top of page
  • Lindsay Stokes Kennedy

Home Tour: San Juan Hills


Photography: Ryan Garvin

Builder: Zalar Homes

Interiors + Styling: KCID

Project Location:

San Juan Capistrano, CA


Elevated Coastal Transitional


The Entry

In a beautiful mellow neighborhood in the south county hills, our clients reached out to us after some unfortunate water damage prompted a remodel. Originally from New York, our clients found, loved and got comfortable in this home for a few years, considering the best ways to update it until the time came. Fully dressed with ornate carvings and curvaceous wrought iron railings, we were asked to come in and create thoughtful updates that would modernize the space while keeping its tuscan charm. With 3 young boys growing in this space, we found the balance for chic entertaining and enough durability to endure game night, the dog and cats and all of the memories that would be created day after day. The husband is an ex-marine and has spent a decade working in maritime, while his wife works selflessly as a home nurse for young children with illnesses; so we wanted this sophisticated home to be a beautiful love letter to a close-knit family, to remembering hometowns and to the beloved coast.


The Kitchen

It’s very rare for us to take on a project that doesn’t include gutting the kitchen and we love how impactful this kitchen feels, mainly because we didn’t make any adjustments to the layout. We maintained the door style and structural details, but cleaned up a lot of the ornate pillars, corbels and paneling that dated this kitchen before covering the entire perimeter in a warm white satin lacquer. We squared off the counters and niches and leveled all of the flat space to have one consistent working area. With the durability and darkness of soapstone on the perimeter, we were so pleased how much the client loved the vivid movement of Bardiglio on the island paired with a warm taupe paint to subtly shine in this space. A hand glazed ceramic creates a calming variation of tones on the wall, making this whole space feel organic and considered, and to top off our client’s goals for elegance, we paired two black crystal and chain link chandeliers in the space that bring a sense of class and funk, which perfectly describe our clients.

Understanding how our clients live allows us to determine a layout that makes sense and works best for them. Without any major updates, they wanted a kitchen that would encourage gathering and entertaining. The seller dressed the space beside the kitchen as a lounge, with a sofa positioned in front of a tall fireplace. While that may have been a unique feature for that family, we knew right away that this growing family would benefit most from a conjoined cooking and dining experience, where the whole family gathers round to help make the meals and also enjoy them.

In the new dining room, we were able to level and center our fireplace to create a cozy and intimate moment right off of our grandiose kitchen. It’s called balance. Blues from the island counter are pulled into the rug and the art, creating a nod to the coast and our round table makes this dressed up space, inviting and livable. Our rustic floating mantle reminds us of casual elegance and age.


The Great Room

Our great room took a huge transformation when we added the bar and divided the space. A custom media console with cane doors provides a foundation for what would be the family room space and we used a large sectional, big enough for everyone to fit. Our new lounge is a bright and beautiful part of this space, right off of the back yard that encourages deep talks and maybe some whiskey tasting. Four custom swivel chairs around a geometric marble coffee table with aged brass legs, makes this space functional, easy to interact with and gorgeous. And to tie the different spaces together, we planked the ceiling in tongue and groove and painted it a moody and impactful gray that makes this room feel long and spacious and inviting. In the bar, we carried our bardiglio marble from the kitchen island, and paired it with the white oak stain from the office for a cohesive and simple moment.

As a designer, our goal is always to maximize the investment of our clients. Oftentimes that means, even in small remodels, finding the best ways to infuse functionality, but more importantly understanding our client’s true needs. We took what was originally a second small walk-in pantry and turned it into a walk-through bar to a new space right off of the family room that we call the lounge. First we needed to consider, if losing the second pantry would make a huge dent in their lifestyle and with some added shelving and organization to the original pantry the clients were happy to forgo that space to become something they needed so much more. The new bar opens to conversation style seating with easy access to the outdoors, making this space an entertainer’s dream.


The Office

Our client wanted an office space that maximized function but also prioritized privacy, comfort and lounging when a moment is needed after a long day. The space is long and narrow and is flanked by two sets of french doors. We wrapped our office in a vinyl texture that adds a layer of sophistication and class. Our clients wanted this space to be a place to focus, but also relax. We brought our moody gray ceiling paint from the great room into the office as our desk paint and layered beautiful stained white oak as the countertop and floating shelves. A light linen chesterfield sofa adds a tailored layer to the room, while also beautifully functioning as a place to take a quick rest or catch the game. To be sure this room felt like home, we sourced this map of Yankee Stadium to give him a piece of home. We layered this room with space saving items like these easy-to-move ottomans and nesting side tables.


The Primary Suite

The primary suite was a beautiful labor of love and a true transformation for our clients. Once we eliminated the built-in sauna, we reassigned that space as a closet for him and made sure that we made up for what we lost in the bathroom. After we eliminated the split vanities and split tub and shower, we were able to create a spa-like experience that would stand the test of time. A beautiful steam wet room with a therapy tub and large quartz bench, stands within a beautiful porcelain surround. Herringbone laid floors provide that bit of interest and charm that muted materials sometimes need and warm taupe vanities nearly blend into the gorgeous quartzite counters, their natural movement and variation bringing such richness to the space. In the toilet room, an abstract coastal paper that is warm and inviting truly helps to tie everything together.

In the bedroom, we wanted to keep a light and airy feeling while still providing elegance and interest so we wrapped it in a faux grasscloth, providing endless texture and depth. Two gorgeous, pearl paneled nightstands flank a soft blue upholstered bed and headboard. Moody grays and warm whites abound in the textiles to bring a cohesive experience from the bathroom to the bedroom. Patterned sheers layered over beautiful roller shades, make this room feel sophisticated and spa-like while still reminding us of the coast with the bright windows and beautiful calming hues. This was one for the books.


The Loft

Oh, and we would never forget the kids! We updated their loft space into a fun and relaxing place to watch movies, play games and just hang out. We opted for pieces that were less bulky, easy to move around and timeless. A moody blue armless sectional is plush and low and easy to get comfortable on and wraps around one of our favorite custom ottomans, a leather piped beauty this large and still cozy. Black pinstriped roman shades are fun and still sophisticated to grow with the boys who use this space and guess who else got a custom bar? With a drink beverage, snack storage and some floating shelves to store our favorite goodies, this space is going to be a fan favorite for years to come.


Thanks for following along! If you are interested in getting started on your own renovation or furnishings project, drop us a line - we'd love to hear about it.



27 views0 comments


bottom of page