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 But the condo was outdated, making it difficult to entertain and accommodate the beachside location where the husband exercises his enthusiasm for surfing.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.
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 ResidentialPros.com/media-center/photo-gallery.) 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.
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.