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.

CA Modern

CA Modern
July 2012
Cooking on the Wild Side

Cooking on the Wild Side

Sizzling summery secrets to turn an outdoor kitchen into a special space for all
By Tanja Kern

The temptation of sizzling steaks and flash-fired vegetables, especially during the summer months, entices many honest home cooks to cheat on their indoor cooktop in favor of the open flame.

There’s something wonderfully primal about the smoky smells wafting from the grill that transform home cooks-who would otherwise pussyfoot around the kitchen with Julia Child recipes in hand-into tong-wielding iron chefs on the wild side.

Since California dwellers enjoy the good fortune of having a pleasant climate almost year-round, it never seems quite right to chop and prep all the ingredients indoors only to walk outside to grill them. A proper outdoor kitchen lets homeowners do all the cooking-from prep and sear to serve and clean-in the great outdoors.

“For a while we’ve discussed how we should bring the outdoors in, but now almost everyone we run into wants to create some sort of living and cooking space outside,” says Jim Groen, an architect with Jackson Design and Remodeling in San Diego.

Peter Ford, a Sunnyvale Eichler owner who’s also a cooking enthusiast, discovered the benefits of cooking outside while he was remodeling his home’s kitchen. He and his wife Tera decided to invest in an outdoor cooking space so that they could prepare meals at home during the remodel, right under the sun and stars.

“We cook a lot, so we spend a lot of time in the summer having people over to the pool and barbecuing,” says Ford. “My wife and I love being outside with the kids. It’s an extension of our living space.”

The couple opted to build their outdoor kitchen in the 12-by-15 courtyard area at the front of their Eichler. Ford called on Unlimited Outdoor Kitchens in San Jose to help him figure out how to lay out the space.

“We didn’t want to break the bank, so we opted to do one long ten-foot area that would offer counter space, storage, and refrigeration,” Ford says. “We left a two-foot space at the end for the Big Green Egg [charcoal cooker].” The Fords tore down an old latticework fence before installing new fencing, and used Trex composite decking for the flooring. Low-maintenance ceramic tile covers the countertop, and the cabinet fronts are stainless steel. All told, the Fords spent around $7,000 on the outdoor cooking space, allowing them to whip up alfresco meals in any season.

Kitchens are taking to the outdoors in ever-increasing numbers. In fact, 70 percent of Americans say that when it comes to saving money, they prefer cooking out to eating out, according to a national poll by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. They also indicate that a cookout at home is more fun and relaxing than dining out, especially because it requires no travel, special dress, or dealing with crowds.

“Outdoor cooking is a very popular pastime that unites friends and family with great-tasting food that’s easy and affordable,” says Leslie Wheeler, director of communications for the association. “Whether it’s a weekday family meal on the grill or a weekend barbecue, outdoor cooking can make preparing the meal just as easy and relaxing as enjoying the delicious food with others.”

The outdoor flavors, the experience of enjoying food hot off the grill, and the fresh air all create a unique experience. And while a simple barbeque grill may once have sufficed, today’s outdoor cooking areas now include cooktops, beverage centers, wood-fired ovens, and warming drawers.


Outdoor kitchens come in many forms. They may be as simple as pairing a gas grill with a prep table, or a more complex built-in arrangement.

The location and layout of your outdoor kitchen should be customized to your particular home’s attributes,” Groen says. “You can make the most of a view, like a pool or canyon, fill in a dead corner, or maximize a big empty space.”

While sculpting the space, analyze how the outdoor kitchen will work with other areas in the backyard. It’s not enough to just stick an outdoor kitchen on the back of the house. Try to combine the cooking space with the dining and lounging areas. Create opportunities for interaction and conversation within the outdoor kitchen, and between the outdoor kitchen and other areas. Think of them as outdoor rooms, and consider the traffic flow between them as part of the design.

Dawn Whyte, principal designer and owner of Designs by Dawn in Petosky, Michigan, says you’ll want to ask yourself how self-sufficient the outdoor kitchen needs to be.

You want easy access to the indoors for dishes and utensils, and for monitoring food that’s being prepped indoors,” she says. “This is particularly important if you are planning a limited kitchen without water. If you are planning a fully operational outdoor kitchen, you need to consider the availability of gas, water lines, and sewer.”

Plan the outdoor kitchen footprint like you would your indoor kitchen. Put a sketch on paper so that you can maximize every square foot. Create wet and dry areas for food prep and cleanup, surfaces to set food as it goes on and off the grill, and areas for heating and cooling appliances, serving, waste disposal, and adequate storage.

Designers say the most common design mistake in outdoor kitchens is a shortage of counter space. All those platters, sauces, and cooking tools require several feet of counter space. Both the grill and the sink need counter space to the left and the right of them to set things down while cooking.

