Putting the Design Pedal to the Metal


Metal Winner in San Diego

Threaded through a stylish contemporary Coronado abode are luxurious metallic accents that strike a glam note.

Birth of a Metal Story

A “metal story” was born, which weaves gunmetal, brass and copper tones in varying degrees throughout the house. The theme begins at the entry, where drum-form ceiling lights, with shades in differing metals, hang both inside and outside the massive pivoting steel front door.

Four Chairs and Artwork Sitting Area

“Contemporary’s not the market-driven style, but for us it’s great, because it can open up so easily,” says Scott, a longtime real estate broker. He noted that his recent party had more than 100 people flowing in and out with ease thanks to custom bi-fold glass doors that make the walls disappear between the living spaces and the pool terrace.

Kelly Hinchman imbued a Coronado home with metallic accents, including in the linen-and-metallic fabric by Sahco dressing the windows by the living area seating group. The swivel chairs, in Nobilis velvet from Kneedler-Fauchère, and Oly table are from Designers Resource Collection; they all rest on a Loloi carpet. Artwork by Ann Wilson Bates adds interest to the space.

Three Flat-Screen TVs Atop a Stone Fireplace

Hinchman was on the same stylistic page, designing sleek furnishings that make entertaining and circulation easy, such as the great room sectional. An ingenious piece of seating, one side of the sectional is backless and open to the adjacent conversation area’s chic, swiveling chairs, while the other section features seating on both the front and back. 

Scott’s desires for the interiors focused on smart-house technology, and he worked with Ryan Aguilar at Precision Tech Connect to automate every function—lights, audio/video, temperature, security, pool and outdoor water features—and make them operable from an iPad. Technology and design intersect in areas such as the bar, where light shines through the thick onyx countertops.

The three flat-screens in the living area are integrated with the home’s
Crestron automation system, which was installed by Precision Tech Connect. Hinchman conceived the sectional, as well as the lacquered coffee table with a nested ottoman, and upholstered it in Kravet velvet. Near the Rene Cazares lounge chair is a Christian Liaigre side table.

Dining Nook with a Texas-Coastal Vibe

Creating a Texas-coastal vibe, reclaimed wood from Frost Hardwood Lumber Co. extends from the kitchen’s breakfast nook ceiling to the loggia as the space opens through Sierra Pacific Windows bi-fold doors. The breakfast table by Stone Yard is surrounded by McGuire chairs and illuminated from above by Arteriors pendant lights.

Brass Light Fixture Focal Point Dark Kitchen

Nowhere is the story more pronounced than in the moody kitchen, filled with deep gray lacquer and black granite. There, Hinchman designed a cage-like brass light fixture to go over the island, which shines against the dark-hued backsplash. “I wanted to build more mass above to balance off the heavy colors,” she says. But Hinchman explains that it’s not all bling. “We tried to balance the high-gloss lacquer panels with leathered-finish granite countertops and reclaimed wood,” she says, noting the ash-toned wood ceiling over the adjacent breakfast nook. “The lighting is a key ingredient to make everything cohesive and balanced,” Hinchman says. The glowing onyx is answered from above with adjustable brass-cylinder fixtures. “Generic lights would make the scale fall flat,” she adds. 

Gibson Lighting executed Hinchman’s design for a brass light fixture—the kitchen’s focal point. Apparatus sconces light the backsplash covered in Solistone tiles. Hay stools from A+R pull up to the island topped with granite from Mármol Export. The cabinetry material is by Alvic and was crafted by Holland’s Custom Cabinets. Pirch supplied the Gaggenau hood and ovens and Waterstone faucet.

Indoor-Outdoor Covered Loggia with Television

The homeowners worked with Allen Di Donato, of Di Donato Associates, the original architect of the home’s plans, to create a layout that emphasizes indoor-outdoor living, as seen here in the covered loggia.

Onyx-Topped Bar with Custom Steel Shelving

Brass pendants outline the bar that runs parallel to the dining room table, while gunmetal shelves that Scott designed hang behind the bar counter. 

Scott designed the steel shelving, fabricated by Gibson Lighting, that lines the walls behind the onyx- topped bar. The lights above the bar are by
Apparatus, and the stools are from Thomas Hayes Gallery. The home’s interior doors are from Alpine Door & Trim.

