DARING COLORS DEFINE THIS CALIFORNIA CONDO

WRITTEN BY RONDA SWANEY

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHIPPER HATTER

“THEY OBVIOUSLY ARE NOT AFRAID OF COLOR,” SAYS CORINE MAGGIO ABOUT THE YOUNG COUPLE WHO OWNS THIS CONDO IN SAN DIEGO’S EAST VILLAGE. MAGGIO, OWNER OF CM NATURAL DESIGNS, ISN’T AFRAID OF IT EITHER AND WELCOMED THE CHANCE TO GO BOLD IN THIS HOME’S DESIGN.

When Maggio came to the project, the space was dated and uninspired. The well-traveled owners wanted to incorporate pieces gathered on their travels and to reflect style notes from some of the boutique hotels they’d enjoyed. The home needed cosmetic fixes and ways to define space in such a large and open area. The roughly 1,500-square-foot space is open plan and its two bathrooms are the only closed off rooms. Maggio’s firm presented a style study to the couple for the home. “They said, ‘We want you to go all the way,’” says Maggio. But, she notes, “There are clients who say that and there are clients who mean that. These clients meant it.”

Maggio says, “People often want something that looks like what their neighbors or friends have. It’s exciting for us when we have clients with a unique vision and the confidence to move forward with it. This couple was for sure that type of client.” Their existing furniture gave Maggio clues to their design aesthetic. She chose a saturated blue found in the couple’s dining chairs and used that shade on a large built-in and on high wainscoting installed in other parts of the space. The built-in holds books and items collected on their travels. The color causes their collection to stand out more than it would against a more neutral shade. The same is true for the blue wainscoting. The higher than typical wainscoting and its color allow art from a favorite photographer to become a focal point in the space. “That color enhanced the photography and made it sing more than it would have on a blank white wall,” says Maggio.

The blue of the built-in is drawn into the master bedroom via mirrored cabinets that help define the space. The mirrors also reflect the fuchsia drapes that lend privacy.

Black, white, and gray dominate in both bathrooms, providing the spa-like feel of a high-end hotel, while the audacious use of green warms both spaces. In the guest bath, the green appears in vivid wallpaper placed above black wainscoting. In the master bath, a green moss wall prevents the space from feeling sterile. Back lighting behind the moss offers a soothing backdrop for the deep, soak-in tub with a mirror-like finish.