A professional kitchen designer or experienced contractor can help get the layout and measurements right, but the National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends the following tips as guidelines for efficient design:

  • Place 36 inches of workspace on either side of the grill and burners.
  • Plan for 18 to 24 inches of open space on either side of the sink.
  • When including an eating counter, allow 24 inches of width per stool and 15 inches of legroom.
  • Allow 36 to 42 inches between the edge of the dining table and whatever is around it, so people can walk behind the chairs. Place the table well away from any stairs.

Adding electric, gas, and water to an outdoor kitchen can add significant costs to the project, but these utilities also make your kitchen fully functional. You can cut the expense by opting for a portable gas or charcoal grill instead of a built-in model, and by not adding a sink. If you want running water, it can be less expensive to run just cold-water plumbing to an outdoor sink. If you really want hot water for washing up, compare the costs of an on-demand water heater versus running hot water lines.

Wastewater poses another challenge. The simplest solution is to drain wastewater from an outdoor sink into a bucket under the sink, which you then have to carry into the house for disposal, says Russ Faulk, vice president of marketing and product development at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, who teaches classes on outdoor kitchen design.

Outdoor kitchens often drain sink water into a French drain or a dry well, which is an underground structure that captures runoff. These drain options will limit what you can dispose of down the sink because waste disposed down these systems can lead to rot and smell. “If you tie the sink into the home’s wastewater system, you should be free to use a garbage disposal in the sink, and use the sink much as you would an indoor kitchen sink,” Faulk says.

Since residential drainage requirements can vary from one municipality to the next, Faulk recommends investigating local code requirements before launching an outdoor kitchen project.

You’ll also want to run electricity to your outdoor kitchen so that you can provide adequate task lighting for cooking after dark. Talk to an electrician about the various wiring options.


The most significant difference between indoor and outdoor kitchen design is the exposure to the elements. Sun, rain, heat, and cold can play a number on anything outdoors, so opt for materials like stainless steel, stone, and concrete. Designers recommend high-quality stainless steel because it provides a sanitary surface that can be easily cleaned, and is corrosion-resistant in harsh environments. Stainless steel is also highly resistant to flames and grease.

Natural stone works well for vertical surfaces, but stone countertops will require sealing on a regular basis. Outdoor-rated porcelains are recommended because they can stand up to high heat and freeze-thaw and come in slip-resistant finishes.

No matter what surfaces you choose, consider how hot those materials may get under constant sunlight. Some materials stay naturally cooler than others. The best way to test is to leave a material sample in the sun. It’ll help ensure that you don’t burn your hands while prepping foods or scorch your feet while walking.

Designing outdoor kitchens for the modern aesthetic takes careful pairing of equipment and materials. Stainless-steel appliances are a natural fit for outdoors, but they can skew traditional or modern depending on what you pair with them. Cabinetry will have a huge influence, so choose door styles with sleek, flat fronts without ornamentation.

“One of the biggest statements you can make for a modern outdoor kitchen is the countertop,” says Faulk. “Custom concrete countertops are a very popular choice for a modern look, as is glazed lava stone. It’s really expensive stuff, but it’s beautiful.”


Just like your indoor kitchen, the outdoor kitchen demands plenty of storage. Choose a kitchen design that incorporates cabinetry that will keep your tools, spices, and serving pieces stay clean and dry no matter what the weather. That way you won’t need to stock your kitchen every time you go outside to use it.

You can build an outdoor kitchen from scratch by using concrete blocks, metal studs, welded steel, or a combination of the three. Wrap a metal base with fireproof cement board before finishing it with stucco, stone, or porcelain tile.

The easier route is to use a premade cabinetry kit. Werever Outdoor Products offers modular outdoor kitchen cabinet kits made of 100-percent-waterproof marine-grade polymer. The cabinets can be arranged in any order to accommodate your space. They also are furnished with holes partially pre-drilled on the inside, and are connected with stainless-steel fasteners. The company can also produce custom designs for your space.

Atlantis Outdoor Kitchens also makes weatherproof outdoor cabinetry using solid marine-grade polymer that will not warp, crack, or deteriorate over time. The company also offers free design services.

Iron chefs will appreciate the aesthetics of a stainless-steel kitchen cabinet system. Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet makes stainless steel outdoor cabinets that feature moisture-tight design with seamless rain gutters that surround every door and drawer opening. To install, align and level the units with the standard stainless-steel leveling legs, and clip and bolt them together. Top it with the countertop material of your choice.

Lasertron can design and fabricate an entire stainless-steel outdoor kitchen, grill base, or doors for your outdoor kitchen, which is a good option if you want a brick or stone base for your cabinets. They can also add texture, patterns, or custom artwork to the doors for a contemporary and custom look.

If you want the durability of stainless steel but want a different look, check out Danver’s outdoor cabinetry. The company produces high-quality stainless-steel cabinets and drawer systems for outdoor kitchens that can be powder-coated in any color to match any decorating plan. Danver also offers very realistic wood-grain finishes (ten different wood species in all) that are applied over stainless steel. It’s a great way to get a wood look without encountering warping or color changes over time.


