Project Description

Payte Miller Interiors has worked for several years on this wonderful residence featured in the August Issue of San Diego Home & Garden showcasing our long time work with a wonderful client Maggie & her husband Terry, located in the La Playa neighborhood of Point Loma.  This home is one of those residences you know must have so many stories as various owners added onto it over the years, with its erection in 1948.  We encountered so many interesting elements such as radiant heating in the ceiling…who would have thought building would have been so progressive at that time.   This is a property that has good bones with a timeless sense of style and this blog dives deep into the process, obstacles and solutions made to make the home what it is today.

Please enjoy our in-depth back story to this article, as there is so much more to enjoy.

The cover image of the article shows a mud room which also holds the washer & dryer.  We were able to make the first shelf hinged so the owner can place down flush against the wall when her grandkids visit, so to avoid any accidents at the outside corner.  Shoe storage was essential and not only what’s shown in the photo, there is more on the right side.  We loved the yellow color on the wall, so a fresh take on the color was the direction.

Here is a before and after:

The second space we tackled was the Master Bathroom.   The before images are really so incredible with the oak flooring, handrail and ceiling followed by hundreds if not thousands of penny tiles.  We created a vanity with ample storage including recessed Robern medicine cabinets and a hard-wired towel bar warmer.  All the plumbing fixtures are in the Graphite finish from Newport Brass.  The cabinets were custom made from Cabinets Galore:

The tub filler was plumbed in from the floor in the original bathroom so, we used this opportunity to provide a unique application verses deck or wall mounting.  This provided us the opportunity to research beautiful tubs that brought a feminine, modern quality to the space.  We did encounter a site condition challenge with the plumbing.  The point of entry for the plumbing is the wall under the art piece and the plumber was unable to hid it in the wall.  The prior tub was so large and bulky, we then realized why.  Our solution?  We ran the plumbing around the wall and created a pop-out and caped it with a stone “sill” so now, the tub has the ability to have a thin edge design.  The shelf acts as a functional element for placing bath products.

The owner Maggie is an avid art collector and we were introduced to a local artist Ben Hecht (click to see his work) who showcases at the Contemporary Fine Art Gallery in La Jolla:

The new shower was a welcome change as the prior was a tiled monster of penny tiles, dark ceiling and one can image, a desire to be fresh and new.  The new custom shower enclosure included a solid stone bench and a niche with one shelf for bath products with a trim details for added interest.  The shower floor tile is a 2″x 2″ mesh mount marble floor to help with slipping.  Adding the glass and the use of white finishes throughout made for a much larger feeling bathroom:

Another fun space easy we transformed was the powder bathroom.  Finding inspiration with the existing dropped double pendants, we kept intact and worked around the space from there.  The pedestal sink was repurposed from the master bathroom remodel, but we retained the fun faucet that is very vintage and aged.  Once the master bathroom renovation was completed, we used the remaining scraps of Calacatta marble for the floor tile where we created a small border around the perimeter of the room, then did a chevron pattern inset.  The mirror was found at World Market and the wallcovering was a paper product we sourced through Harsey & Harsey.  This home does have a lot of shiplap siding on the exterior and Tongue & Groove ceilings.  Adding breadboard to the walls in this small space felt like a nice compliment to those nautical elements of the house.

Once the bathroom was complete, it was time to move onto the Master Bedroom.  The room has a fabulous view of the San Diego Bay, so we wanted to maximize by removing the drapery panels and installing pleated shades which remain up most of the time.  The two custom made club chairs are swivel so the user can choose to face the view while relaxing or reading…particularly during sunrise.  The room did have shag carpet and it was promptly replaced with a new wood to match the rest of the home.  We later added a built-in entertainment unit on the right, replacing the pop-up table beautifully showcased in this below image:

The entertainment unit allows for the TV to articulate towards the bed, and closed when not in use for a clean and tidy space.  This is the only bedroom that has a TV, so the extended family uses this spot for when the visiting grandkids need their Disney movie fix.  The cabinets where by Cabinets Galore and finger pulls from

The property has two fully decorated guest rooms, providing the variety of visiting families a Bed & Breakfast style space to call their own during their stay.  This space has beautiful natural light with West facing  bay windows overlooks the front garden.   The residence did not have much overhead lighting, so we slowly begin to add in each space where we could.  Here we took inspiration from the valued ceiling and draw the eye up with the addition of the two pendants flanking the bed.  This solution helps to frame the niche in which the bed must be placed based on the orientation of the room:

This family continues to grow, with four married children, they continue to add grandkids to the list of (at the time of this post) 13.  The third guest room is dedicated to only for the grandkids, we call it the Grandkids Bedroom.  The space was laid out to have two twin beds side by side, not allowing for any additional sleeping solutions.  We decided to reposition the beds and install a day bed style with a pull out trundle bed, then accommodating additional sleeping children.  A fresh color palette and furnishings, giving the space both a feminine and masculine feel for both the boys and girls who use this space:

Once the bedrooms where completed, we moved into the Family Room.  Here, the most notable improvements made were to the drapery, lighting, fireplace insert, new wood flooring, a nice cool paint color and new furnishings.  The owners requested their piano stay in this space as several of their grandchildren play.  The fireplace insert was a necessity with the continued growth of grandkids and easing the minds of watchful grandparents.  The area rug was resourced from Home Decor Fine Rugs off Morena Blvd. in San Diego.  All other furnishings were custom designed and manufactured.  Our favorite soft goods vendor, Lisa Davis of Lisa Davis Upholstery has done wonders for this home:

The last two spaces we embarked on was the Kitchen and the Dining room.  Regarding the Kitchen, although the footprint doesn’t seem to have changed much, it did grow by 2 feet.  The prior layout of the kitchen had the dishwasher on a return cabinet so when a user is at the sink cleaning dishes, they have to move out of the way completely to then drop down the dishwasher door.  We pushed the breakfast bar into the family room and the result allowed less knee space on the user side, but it placed the dishwasher next to the sink where it belongs.   The result provided a more efficient sink area of Maggie’s kitchen.  The cabinets where the original wood dowel, no metal glides, and the boxes where built in a manner that left a lot of unused space.  We went through this kitchen meticulously and inventoried all of her gadgets, small appliances and dishwear and made sure everything had a home.  All new cabinets, counters and a custom hand painted backsplash tile created a timeless space that felt as if it had always been:



The Dining Room is most certainly the one room in the home that received the most improvement.  The owners really loved the formal wood paneling however, it was ready to be removed with the amount of water damage that had occurred over the years due to lack of proper insulation from the exterior.  We choose to warm up the wood and went with a true Mahogany plank which if you know about Mahogany, it’s beautiful but does take some time to perfect.  The wood flooring was replaced with a geometric pattern, creating a room with more character and durability.  The two smaller windows flanking the new bi-fold glass doors where salvaged from the upper cabinets once installed in the Dining Room.  The use of space remained the same, but now, with the large doorway to the exterior deck, a indoor / outdoor dining experience can extend the footprint and enlarge the party instantly.  The weather in San Diego is of course beautiful year round so, this improvement was a home run!