A Contemporary San Diego County Home with Transitional Furnishings


Transitional Brown Foyer with Walnut Flooring

This San Diego home features classic millwork and transitional furnishings within tailor-made spaces.

Transitional Brown Foyer with Walnut Flooring

This San Diego home features classic millwork and transitional furnishings within tailor-made spaces.

Gray Contemporary Family Room with Striped Chairs

Custom chairs from the Taylor Scott Collection encircle a Noir table in the family room.

Contemporary Powder Room with Teardrop Pendants

In the powder room, a sink by Avanity pairs with a Grohe faucet.

Artistic back splash

The family-friendly kitchen features dual granite-topped islands and walnut cabinetry crafted by All American Kitchens. A decorative backsplash of stone, marble and frosted glass from Artistic Tile sets off a range by Thermador and hood by Vent-A-Hood. The counter stools are from Stanley Furniture.

Traditional Staircase with Brown Graphic Carpet

Designer Rebecca Robeson added hand-forged ironwork pieces throughout this house, including a geometric railing for the entry staircase. A stair runner by Crescent Carpet Importers lends additional graphic punch.

Patterned chairs

In the dining room, Robeson framed the window with striped drapery panels and designed custom chairs to surround a walnut dining table, which was custom-made by John Cortese of 7th & Seventh Designs. The chandelier is by Corbett Lighting.

Neutral Transitional Octagon-Shaped Sitting Area and Master Bedroom

In the master suite, a hand-forged iron room divider separates an octagon-shaped sitting area from the bedroom. Robeson designed custom hand-carved furniture pieces, including a striking four-poster with 8-foot-tall posts, for the space. The paintings are by Liz Jardine, and the drapery fabric is by Kravet.

Porcelain tub

Grohe faucets with Swarovski crystal handles and an H.A. Framburg & Company light fixture made with strands of metallic beads lend a glamorous feel to the master bath. A porcelain tub by Hydro Systems stands opposite Noir chairs, trimmed with antique nailheads, from Bassman Blaine.

Built in desk

Robeson added functionality to the office by designing one wall to include a built-in desk, which extends into a long banquette window seat covered with fabric from Kravet. As throughout the house, the room’s built-ins were made by All American Kitchens. The desk chair is from Restoration Hardware.

Neutral Contemporary Office

The wife’s office, which doubles as a crafts room, features Restoration Hardware stools and a generous carved table by Noir for spreading out work or projects. White moldings set off the dark walnut floors, and custom window treatments add color.

Multifunctional Contemporary Outdoor Courtyard with Stone Veneer

Stone veneer from Eldorado Stone defines the outdoor courtyard, where custom ironwork details highlight the windows. A Kingsley-Bate teak dining table and a sofa and chairs by Three Birds Casual, all purchased through Wayfair, appoint the multifunctional space.

When a couple with two young children bought land in a quiet community of semi-custom homes in San Diego County, a house had been designed for the lot but not yet built. They saw this as an opportunity to finally create the home of their dreams, and to carry out their vision, they knew just whom to call. At their kids’ school, parents kept raving about designer Rebecca Robeson. “So when we bought this land,” the wife explains, “my husband said, ‘We’re going to hire Rebecca to design the whole house.’”

Robeson’s first steps involved scaling down some of the home’s cavernous spaces to create a sense of intimacy. “The entry had a 19-foot-tall ceiling, but it’s only a 10-foot-wide space,” says Robeson. “It felt really tall and skinny, so I dropped in a ceiling at 10 feet and created a library above that.” For the entry’s staircase, she designed a striking hand-forged iron railing that helps define the space with a sense of glamour.

Robeson didn’t stop there. Throughout the Colonial Revival-style structure, she added classic millwork elements, such as built-in cabinetry, wainscoting, coffered ceilings and generous baseboards and molding. “I wanted to make it more customized and personal,” she explains. “And I wanted it to be reminiscent of the East Coast with a Hamptons feeling, but be casual and comfortable for this West Coast family.” Before furnishing the home, Robeson met with the husband and interviewed the children about what they liked, and she took the wife on shopping trips to glean her aesthetic. “That allowed me to see her taste for color, shape and form,” says Robeson, who learned that the owners both had a penchant for clean lines. “They didn’t want a bunch of frilly embellishments or over-the-top swirly lines.” To accommodate their sensibility, Robeson stuck to solid fabrics with the occasional ikat pattern. In choosing furniture, she turned to “an eclectic mix of transitional pieces,” she says.

The homeowners love the soothing effect of gray, and for visual interest, Robeson added other neutrals. “The gray is mixed with white built-ins to make it pop and distressed walnut flooring in espresso for contrast,” says the designer, who hung custom horizontal striped drapery panels in the living room and placed captain’s chairs upholstered with a bold geometric pattern in the dining room. Robeson also custom-designed many pieces throughout, including a hand-carved four-poster in the master bedroom, and chose a varied range of accessories to suggest a collected-over-time feel.

As she dealt with aesthetics, Robeson didn’t overlook functionality. The designer turned an awkward narrow space into a multiuse family room by designing floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall built-in shelves, and she created a built-in with window seats and storage options for an eating nook off the kitchen. “Rebecca tailored everything for exactly how we live,” says the wife. In addition to the big-picture designs, Robeson was also thoughtful of the small details. The wife’s office doubles as a crafts room, so the designer put in a sink for washing paintbrushes. In the kitchen, if the couple’s young daughter pushes the baseboard, a platform step pops out, allowing her to hop up and use the microwave.

But Robeson did leave some things to chance. She wanted to surprise the family with the final decisions, and they were happy to take that leap of faith. “Rebecca didn’t tell us which fabrics or flooring she finally selected, and she had furniture custom-made, so we didn’t see it until the day we moved in,” the wife says. “It was risky, but we trusted her, and she just blew us away.”

—Kimberly Olson