Iron chefs know that the grill or smoker is the heart of the outdoor kitchen. It’s these tools that make cooking outside something special. Think about how and what you like to cook before investing in a cooking appliance.

  • Charcoal grills impart an intense, smoky flavor thanks to the charcoal briquettes or wood that you use. They usually heat for 15 to 30 minutes before cook time.
  • Gas grills, using liquid propane or natural gas, burn cleaner than charcoal and ignite quickly. After ten minutes or so of preheating, you’re ready to start grilling. Connect these models to a natural gas hookup to eliminate the chance of running out of fuel and the annoyance of replacing propane tanks.
  • Smokers come in charcoal and electric models and let you cook long and slow.
  • Wood-fired ovens are a popular addition to today’s outdoor kitchens. Although most people use them for pizza, they can also cook everything from meats, fish, and vegetables to pasta, breads, and desserts. While cooking with wood fire creates a distinct taste and aroma to foods, it also promotes a more relaxed atmosphere because they can take an hour or more to heat up.

“Wood-fired ovens are helping today’s busy families to reclaim the ability to relax around the table and enjoy each other’s company,” says Anna Carpenter, owner of Los Angeles Ovenworks, which imports wood-burning ovens from Italy. Typically, your food will cook faster in a wood-fired oven than in a standard oven in your interior kitchen. Carpenter says her ovens typically cook 15 minutes faster than indoor ovens.

Appliance manufacturers commonly create full suites of outdoor appliances so that every piece you buy is a size and finish that works well together. Readymade kitchen packages can also help ease the decision-making process. It’s a good way to fit in grills, burners, sinks, refrigerators, and storage without having to hire a designer. Each element is built into readymade all-weather cabinetry.

“To create a true outdoor kitchen, it was important to design all the appliances that you would find in a well-equipped indoor kitchen, plus make them tough enough to operate and survive in an all-weather environment,” says Dale Seiden, vice president of Alfresco Grills.

For ease of convenience, opt for at least one refrigerator to hold meat, produce, and other ingredients that demand cooling. Choose from standard under-counter models with a door or a set of refrigerated drawers.

Don’t assume that an indoor refrigerator will work outdoors. Appliances that are branded as ‘outdoor refrigerators’ have more power, and are insulated to keep drinks and food cooler, even in sweltering heat. Look for a refrigerator that is 300-series stainless steel, which means it is rust resistant. Also look for the Underwriters Laboratories seal of approval, which means the appliance is safe for outdoor use. If you’re building the unit into outdoor cabinetry, opt for a model that is front-vented.

What’s a barbecue without an ice-cold beverage? For ultimate entertaining, consider a bartending center. You can order these as a built-in or a cart model that features distinct areas for ice, drinks, and bar tools. Danver’s Glastender Home cocktail station includes an ice bin with sliding stainless-steel cover, condiment cups, bottle well for iced bottle storage, sink, cutting board, and other bartending accessories.

The National Association of Home Builders estimates outdoor kitchens can range in price from $3,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on the design, quality, and the type of appliances and materials selected.

Photos: David Toerge, Domiteaux + Baggett Architects; and courtesy the participating manufacturers. Weber photo © 2012 Weber-Stephen Products LLC – used with permission.

Jackson Design and Remodeling

San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Union-Tribune
July 2012
Glamour in a Small Space

Glamour in a Small Space

Luxurious features bring the ‘wow’ factor to a guest bathroom

TODD JACKSON – Special to the U-T

This small bathroom dazzles with a wealth of lush materials and a glamour-infused Japanese influence. Part of a whole home remodel for a young couple who entertain frequently and lavishly, this bathroom is used by guests during special occasions. The homeowners wanted to impress and delight their guests with a memorable room accentuating style, drama and luxury.

The original bathroom was a typical powder room, with no shower, outdated fixtures and little attention to style. Working with the existing space, the new design dramatically enhances the style and function of the room. A shower was added to accommodate guests using the outdoor pool. The shower has Kohler Stance Collection fixtures with strong architectural lines. The handheld shower offers a striking design statement to this modern bathroom.

Contributing to the “Wow” factor of the bathroom is the unique curved shower enclosure by Vigo Industries with its specially designed rollers that make closing the door smooth and effortless.

We brought in gray metallic wallpaper, charcoal gray porcelain tile accented with chrome Schluter strips, and Schonbek lighting in Cinnabar Red to create an alluring environment of illumination, reflection and color. An exquisite crystal Vitraform vessel sink sits atop a La Cava pedestal in high gloss black laminate and echoes the cylindrical form of the mirror above. Triple-cut marble, created from a remnant polished to high sheen, brings additional reflection to the space and creates an alluring interplay of light and shadow. Recessed lighting, similar to lighting used in jewelry stores to add sparkle to gems, spotlights the crystal sink and the wall of tile.

This small contemporary bathroom now radiates luxury with meticulous attention to detail in design, scale and materials.

