When you picture a home that has everything, what do you see? For most buyers, a spacious kitchen island, generous walk-in closet, and lush backyard space would suffice as plenty. But for one fun-loving family in the highly coveted Santaluz neighborhood of San Diego, “everything” comes in the form of a full-size indoor basketball court, private bowling alley, designated game room, and decked out sports bar.
“This project was the culmination of hard work, innovation, and collaboration on all sides. The clients were repeat clients that were currently residing in another residence in the same development community,” says Tracy Lynn of Tracy Lynn Studio, the lead design firm on the project. In collaboration with Mulvey Custom Builders, Lynn and her team redefined what it means to have it all.
Bonus amenities and square footage aside, the 12,000-square-foot abode steers clear of over-the-top design. Polished, simple, and clean, the home’s overall breezy aesthetic (think beachy elegance-meets-contemporary mediterranean) ties the palatial space together.
A true marble marvel, the sublimely understated kitchen not only captures, but effectively inspired, the design of the home.
“The clients have a love of entertaining, cooking, and socializing with close friends and family. The best place to do that is in the kitchen, which is always the heart of every home,” shares Lynn. “That being the case, the TLS team was inspired by a specifically stunning La Cornue range. After long deliberation, [we] decided upon a beautifully crafted soft blue that wasn’t too blue or too purple or too gray.”
The “crown jewel” of the kitchen, the range’s in-between shade and polished chrome and brass embellishments inspired the breezy, blue palette that informed much of the rest of the home. From the mudroom to the master bedroom, soft splashes of this same purple-blue hue make a much-welcomed appearance.
“Blue was an unexpected color, especially with the more traditional Spanish/Mediterranean exterior of the home, but it felt fresh and balanced, with just enough of a departure to have the interior be unforgettable,” explains Lynn of nailing down the color palette that would tie the home together.
In the kitchen dining space, pale blue chairs and window treatments introduce a more casual feel to the eat-in area.
Elsewhere, however, Lynn and her team played up darker neutrals—like deep grays and browns—to cool off the color palette, and “evoke a sense of modernism that lurked within the home.” In the dining room, wood ceiling beams extend an instant sense of rustic warmth, while the rich charcoal wallpaper punctuates the formality of the space.
Looking back on the year-long project, Lynn is most proud of the living room, where a slab of marble imported from Italy divides over 50 feet of open shelf space.“These bookcases were no walk in the park,” Lynn tells Domino. “The paint color alone took 12 paint drawdowns and endless hours of deliberation, as light blue painted bookcases were definitely a gamble.”
For added depth and intrigue, her team added textured white wallpaper behind the shelves and enclosed a portion of the bookcase in glass for a China cabinet-esque look.
Not wanting to compromise the curated elegance of the space, Lynn and her team cleverly decided to hide the television behind a piece of artwork so the family could still watch the big game when need be.
“Like any American family, these client’s absolutely loved watching sports and having family and friends over the share in the excitement. The custom build team integrated a hidden pulley system so that the Benson Cobb artwork could be lifted upwards to reveal a 65” TV underneath,” explains Lynn.
The TV-disguising pro also has a major talent for selecting light fixtures. From the wet bar to the walk-in closet, a statement fixture gives fresh character and definition to just about every space.
“A beautiful light fixture is like jewelry for the room. It has a way of bringing in life and solidifying the design intent of the space,” says the designer. “From the refined crystal droplets in the entryway, to the natural stones mixed with aged brass in the sports bar, to the unique chainmail fixtures in the kitchen and eating nook–each space had its own identity and character because of the light fixtures.”
Her secret to finding the right light? Material and scale matter.
“If either of those aspects are not just right, the fixture will feel out of place in the space. Traditionally, the finish needs to match other aspects in the room—for example, the plumbing hardware, cabinetry hardware, etc. For a while now, [we’ve been seeing] the introduction of mixing metals and styles for a more curated look. It makes the design feel as though it was collected over decades, and each element was brought on with specific design intent.”
Of the many unique challenges that come with designing and decorating such an enormous home, not being able to shop for standard-size furniture proved to be one of the most time-consuming obstacles.
“Almost every piece of curated furniture ultimately had to be made at a larger scale to fill the space,” says Lynn, who worked with local makers at Open Door Furniture and OHM3 to create custom pieces for the home.
In the entry rotunda, Lynn and the build team faced a more technical challenge attempting to pull off board and batten walls in a curvaceous, 16-foot high space.
“It was a challenge to determine just how they would find the correct material without having a seam right through the middle,” notes Lynn. “Luckily for everyone, Zach Taylor, the savvy MacGyver of the project, figured it out and the end result looked stunning.”
Between the game room, movie theatre, basketball court, bowling alley, and, oh, almost 20 televisions (!!), there’s little room for boredom—but plenty of room for play! Though, if you’re trying to quit your Netflix addiction, this might not be the home for you.
“The best places for watching the big game, would definitely have to be the Sports Bar, where there is an integrated beer tap solely for the family’s favorite types of brews,” notes Lynn. “By integrating recessed TV niches in every bedroom and secondary space, we made these entertainment elements intentional and seem like part of the intended architecture of the home.”
Despite the fact that this new build was made with contemporary indulgence in mind, it is the subtle nods to coastal living and mediterranean-inspired charm that ultimately give the home soul. Back outside, a custom iron gate sets the tone for the home to come. With views of the terracotta roof and greenery-lined walkway in view, this dreamy vignette is just enough to completely capture your attention.
“One of the most interesting aspects of the front entry are the custom iron gates with sleek stained wood slats below,” notes Lynn. “These were designed to coordinate with the home, but add an element of contemporary style for an unexpected twist. The gates perfectly juxtaposed the traditional architecture, leaving the home feeling updated, fresh, and anyone driving by wanting to know more.”
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