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San Diego by Design

California Comfortable


EVERY SQUARE INCH has a purpose in George and Paula Hauer’s remodeled 1926 Spanish Revival home in La Jolla.

“We never wanted a huge house,” says George, founder and owner of the hugely successful George’s at the Cove restaurant. “We have great memories in every nook and cranny.”

The remodel project (led by designer David Robinson) actually gave the home more Spanish/Mediterranean architectural elements than the original. The first home had flat, popcorn ceilings with no arches anywhere except at the main door. “We vaulted the ceilings, added heavy beams and put in arches throughout,” says Robinson, adding that the Hauer residence was his first home remodel after a career in architecture, graphics and restaurant interior design.

Robinson met the Hauers while remodeling George’s restaurant. “When they asked me to take on their home project,” the La Jolla–based designer says, “I was terrified at first, but because the Hauers are such good people I quickly adapted by designing something that, frankly, I’d live in myself.”

Although near the Pacific, the focus of the 4,000-square-foot home is the interior courtyard and pool area, not the ocean. The remodel added 1,400 square feet, plus French doors off the living, dining and kitchen areas that open into a U-shaped patio.

“We live out here all the time,” George says, sitting at a teak outdoor table near a double-sided fireplace that works outdoors and in the kitchen. “David created an indoor/ outdoor lifestyle that allows us to winter in the living room and spend the rest of the year in the courtyard.”

The south wing houses a fully equipped gym and guestrooms. There, the Hauers share an office, where Paula headquarters her business interests. Upstairs in the wing’s master suite, Robinson’s remodel creates ocean views in two directions.

The home furnishings are a design collaboration between the Hauers and Robinson.

George wanted elegant but comfortable furnishings to go with the couple’s taste in accessories and art. “I had to have a big wooden coffee table that everyone could put their feet on,” he says. “Comfort was our main priority.

“At the restaurant, I never seem to be able to finish a conversation. That’s why we designed the house to comfortably entertain two to three couples—and we actually get to complete a conversation.” “This home is pure California comfort,” says Robinson. “It has a Mediterranean flair that can be dressed up or dressed down. This project turned my career toward residential architecture. Its influence has been dramatic.”

And so is the Hauer home.
the kitchen mantle  Indoor/Outdoor: The kitchen mantel is adorned with Lemons, a painting by David Robinson. The back-to-back indoor/outdoor fireplace provides warmth and ambience for the breakfast nook and the courtyard living area, where homeowners George and Paula Hauer spend many relaxing hours.
 the living room Raised Ceiling: The low ceiling in the living room has been replaced and augmented with high wood beams to enhance the home’s Mediterranean architecture.
 ceiling beams in the kitchen Raised Ceiling: Concrete floors, sandstone countertops, open-beam ceilings and a sunny color palette in the kitchen illustrate the use of natural materials throughout the house.
 the dining room Excellent Art: The dining room is discreetly separated from the living area by a floating wall designed to display the Hauers’ collection of Dale Chihuly glass. The cedar-tray ceiling was inspired by designer David Robinson’s Bermuda heritage.
 art hanging on the wall Excellent Art: The interior neutral colors and lighting were selected to complement the Hauers’ desire for casual comfort. Furnishings throughout were custom-designed by Robinson and Dan Schroebel.
the swimming pool  The Courtyard: In this night view, the curved swimming pool forms the transitional edge between the courtyard living area and the garden patio. Robinson’s signature lighting accents the architecture and provides a relaxing ambience for remarkable San Diego evenings.

Architectural Design: David Robinson Design Inc., Steven S. Paschall Architects
Interior Design: David Robinson Design Inc.
Project Designers: David Robinson and Dan Schroebel
Contractor: Beacham Construction
Styling: D.D. Young and Marah Koprowski
To view more of David Robinson’s design work, see “The Main Ingredient,” San Diego Magazine (HDQ, April 2004), and davidrobinsondesigninc.com.
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