Todd Jackson is the CEO and Client Consultant at Jackson Design & Remodeling. He can be reached at (619)442-6125,

Jackson Design and Remodeling

NKBA Magazine

NKBA Magazine
June 2012
NKBA Spring 2012 – Tile in Totality – Bathroom Tile Design Ideas

NKBA Spring 2012 – Tile in Totality – Bathroom Tile Design Ideas

Tile is making its presence known in contemporary bathrooms; occupying more and more wall, floor and backsplash space. At the center of this master bathroom is a Japanese soaking tub, and with the bathing experience being a significant part of the client’s lifestyle request, it deserved special consideration. Translucent recycled glass in a muted pine green shade for the upper and lower tub deck were paired with small mosaic tiles in colors meant to evoke a tranquil sunset. Linen-textured, sand colored porcelain tile flooring presents the foundation for a restful space wrapped in glass tile.

Design by: Bonnie Bagley-Catlin
Jackson Design and Remodeling
San Diego, CA
Photo by Preview First

Qualified Remodeler

Qualified Remodeler
May 2012
Streamlined Solution

Streamlined Solution

By: Laurie Grant

A Kitchen Remodel Employs a Unique Design to Make Use of Limited Space.

When people think of regions with beautiful weather on any given day, San Diego is one of the first areas they name. So it’s no surprise that a couple, both of whom are doctors, have a vacation condominium in Oceanside, Calif., which is on the northern tip of San Diego County. But the condo was outdated, making it difficult to entertain and accommodate the beachside location where the husband exercises his enthusiasm for surfing.

Serving as a surfing retreat, family getaway and entertaining venue, the central gathering spot in the renovated condo is the kitchen area, which San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling transformed from a cramped, dark space to a light, open area that meets the clients’ needs.

Art Inspiration

The homeowners owned the condo for 20 years, during which time they never updated it. The husband, who is a bodysurfer and has won several competitions in his age group, used the condo with some frequency as a surfing haven, but the family rarely traveled there together to enjoy the space. “It had been so dated they were embarrassed to have company come over. It was tired looking,” says Jim Groen, senior architect with Jackson Design and Remodeling.

After the couple chose to use Jackson Design and Remodeling, which is a design-build firm, for their condo renovation, Groen, along with Rosella Gonzalez, project interior designer and Chris Ashby, project structural designer, visited the condo to take measurements and discuss how to proceed. “We absorbed as much information about them as possible to come up with a solution to meet their needs and dreams,” Groen says.

Gonzalez and Groen interviewed the clients together, which they think led to an ideal solution that satisfied both clients. “I was interpreting it from my perspective as a man and hearing what they were saying,” Groen remembers. “Rosella was hearing the same thing yet processing it differently because she’s an interior designer and a woman. We came back to the office to talk about our meeting and develop a more accurate response to what we heard based on both of our interpretations. It allowed for a well-thought-out solution.”

The clients own a painting by Jesse Miller around which the condo’s design was to evolve. (See a print of the painting at For The painting features water and pebble imagery and has water-inspired colors with flashes of burnt orange. The marriage of water elements and warmth particularly appealed to the owner, who wanted an ocean-colored theme. “She liked the ocean feeling but didn’t want just blue and gray,” Gonzales recalls. “It’s not just about that. That picture also has warm colors, and she wanted those warmer colors.” Gonzales latched onto the color and pebble scheme to materialize the clients’ vision.

Seamless Design

Once the design team had a vision of remodeling the condo around Miller’s painting, they set out to make the drawings reality. The team gutted the condo and started anew. Before, the kitchen and dining room were separate small areas. Jackson Design and Remodeling envisioned creating a large room, eliminating the dining table and installing an island that doubles as a dining area. The adjacent living room extends the gathering space.

The kitchen expansion also motivated the homeowners to rethink their master bathroom. It had a sink and vanity area about 5-feet wide and a separate room with the toilet and shower that was about 5 by 5 1/2 feet. The small space made it difficult to remove wetsuits without flinging sand and ocean debris all over the room. Because the condo is a vacation home, the couple didn’t require much closet space, so the bathroom expanded into what had been closet area to make it a more functional space. The bathroom is tiled to protect the walls against hanging damp wetsuits after a surfing session.

Gonzalez integrated a pebble theme into most areas of the condo. “The theme is in the bathroom and living room. We tried to incorporate that in the whole project,” she says. “The client didn’t say, ‘I want pebbles in my house,’ but it was the concept, idea and feeling, so it made sense.”

Following that theme, Gonzalez acquired a piece of distressed lumber resembling driftwood for the fireplace mantle. The clients then displayed stones from the beach on top of it. “The pebble theme makes a full circle,” Groen says.

The team removed flooring and refinished and repainted the space with the exception of the guest bathroom and guest bedrooms, which received minor upgrades. The kitchen area was rewired and reinsulated.

