This Sophisticated San Diego Home Is Subtle Glamour at Its Finest

Inside a richly layered, California home winning at everyday style.
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Glamour is not something that can be easily—or quietly—achieved. When one thinks “glam,” all too familiar synonyms—flashy, showy, feminine, etc.—quickly come to mind. But take one step inside this unapologetically luxe California home, and you’ll start rethink those stereotypes. Though subtle in its sophistication, this richly layered space is glamorous and glittery no less.

“The inspiration really came from the client. She loves white and bright spaces with a little touch of glam,” says Kelly Hinchman, principal and lead designer at Studio H Design Group. A high-powered CEO with a thing for high fashion, her client, Kristie Nova, was in search of that magnetic spark. “We instantly connected. She’s just a really glam woman, so she wanted this really bright space with lots of light and lots of white.”

Though the 6,500-square-foot spread was only recently constructed (the house is situated in the newly developed community of Santaluz, just north of San Diego), Hinchman and her team wanted to be respectful of the structure’s mediterranean-inspired design. With the home’s existing architectural character in mind, Hinchman introduced more rustic elements to the scene in order to break up the mixed metallics and modern shapes.

“We wanted to make the interiors feel like they belonged in a home that was California-Mediterranean style, so we brought in some more hand-crafted finishes, like the hand-painted tiles along the stairs and the plain sawn white oak beams,” she explains.

While hot pink and loud prints have no place here, flashes of gold, layers of cream, and ultra-plush textiles speak to the home’s understated glamour. In the living room, eye-catching details—like the custom brass brackets that support the white oak shelves—instantly elevate the space.

“This is where a little more of the glam in the personality comes in, but it’s really toned down by the oak shelves that also match the beams above,” she says.

Armed with a careful eye for balance, Hinchman’s penchant for pairing shines again in the kitchen dining area, where a mixed collection of chairs surround a large farmhouse-style table. Despite bringing together a number of competing textures, it is the high-low contrast and unifying color palette that ultimately tie the dynamic arrangement together.

“I think the trick here is limiting the amount of finishes in the space. The height was critical because of the volume of the house and the tall ceilings. It really needed a larger scale end chair to ground the room. Then we added the acrylic and brass chairs. Because those are sleek and low-profile, they go away, but they also communicate with the light fixture above.”

The same sparkle permeates the formal dining room. Unlike in the kitchen, the strength of this space lies in its similarity. Here, a uniform arrangement of mod, metallic dining chairs (sourced from CB2) and an impressive starburst statement fixture introduce a sense of connectedness and cohesion.

“This is where we wanted it to feel more modern, yet still harmonize it with some of the wood elements, like that console table being a little bit more rustic, but a graphic shape,” explains Hinchman.

While white is almost always a safe bet when you’re living alone (because you, and only you, can be held responsible when a glass of red wine goes astray), an all-white scheme is a risky endeavor when you introduce a child—or four, in Nova’s case—into the mix. “This was always a joke because she has four kids. ‘We were like, are you sure you want to do the white?” laughs Hinchman.

Kiddie-proofing the bigger pieces in the home in washable fabric has proved to be an especially forgiving decision.

With a palette primarily comprised of soft grays, bright whites, and taupes, it’s easy to appreciate the home’s uncomplicated ways. But don’t let its neutral attitude fool you: A rich range of textures (from oak and linen to wool blends and leather) extend a sense of playfulness and dimension that otherwise would have been missing. Between the fuzzy moroccan rug and large wave print, the master bedroom alone is a tangible testament to the power of texture.

Of course, the real magic doesn’t sink in until you’ve stepped into the en suite. With all the makings of a truly decadent, adults-only zone (peep the clawfoot tub, dramatic chandelier, and antique mirrors) the master bathroom offers a stylish take on self-care.

“She loves getting dressed, so the bathroom and the closet were really important spaces for her,” notes Hinchman. “This chandelier, in particular, feels like jewelry. It has these chains that feel necklaces that come down. And it’s all in different finishes, so it’s a great way to bridge all the different metallics.”

Lavish fixtures and custom finishes aside, it is in fact the coming together of the outdoor area—a bonus lounge spot that’s visible from the moment you walk in the door—that Hinchman is most proud of.

“When you walk in, it really feels like you’re almost walking into a vacation. It’s definitely a retreat from the city. You get that indoor-outdoor feeling and it’s just harmonized by the shapes and scale of the furnishings. You instantly get the whole vibe of mixing the mediterranean with the glam and the rustic features and you see that trickling throughout the rest of the home.”

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Lydia Geisel Avatar

Lydia Geisel

Home Editor

Lydia Geisel has been on the editorial team at Domino since 2017. Today, she writes and edits home and renovation stories, including house tours, before and afters, and DIYs, and leads our design news coverage. She lives in New York City.