As a design specialist-buyer for seaside home, Caylee Pinsonneault crisscrosses the globe in search of antiques and other distinctive pieces for the high-end furnishings store helmed by her mom, Sheryll Jackman, in La Jolla. So when it came to designing her own home in Coronado, Pinsonneault’s vision encompassed classic styles from distant places. “I would say that, unlike some other clients I’ve had, Caylee has a very strong personal sense of style,” says architect Thomas Vaughn. “She wanted something different, not just another beautiful Coronado home that was either stucco Spanish or a shingled Nantucket kind of thing.”
Instead, Pinsonneault pictured a house with a barn-like gambrel roof that would evoke memories of her visits to the Caribbean. The design is in keeping with the serene spirit of the tiny San Diego island—famous for its rambling Victorian resort, the Hotel del Coronado—but it still cuts a distinctive profile along the beach facing the city’s twinkling downtown lights. “I have a fetish for nice hotels,” laughs Pinsonneault, who was determined to recreate a similarly easygoing atmosphere at home.
Indeed, the estate’s mini-resort style and waterfront location—perfect for viewing Fourth of July fireworks, air shows and the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights at Christmastime—combine to craft the consummate backdrop for entertaining family and friends. A key element is the sweeping great room with bifold doors that open onto the pool area. “We can fit 20 people in that room,” says Pinsonneault, who lives in the house with her land developer husband, Joe, and their two children. “Some can be watching television; some can be in the sunning area overlooking the pool.”
Family activities even figured into her design of the 14-foot-long kitchen island with cutting boards on either end. “We have a big tradition of baking nearly 1,000 holiday cookies every December,” says Pinsonneault. “When we did that big island, that’s what I had in mind.” But it’s the sprawling deck on the second floor that offers a special wow factor for guests.
With stunning views of the San Diego skyline, the area is outfitted with heaters so it is usable year-round; there is a stairway leading down to the pool, a table that seats 12, a pizza oven and a fireplace for making s’mores. Of course, pulling that together on a leak-friendly flat roof required deft construction by builder Harry Jackman, Pinsonneault’s father, and a liberal application of waterproof coating. But Jackman is used to meeting his daughter’s meticulous standards. “She knows more than the average client,” he says. “So you know what she wants right away—it’s not a guessing game.”
What Pinsonneault wanted also involved packing a lot of living space, including a separate carriage house, onto a couple of Coronado’s notoriously small lots. No problem for pater Jackman, who employed space-enhancing tricks, such as installing a turntable in the garage for fuss-free automobile entry and exit right at the street, to make the most of what’s within the site’s property lines.
Unbuttoned tradition seems to permeate the house, not just with regard to function, but also in relation to style. “I definitely like casual elegance with a side of whimsy,” Pinsonneault says. Her adventures across the seas have honed her eye for French and English pieces and stoked her love of chinoiserie, which accents much of the home, particularly the master bedroom, where tone-on-tone sea-grass wallpaper blends softly with a chinoiserie-patterned bedspread, rug and bureau. “Coronado has an island feel, but I wanted to live in a house that is ageless and enduring,” says the blissed-out homeowner. “Something you can look at in 20 years and not really know when it was built.”