Kitchen Inspiration

The collaboration between the Jackson Design and Remodeling team ultimately brought the kitchen island into the design. “After we talked to the owners and got existing floor plans, I started laying out some ideas, and I thought I had this thing figured out,” Groen recalls. “Then Rosella came back with the concept of an island, and it was like, ‘Whoa, wait a minute. Can we do that? Yeah, of course we can.’ The collaborative effort we have is very dynamic and allows us to challenge each other to come up with the right solutions.”

Groen and Gonzalez considered putting a cooktop and sink in the island, but Ashby reminded them of limitations associated with condo builds and being unable to relocate plumbing. “The island concept instead became the heart of the space and completely transformed the way that area of the home works,” Groen explains.

Because the condo is used as a retreat and for entertaining, the clients did not expect to cook much, so requested no hood over the range. Code requires 30 inches between a cooktop and a combustible surface, so the cabinets are higher than the typical 18-inch spacing, which works because both owners are tall.

“Everything we did was to code,” Groen says. “We did double check the building code because this is a condo project, so we had to meet not only residential safety requirements, but also commercial requirements.”

Appliances are smaller than is typical. The owner originally requested no dishwasher, but eventually decided to install an 18-inch-wide dishwasher. The oven does double-duty as a convection oven and microwave. The TV is mounted in the kitchen over the counter rather than over the fireplace, where it created too much of a dominant element.

The original kitchen had a vertical chase dissecting the space. The team assumed it housed pipes or ductwork, but during demolition, they discovered it was empty. “One of the advantages with our design-build company is we were able to very quickly reconfigure the cabinets and countertop details so we could create a continuous countertop from wall to wall, which opened up the kitchen and made it more functional,” Groen asserts.

The wall-to-wall counter followed the horizontal design of the rest of the kitchen. The floating shelves make a horizontal line with the bifold doors. Gonzalez developed specific drawings for how to align the shelving to be perfectly horizontal. The tile backsplash Gonzalez designed also features horizontal lines. “It made sense to have all the horizontal lines of the backsplash placed throughout the kitchen,” Gonzalez says. “The floating shelves go from corner to corner. Even the lighting on the ceiling is horizontal. It was important to bring all the materials and lines together.”

At the End of the Day

Seven months after their first meeting, the condo was complete. Gonzalez reflects, “It works so much better for their goal, which was to entertain and have a big space to go to with friends.”

The clients love the finished space, according to Groen. “They allowed us the freedom to provide our suggestions and followed our leadership, but in some ways challenged us in making sure it met all of their needs,” Groen recalls. “The finished product is something the clients are absolutely in love with and proud of. We have a client who’s a client for life. We’ve stayed in contact with them. It’s a positive relationship. That is what our company is all about.”

Jackson Design and Remodeling

Professional Remodeler

Professional Remodeler
May 2012
Professional Remodeler Market Leaders edition names Jackson Design & Remodeling one of the top design build firms nationwide

Professional Remodeler Market Leaders edition names Jackson Design & Remodeling one of the top design build firms nationwide.

Professional Remodeler Top Design Build Firms (PDF 1.25MB)

San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Union-Tribune
May 2012
Kitchen navigates to ‘organic coastal’ Redesign captures spirit of yacht club neighbors

Kitchen navigates to ‘organic coastal’
Redesign captures spirit of yacht club neighbors

A wall was removed to open the kitchen to the rest of the home. The kitchen space was then planned to create a triangular work space, making the area ideal for both cooking and entertaining. Jackson Design & Remodeling photos

This bold kitchen, which our team dubbed “Organic Coastal Architecture,” delights the eye with vivid blue details and warm wood tones while honoring the vision of the local architect who built the original home in 1952.

The homeowners are a professional couple, empty nesters who were looking to bring some new vitality to their home. Inspired by imaginative design, the clients were clear about making a design statement, not just getting a kitchen “makeover.” The existing home was designed by architect Loch Crane, who studied with William Templeton Johnson and Frank Lloyd Wright, and the clients have loved their home since they bought it in 1992. The goal was to create a more functional and modern kitchen that would both honor and enhance the surrounding environment. The home is located in Point Loma near the San Diego Yacht Club, and the homeowners’ love for the water inspired a nautical spirit and open, light-filled layout.

To achieve that open feel, we removed a wall between the kitchen and dining areas but left the windows and ceiling undisturbed. The entire kitchen area was streamlined to create an efficient triangle work space, ideal for the homeowners, who love to entertain large groups of friends and family. Concrete flooring, finished with a super high polish, brings a sophisticated, modern shine to the room and amplifies the effect of abundant natural light. The unusual curved Tanbur Zephyr hood frames the Miele induction stovetop, providing space and energy-efficient cooking with no burners. Magnetic cooking allows the space to be used as a countertop when the stove is off.

The new kitchen cabinetry is clean and functional with minimum hardware. The emphasis was to align the new design with the organic feeling and original architecture of the home. The Vogue Bay reflective glass backsplash is a striking expanse of blue, bringing nautically infused color, light and reflection to the space. The unusually large pieces of tile make an uncommon presentation, adding visual interest with scale. The back of the island facing the dining table was created from pool tile in “sea gear” blue, green, and a touch of gold and black. The colorful abstract effect evokes lilies floating on water and is a conversation piece whenever guests gather at the table. The table’s stainless-steel legs were custom cut and attached to low iron glass.

