For a pair of close-knit, like-minded owners—a mother and daughter who’ve been running a business together for years—making decisions about the seaside getaway they purchased on Coronado Island came easy. Instead of tearing down the existing 1910 Tudor Revival house, they zeroed in on its charms: “It was truly a beauty,” the daughter declares. The dated interiors and inefficient floor plan did pose a complex set of challenges. But they envisioned the house as a multigenerational coastal vacation hub for family and friends and set about making it happen. And what better than a well-established collaborative dynamic to see a major renovation and remodel through?
They immediately agreed on the design team after the daughter’s Instagram feed directed them to designer Kelly Hinchman, who welcomed the enormity of the task. “The house looked straight out of Dynasty,” Hinchman recalls with a laugh. “Acrylic sweeping staircase, carpeted bathrooms, sunken pink all-tile tubs—the crème de la crème of 1988.” And while a frozen-in-time vibe can have a certain kitschy appeal, the designer felt this scenario was doing a disservice to the otherwise stately, distinguished residence and its distinctive gabled roof profile and gracious front yard.
“It was almost maze-like,” says architect Christian Rice, who worked with Hinchman and her firm’s senior designer Nichole Ritschard to transform the home in a more practical manner. Amid the many changes, multiple staircases were removed and replaced with a single switchback flight of stairs in a corner connecting all three levels, including a basement the team turned into an entertainment room and bar.
“When you build a family compound, you want everyone to love the space no matter where they end up,” the daughter notes. So, three bedroom-and-bath suites were crafted with equal attention rather than directing a disproportionate amount of resources into a primary one. And some room reassignments were necessary too: The kitchen was relocated to the front of the house to better incorporate the presence of the Pacific in one light-flooded great room. “The fact that the kitchen was closed off from the view was crazy,” Rice comments. The former cooking and dining area was then reconfigured as the mother’s suite.
Upstairs, two bedrooms are located beneath the abode’s steeply pitched gables, which were previously capped by flat 8-foot-tall ceilings. Attic spaces were eliminated in favor of exposing the full-potential height and playing to the original architecture. “Adding that volume brought so much drama and interest to those spaces,” Rice says. Wood-surface treatment detailing lends a soft richness and subtle nautical nod in one of the bedrooms. Delicate, gauzy blush-toned curtains around the bed create a romantic moment, too. And the other lower-level bedroom has an elaborate custom bunk-bed arrangement—all the makings of the ultimate beachside slumber party.
“This house is an elegant beauty—we didn’t want it to feel stuffy or fragile,” Hinchman says. “It was a balancing act of working in creamy neutrals, detailed moldings and natural stone.” The overall atmosphere is refined yet relaxed, and the meticulously appointed materials and quiet furnishings allow the setting to shine. To establish a color palette, she and Ritschard were inspired by local sand dunes and rock formations, as well as “the colors of rust and black seaweed spilling over the perfect cream hue of sand,” Hinchman notes. “You can feel the essence of the home’s history penetrating through,” adds Ritschard. “Everything felt comfortable and lived in from day one.”
On the exterior, the team “saved as much of the original brick as possible” and matched new tumbled and reclaimed brick “similar in age, shape and texture,” explains builder Mac Cavanaugh of the Tetris-like restoration process. And after extensive trials, the team developed a mortar wash with the right chromatic warmth and texture to blend all the finishes together. This level of particularity is reflective of their overall endeavor and meshed well with the owners’ mindset. “We’re always obsessed with the details, which can be a blessing and a curse,” the daughter reflects. For this dwelling, she confirms with satisfaction, it paid off. “Here, we obsessed over every detail—and that’s why it turned out so beautifully.”