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Inside Mega Dream Homes:
Old-World Mediterranean Charm

The human environment and your experience of life is greatly influenced by the spaces in which you live, work, and play.

“You can improve the quality of life by surrounding yourself with an interior that functions well and is pleasing to you and your family,” says Susanné Bacino, ASID, owner of Atmospheres, a full-service San Diego-based design firm.

That was always at the top of the minds of Bacino and her design team when they were working on the remodel of this gated home in the hilly Muirlands section of La Jolla. On a one-acre lot with stunning ocean views from Catalina Island south to the Coronado Islands, the formerly 3,500-square-foot, single-level, Spanish-style house, built in the 1920s, was transformed into a 12,500+square-foot, 2.5-level masterpiece by Atmospheres and Duncan Custom Homes, the contractor/builder.

The homeowners had outgrown the old home, not just because they had started a family but because they needed a lot of space for business entertainment purposes. The husband says that many people are surprised by the size of the home but that he and his wife and the design/building team planned the remodel around the family lifestyle…and that they use every single room.

Those rooms include seven bedrooms, 11 baths, a game room, wine cellar, theater, exercise room, and two offices. The home also features nine fireplaces, a seven-car garage, a vanishing edge pool, spa, swim-up bar, a full exterior kitchen, and cabana with bath.

ABOVE: The stone mosaic backsplash behind the range in the kitchen was designed to match the floral fabric in the breakfast nook. All appliances, including three refrigerators, are top-of-the-line brands. The cabinetry is hand-detailed alder.
LEFT: The wine cellar was created from a basement-type space in the original cottage. One of the walls is brick and original to the home. A spiral staircase leads to the wine cellar.
ABOVE: The entertainer’s bar off the kitchen features an enchanting aquarium.
RIGHT: This concession stand in the game room is just steps away from the home’s state-of-the-art theater, which provides four reclining theater chairs and a plush lounging couch that spans the length of the room.
ABOVE: The walls in the living room are Venetian plaster. The sofa and chairs are from the Kreiss Collection. Also included in this room is a fireplace with imported limestone surrounds.
LEFT: The dining room has a burled walnut table and Venetian plaster walls. Speakers for sound are hidden above the plastered ceiling.

ABOVE: A custom hand-forged iron banister and stairs lead to the master suite.
LEFT, TOP and MIDDLE: A Jacuzzi flows into the vanishing edge pool. The pool has a swim-up bar and custom water elements. There’s a “Shamu shelf” for children and for sunbathing. Lynn Brown drew up the plans for the pool. The landscape architect was Steve Belk.
LEFT, BOTTOM: The “Poker Room” originally was planned to be a second master suite. It features a hand-carved limestone fireplace.
Story by Jacqueline Shannon
Photography by Bob Thompson and Latara Dragoo.

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