Burnt Orange Dining Chairs in a Texan-Inspired Dining Room

As for the upholstery, Hinchman always starts with a “pile”—an assortment of fabrics, textures and finishes that evolves and grows. The Aurichs’ pile included shades of eggplant, taupe and gray, plus hides and metallics—and Texas Longhorn orange. “I went to UT,” Wanda says, referring to The University of Texas at Austin. “Kelly knew from the get-go that I liked orange.” Thus, the velvet dining chairs carry the school’s signature rust-orange hue, as does the felt-and-faux python vinyl on the poker table that Hinchman designed for Scott’s weekly games. The reclaimed-wood accents on all three levels are another nod to the Aurichs’ native Texas, as they were inspired by similar details in their friends’ Houston home. Copper-leaf wallcovering embellishes the ceiling recess in the foyer and dining area (a similar material makes an appearance on the custom platform bed in the master suite).

Beneath an
Ochre chandelier from David Sutherland stands a Hinchman-designed walnut table. Osborne and Little velvet, in an orange hue that nods to Wanda’s University of Texas at Austin allegiance, covers Bright Chair Company dining chairs from Thomas Lavin. Limestone from Unique Stone Imports is underfoot throughout the first floor.

Vibrant Abstract Art and Bench with Sconces

The painting from Quint Gallery in the upstairs hallway was an anniversary gift from Scott to Wanda. The sconces that flank it are by Holly Hunt, and the bench is by Outpost Original. Custom-stained hickory from Frost Hardwood Lumber Co. graces the floor.

Steel Stair Frame with Dog

Buster, the Aurichs’ dog, climbs stairs featuring a steel frame fabricated by H&M Wrought Iron Factory. The stairs lead to a second floor and from there to a retractable skylight that gives access to a rooftop deck.

Powder Room Vanity with Repurposed Glimmering Stone

The Aurichs had stone remaining from their previous home, which they used for a powder room vanity. The fixtures are by Kallista from Pirch, and the wallcovering, with gleaming chips of mica, is by Phillip Jeffries.

Brown Master Bathroom with Chandelier and Fur Throw

The designer’s attention to light plays to tremendous effect in the master suite, where delicate orbs glow above the bedside tables, a giant mass of “bubbles” crowns the tub, and smoky fragments cover a chandelier in Wanda’s dressing room. “I spent a lot of time on the lighting, making sure each piece was unique,” Hinchman observes. 

An Oly chandelier from Designers Resource Collection suspends over the
Hydro Systems tub from European Bath, Kitchen, Tile & Stone in the master bathroom. Workstead pendants clustered in a corner of the bath hang by the Artware mirror. Whimsical accents come from the round Arteriors table and the Outpost Original Mongolian fur vanity bench. The Pierre Frey shade fabric is from Kneedler-Fauchère.

Before a mutual friend introduced Wanda Aurich to designer Kelly Hinchman, Wanda had already chosen most of the tile and stone for the new house in Coronado she was designing with her husband, Scott. It was the fourth home the couple had built together and this time around, Wanda knew she wanted a designer to take the interiors to a higher level than they had in their previous homes, envisioning a clean, sleek residence that reflected a feeling of ease and comfort. Wanda and Hinchman connected immediately, and the designer was off and running, using Wanda’s selections as the foundation for the rest of the design—starting with the unusual porcelain tile backsplash in the kitchen. “Once I saw that, I thought, ‘Okay, I know where I can take this,’” the designer recalls. 

Ironically, the home’s contemporary architecture and interiors were never intended for the property. The original house plans, purchased with the land, called for a Craftsman-style design that’s more common on the island, but the Aurichs asked the architect of the original plans, Allen Di Donato at Di Donato Associates, to modify them in favor of the couple’s modern aesthetic.

 “The Aurichs are big entertainers—fit, healthy, super stylish,” Hinchman says, explaining that she covered the furnishings in rich fabrics to reflect that sophistication. “I wanted to give them a sexier approach to the textures.” For her part, Wanda was thrilled with the collaboration. “She understood what we were trying to do,” she says. “The fact that we got along so well and we have such similar tastes—I couldn’t tell you who was the captain.” 

Jennifer Sergent