Todd Jackson is the CEO and Client Consultant at Jackson Design & Remodeling. He can be reached at (619) 442-6125,

Jackson Design and Remodeling

San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Union-Tribune
April 2012
Boomers are leading the trend to stay at home

Room To Retire

Boomers are leading the trend to stay at home
Christy Scannell SPECIAL TO THE UT

Rhoda Hamburger, 80, lives comfortably with her dog Cuddles in a little cottage designed with aging-in-place features. – John Gastaldo
First it was the call from an older widow in Santee. She had nixed moving to an assisted-living facility in favor of adding a second level to her home that would create a spacious environment for her adult granddaughter’s family of four – and live-in caregivers for her. And then even more requests began rolling into Jackson Design and Remodeling from adult children determined to help their aging parents stay in their own homes. Plus middle-agers were asking for ideas on what they should be doing to prepare for future retirement at their residences.CEO Todd Jackson realized he was witnessing a new way of thinking about his industry.”We started noticing the trend in about 2006,” he said. “So we started looking at how we’re building projects in a more holistic approach that’s not just about now, but the long-term, too.”

That trend, often referred to as “aging in place,” is rapidly altering not only the remodeling business but architecture and interior design, too. And as the baby boomer generation continues into its retirement years, the desire to adapt existing homes for older adults is only expected to grow.

“It’s very disruptive for someone to have to leave the home they’ve lived in and move to a smaller place where they have to give up half the possessions they’ve acquired and have to adapt to other people’s schedules and rules,” said Denise Nelesen, a licensed clinical social worker and communications manager for Aging and Independence Services at the County of San Diego. “Staying in their home empowers them to keep doing what they enjoy doing.”

But unless that home is properly adapted, choosing to stay there can be risky. The Centers for Disease Control says falling is the leading cause of injury death among those over 65, and one in three adults over 65 falls each year.

“It’s really important to be preventative in terms of looking at a space for safety as well as ease of use,” said Anne Kellett, owner of San Diego interior design firm A Kinder Space. “bathrooms are downright dangerous, for example – water and polished marble together are a recipe for disaster.”

But homeowners don’t need to sacrifice style for those changes. Kellett said she incorporates age-friendly finishes and accessories that retain the home’s warmth while providing the assistance an older person might need.

“It’s not about a medical look – it can be beautiful as well as functional,” she said, “such as layers of lighting – not just the bright lights we need sometimes, but soft lighting, too.”

Another consideration is the freedom to maneuver a wheelchair or walker indoors. Jackson’s remodel checklist now includes wider hallways, bigger doors and roll-in showers.

“What’s going to prevent people from staying in their home? Access,” Jackson said. “If they can get around in their home, they don’t have to move away.”

For some retirees, though, the family home is simply too large to maintain through their golden years. Local architect Kevin de Freitas had those residents in mind when he designed the Marina District’s Rowhomes on F, a 17-unit complex that was recently featured in Andrew Nuver’s book “Unassisted Living: Ageless Homes for Later Life.” Although his row homes incorporate multiple levels, they have ample space for an elevator. In exchange, they offer autonomy.

“If someone is unable to drive, they could easily live there without a car and have access to every service they need in just a few blocks,” he said. “The way many people want to spend their retirement is not bound to their houses-they don’t want a 4,000-square-foot house with a big yard.”

But for those who do, it’s possible to make living at home longer a reality.

“If it’s just an issue of mobility or frailty, then how exciting that we have all these things that can help us make life easier at home,” Nelesen said. “It is human nature to want to feel independent yet secure, and there is no reason you can’t maintain that as you get older.”

Jackson Design and Remodeling

Dream Kitchens & Baths

Dream Kitchens & Baths
April 2012
Better Homes and Gardens Dream Kitchens & Baths: Contemporary Universal Design Kitchen Remodel by Jackson Design & Remodeling.

Better Homes and Gardens Dream Kitchens & Baths: Contemporary Universal Design Kitchen Remodel by Jackson Design & Remodeling.

Practical Beauty

San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Union-Tribune
April 2012
New Bathroom Has Japanese Tradition – Japanese Style Bathroom Remodel

New Bathroom Has Japanese Tradition – Japanese Style Bathroom Remodel

Jackson Design & Remodeling photos

This tranquil master bathroom awakens the spirit, soothes the senses and brings the ancient ritual of Japanese soaking to the modern environment of a young professional couple remodeling their whole home.

This tranquil master bathroom remodel was for a young professional couple who were remodeling their whole home in Scripps Ranch. The homeowners wanted to make a strong personal design statement throughout their home, with an emphasis on modern lines, unusual materials and expressive color. Working within the existing space of the original master bathroom, we significantly reconfigured the space.

