back in the living area to create depth in the great room. They also repurposed the breakfast area – which was too small for the five-person household – into a wet bar. Coffered ceilings define each area and help bring a human scale into the larger space.
“The kitchen, family room and bar are now visually and spatially integrated,” said Machado-Rosas, whose team used 2020 and AutoCAD for their drawings. “From there, a sense of gracious openness and welcome needed to also be emphasized.”
To take advantage of the large space, the design team expanded the kitchen into the great room and brought in additional cabinetry. The challenge was how to install more storage options while also keeping the kitchen bright and open.
“Our solution was to choose light-color cabinetry on the perimeter reaching up to the ceiling and darker wood cabinetry closer to the ground,” said the designer, explaining that this dark color was applied on the island and as an accent on the custom wood hood. “The resulting overall look is traditional but fresh.”
The white cabinetry is a hard rock maple in cream with an antique glaze, while the dark cabinets are alder wood. Drawer pulls were selected in oil-rubbed bronze for a textural detail. This touch of dark color contrasts the white cabinets and backsplash, which features interspersed tiles imprinted with a fleur-de-lis pattern for visual interest. A new larger refrigerator is integrated behind the cabinetry and is now surrounded by ample storage, including a pantry and an appliance garage.
“The functionality and storage of the kitchen were significantly increased while establishing a streamlined, clutter-free environment,” said Machado-Rosas.
Thoughtful details like an out-of-the-way pull-out microwave drawer and a small desk area will keep traffic out of the busy kitchen. A classic copper, double-bowl sink was installed in the island as a nod to the clients’ preference for a traditional style, and all the prominent fixtures have bronze finishes to highlight the sink’s design.
Along with increasing their storage, the clients wanted more gathering spaces for guests. The design team did both by installing a grand island with two sections: a lower section with storage and a sink for prepping and a bar-height countertop – overlaid directly on top of a section of the lower piece – for seating.
“The generous island seating area, which easily seats six on its 7-ft. by 7-ft. granite slab surface, was deliberately designed differently from the cooking section to keep eating and cooking areas clearly defined,” said the designer.
Both countertops are made of granite slabs with varying shades of blue, mint, cream, gray and white. The overlaid countertop has distinct square edges to add refinement to the piece. The base of the entire island is alder wood burnished with a rich stain, and it includes details such as traditional turned legs and beadboard.
“The island is an impressive focal point in the open space and serves multiple purposes, including seating, cooking prep with a sink and abundant storage,” said Machado-Rosas .
Through an archway that reflects the home’s curved Spanish-style front door, the nearby bar needed to also make guests feel welcome while alluding to the kitchen. To do this, the design team installed the same alder wood cabinetry used in the kitchen and then gave the space character with materials like African black-and-gold-stained granite and a copper tin ceiling.
“The bar design was inspired by a traditional Irish pub with an extra shot of elegance,” said the designer. “Rich materials and colors align with the kitchen while retaining their own distinct character.”
Older homes often have one outstanding feature that cannot be completely replicated in a new build: character. A couple living in a 1930s-dated house wanted to respect its original architecture, but they felt the space was old fashioned and did not suit their personalities.
“The clients wanted the kitchen to reflect their lifestyle – simple and practical,” said designer Marisela Contreras of San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling.
As was typical in a house built in the early 1900s, the kitchen, living and dining room were all closed off from one another. In the kitchen, the cabinetry lacked useful storage, the sink was not centered with the window, and the island was too small to be useful as a prep area. In addition, the laundry room was located in the kitchen and took up valuable space.
“The biggest challenge was structural,” said Contreras, who used Revit for the architectural plans and AutoCAD for more detailed design drawings. “We wanted to completely transform the space visually while respecting the character of the 1930s home.”
The kitchen was originally separated from the living area by a wall and the closet containing the laundry. The washer and dryer were relocated to another room in the house, and the walls between both the kitchen and dining area and the living area were removed. Since the wall dividing the kitchen and laundry room was load-bearing, three posts were added to support the ceiling. Now the kitchen is open to the living area, which boasts a high wood ceiling.
“The homeowners loved the architecture of the house, the vaulted ceiling in the living room, the wood beams, the fireplace and the windows,” said the designer. “These original elements balanced with the new design to give the home a rich character and truly express the clients’ personalities.”
The pass-through from the foyer into the kitchen was closed off to make room for the refrigerator and oven, and the sink was centered with the window. The cooktop stayed on the island, but the island itself was extended to add seating and more storage.
Creating a Gathering Place
With the kitchen now open to the dining and living room, the next challenge was making all the spaces more cohesive. Oak hardwood flooring with variation was installed throughout, and all the walls were painted white to brighten the now open space.
In the main cooking area, mahogany cabinetry was selected because the clients love the wood’s linear graining and its deep reddish tone. The perimeter and island countertops are both a neutral quartz material, which balances the color and veining of the cabinetry and other wood elements in the house.
To help define the main cooking area, the design team kept the range in the island. They also made the new island almost three times the size of the original, giving clients more counter space, cabinet storage and seating.
“This was the perfect opportunity to make the hood a focal point,” said Contreras, who explained that the large stainless steel hood above the island makes a bold statement because of its shape and size. “The island now feels like a natural gathering place in the expansive open design.”
The island itself is also eye-catching. Covered in horizontal, gray porcelain tile on the bar side, the piece adds another layer of texture to the kitchen.
“My favorite part of the project was seeing the transformation of the home from start to finish,” said Contreras. “While we preserved many original elements, we successfully unified the kitchen, dining and living spaces and created a more serene, beautiful and functional home for the clients.”