Showcasing a growing collection of contemporary Indian art was one of the primary objectives in the interior remodeling of this home in La Jolla. Utilizing the homeowner's existing furniture in a new, uncluttered way was another priority. The task was turned over to San Diego designer Marsha Sewell, who saw the potential drama in the limited spaces of the main living areas of this 1950s house. Although the entire house encompasses 2,000 square feet, the rooms shown here including the canopy-covered patio, below, add up to about 800 square feet.
To help open up the flow from one area to the other, Sewell specified the replacement of the original stationary windows with French doors in both the living room, right and the newly created sitting room / den, left. A brick floor, retractable awning and bamboo furniture by Don Alderson were added to the patio to provide a multipurpose outdoor retreat.
This house has many original features that were ideally suited to the clean look desired by the owner. Hardwood floors-oak in the living room, teak in the den (which was formerly a dining room)-were refinished and resealed to reveal the wood grains. A stained-glass window that brings filtered light into the den was enhanced by the raspberry-colored lacquer paint that was applied to the walls and window frame. A hillside site provides an expansive view and cooling cross breezes from the ocean.
The dhurrie rug set the tone for re-dressing the sitting room, left, which now features a love seat that was reupholstered in a raspberry-colored chenille fabric, two armchairs that were lacquered and reupholstered with hand-painted silk and a new coffee table covered with a plastic-laminate finish. The lamp, vases and candlesticks are accessories the owner has had for many years. These elements come together to make a comfortable backdrop for the George Segal painting.
The color scheme in the living room shifts to deep teal blue to show off John Nieto's cowboy painting, above right. Here, Sewell again advised reupholstering two sofas to coordinate with the natural-colored canvas cushions on Don Alderson's bamboo chair. A carved lava rock was topped with an acrylic slab to serve as a coffee table; a puffy Akari paper lamp lights up the corner. At the opposite end of this area is a round dining table with director's chairs covered in a Robert Nelson fabric. The match-stick-style window coverings add to the ambiance.