The toilet/water closet room and shower space were merged, and windows were removed and repositioned. The resulting floor plan seems far more spacious and serene. The central focal point of the new bathroom is a Japanese soaking tub, a custom from the homeowner’s Japanese heritage. Japanese bathing differs from the American version in that the tub is used more as a place of contemplation and reflection after getting fully clean in the separate shower.

A linen imprint on the sand-colored porcelain tile flooring adds visual interest with texture. We used warm caramel tones in the cabinetry to balance with the cool sea-blue-green glass tile walls. The horizontal bamboo cabinetry adds organized storage to the room. A tall vertical cabinet contains a hamper on the bottom and space for linen storage above.

The vanity mirrors hide the recessed medicine cabinet and include the unusual feature of lifting vertically instead of hinging like a conventional medicine cabinet; this offers better access that is unobstructed by the door. The cabinet provides a sleek, streamlined design with integrated outlets, lighting and customizable shelves. In the makeup area, a Hastings mirror with a magnifying circle pulls out from the wall and rotates 360 degrees. Sconces were placed on the sides of the medicine cabinets to provide exterior lighting, but they also make a distinctive design accent with their bubbly glass shades.

The architectural lines throughout the room are clean and simple, while materials are rich with texture. The new master bathroom is a peaceful retreat for a young couple looking to combine ancient tradition and modern style with an imaginative interpretation.

Jackson Design and Remodeling

San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles

San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles
April 2012
Master Bath Revival


A Remodel combines Old World craftsmanship with current innovations

WHEN YOUR SPANISH REVIVAL HOME is designed by notable San Diego architect William Templeton Johnson and is on the San Diego Historical Registry of Homes, you proceed very carefully when remodeling.

“The family living in this Mission Hills house wanted to experience modern convenience and more space for living and entertaining, while retaining their home’s design integrity and original charm,” says Tatiana Machado-Rosas of Jackson Design and Remodeling.

The master bath, part of a three-story addition, grew to almost four times its original size – from a mere 43 square feet to 169 square feet. The space now includes a generously scaled shower with a luxurious system that includes four body sprays and a rain showerhead. This spa experience says 2012, but the look is in keeping with traditional aesthetics.

“We designed the new bath to tie in with the rest of the house,” says Machado-Rosas. “Original ceramic tile from the early 1900s was mimicked with 3-inch-by-6-inch and 6-inch-by-6-inch white ceramic wall tile and white hexagon mosaic floor tile.”

The master bath’s custom cabinetry, moldings and tub skirt also take their cue from original beginnings: the home’s ceilings, stair rail, fireplaces and beams are of intricately carved woodwork.

And among the items in keeping with the essence of the early 1900s are wall sconces (“they evoke a 1920s Art Deco glamour”) Kohler’s Revival sinks (“their elliptical form and rolled edges create a look that embodies the era”) and Kohler Antique faucets (“they have six-prong handles to bring in nostalgic charm”).

Above: The master-bath makeover in a historical home was carefully planned to combine elements of Old World craftsmanship with current innovations in design. The tub serves as an anchor between the large walk-in shower and vanities, and is strategically located by a window overlooking Mission Bay.

Jackson Design and Remodeling

San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Union-Tribune
March 2012
Contemporary Open Floor Plan Remodel

Contemporary Open Floor Plan Remodel – Union Tribune Coastal


The two-story 1970s tract home had an obscured front door, a tiny cut-off kitchen and an awkward split-level floor plan.

The latter made it hard for the mother-in-laws to visit. That might be good news for some people, but for this Del Mar couple and their two teenage sons, it was a catalyst for remodeling.

They wanted an open, level first floor. So the homeowners, who wish to remain anonymous, hired interior designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas of Jackson Design and Remodeling to reconfigure the four-bedroom, three-bath 2,400-square-foot home into a five bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home, and adding 1,700 square feet.

The process, completed in June 2011, also turned the plain 70s exterior into a warm and welcoming façade with Craftsman-style touches, including stone accents.

“The original house was a rental most of its life,” the homeowner said. “It had some hard years.”

The foyer is now bright and airy with a gracefully curving stairway that leads up to the family’s bedrooms. The wrought-iron and cherry wood railing add an elegant touch.

To the left is the guest suite, designed with the elderly mothers in mind. The wheelchair accessible shower in the suite’s bathroom wall contrast with the dark porcelain floor, which has the look of slate.

Past the entryway, the home opens up, spreading out into the living/dining area and kitchen with views to the backyard and the Torrey Pines beyond.

“We wanted to continue the outside when you come into the house,” the homeowner said.

The living area is a combination of styles. The sleek, gray porcelain of the fireplace surround and the low horizontal lines of simple, modern furniture contrast with the warm Craftsman feel of the molding around the doors and windows and the dark-stained maple wood floors.

Tray ceilings define the living space and the kitchen. Each area has layers of lighting from indirect and recessed ceiling lights to wall sconces and pendant and cabinet lights.

The kitchen is anchored by an asymmetrical slab of wasabi granite, which functions as the breakfast bar. The asymmetrical shape allows the family to sit along two sides so they can see each other.

“The granite is an art piece,” Machado-Rosas said. “We didn’t want to cut it.”

The slab’s green tones and the rich mahogany of the cabinets tie in with the colors of the Torrey Pines outside. “It’s very organic, but not overwhelming,” Machado-Rosas said. “It’s very soothing.”

Cabinets, lights and the range hood as well as the iridescent tile strip in the backsplash are a play of vertical and horizontal lines. But while the geometry creates a visual balance, function was top priority. “We put a lot of thought into how to organize the kitchen,” Machado-Rosas said.

That thoughtfulness includes lots of storage space, a pot filler over the cook top, a Miele dishwasher that is so quiet it won’t disturb anyone watching television and a warming drawer that’s placed high enough so no bending is required. Form and function are also combined in the wine rack, which is inserted into a narrow wall. With a wrought-iron door, the rack has the feel of a wine cellar.

Glass pocket doors on the opposite end of the living room lead to a game room for the two boys. The doors cut down the noise but still allow the parents keep an eye on things. The room is still in flux. “We’re giving ourselves a year to figure things out, and to see what we want,” the homeowner said.

Upstairs, the master bathroom was expanded to include a roomy bathtub and large shower. “I absolutely love it,” the homeowner said. “The entire bathroom was the size of the shower.”

Clerestory windows provide natural light along with privacy, and the neutral tone of the porcelain tile on the floor and a portion of the walls give it a soothing feel. Light and dark vertical stone tiles over the vanity keep the neutral color scheme but create texture.

Wasabi granite also tops the linen drawers in the second-floor hallway, which overlooks the entryway below. Right outside the laundry room, it’s the perfect place to fold clothes and keep connected with everyone at home, the homeowner said.

It’s just another example of the home’s blend of aesthetics and function.

Jackson Design and Remodeling

San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Union-Tribune
March 2012
Art Inspired Kitchen Remodel

Art Inspired Kitchen Remodel

Carefully balanced materials, color and custom lighting add layers of visual appeal

A Mount Helix kitchen remodel, with a custom-designed light fixture, was inspired by the homeowners’ love of art. Jackson Design & Remodeling photos

A retired couple with grandchildren and a shared love for art, the homeowners live in an architect-designed home in Mount Helix that had one missing element – a kitchen that expressed their personal style and suited their needs. While improved function was desirable, the aesthetics of the room were more important to our clients.

Throughout the rest of the home, white walls act as a canvas for the couple’s lifelong collection of art. In the kitchen, we encouraged the use of color and introduced materials and textures with layers of visual appeal. The space was designed with careful attention to balance and symmetry.

The German-engineered appliances are flush with the Bamboo cabinetry, contributing to the feeling of a clean and open space.

We carefully selected materials to bring light and texture to the room. The glass tile backsplash was meticulously installed to wrap cleanly throughout the space, and its neutral color tone was inspired by the existing slate floor, offering a harmonic balance to the new space. A slate gray countertop contrasts with the lighter glass tile backsplash and balances with the colors of the existing floor. Subtle interplays of texture, tone and color define the new space.

The work area of the new kitchen design is streamlined and highly functional, eliminating clutter and allowing for easy prep, cooking and cleanup. The sink is made by Blanco Silgranit (80 percent granite and 20 percent composite) which looks like stainless steel but is much easier to maintain.

By far the most dramatic change in the new kitchen is the custom-designed light fixture made from recycled materials. Rather than placing the standard chandelier or recessed lighting in the kitchen’s soffit, we chose to make a statement by using a one-of-a-kind fixture designed to inspire through color, movement and organic lines. The new light fixture is the centerpiece of the kitchen and the homeowners have embraced it as a special piece of art. The kitchen is now a seamless extension of this art-inspired San Diego home.

Jackson Design and Remodeling

Kitchen Magazine

Kitchen Magazine
February 2012
Rustic Modern Design Ideas

Rustic Modern Design Ideas – Kitchen Magazine

Rustic Modern Design Ideas (PDF 866KB)


January 2012
Rustic Modern Interior Design Featured in Riviera

Rustic Modern Interior Design Featured in Riviera

BEST of the CITY

Think you know San Diego? Think again. From the foodie and nightlife scene to the design darlings and style arbiters, we introduce the new, the now, and the what’s next!

By the editors, with Seth Combs, David Morris, AnnaMaria Stephens, Christi Warren, Christianna Ablahad, Tierney Plumb & Shelby Stanger


Table Manners
The rustic-modern style sweeping S.D.’s hippest bars and eateries has hit the home front. For this La Jolla kitchen remodel, designer Bonnie Bagley-Catlin tapped the trend’s most recognizable elements – reclaimed wood, exposed beams, industrial lighting and a farmhouse sink – while maintaining a timeless modern sensibility and an open floor plan.

Jackson Design and Remodeling