San Diego Design Series: A Look Into Coronado Island

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The San Diego area is often thought of as one large entity which consists mainly of beaches and palm trees. While this generalization may be accurate to some degree, each community has its own unique traits and personality types that impact home styles, design preferences, and ultimately lifestyle. For that reason, we have decided to start a series on the five major San Diego areas. We’ll start with the home of J Hill Interiors, Inc., lovely Coronado Island.

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J Hill Kitchen Renovation, Coronado Cays

Coronado, CA is a quaint, yet elegant, island town located across the way from the hustle of downtown San Diego. One can access the island via the impressive Coronado Bridge or via Imperial Beach along “the strand”. The town itself sits only on 7.9 mi² of land, explaining the name Coronado, which translates to “the crowded one” in Spanish.  Being surrounded by water poses a supply challenge for expansion and space, hence the real estate demand, exclusivity, and also the recent abundance of shotgun style homes. Shotgun homes, or “long and narrows,” are tall, narrow, rectangle-shaped homes that reflect the average house size of about 1,500-3,000 square feet in Coronado. Often times the architecture of these homes are Cape Cod Coastal, Victorian or Spanish. Another strategy of building that has recently become popular is the construction of “cloud condos”. These often appear like a single residence shotgun home, but are actually composed of 2-4 multi-residences.  


J Hill Bathroom Renovation, Coronado Cays

Before the high demand of Coronado property was a very popular type of residential construction, known as Palmer houses. Built in the early 1940’s, these homes present the aesthetic appeal of a casual indoor-outdoor lifestyle. In every way, the design of these homes correspond to way of life in Coronado; simple and quaint. Coronado lifestyle wrote a great article on the history of these homes, and quoted, “The structures, most of which were around 1,000 square feet, had three bedrooms and one bathroom surrounding a central utility closet that held the home’s furnace and water heater. The homes had a fireplace in the living room, stucco exteriors, and no dining room.


Typical Coronado Palmer Home

Coronado architect Dorothy Howard explained that the homes were an early version of tract housing — which were being built all over the country at the time — with a style particular to Southern California. In 1944 they cost $4,000 to build; in July an original Palmer on F Avenue sold for $1.28 million. “Palmer homes have a really efficient design and use of space,” said Howard. “They are structurally simple and many of them are still standing — and standing well.”

See more on article here



Hotel del Coronado

Another major influence of Coronado design and lifestyle is the Hotel del Coronado. Built in 1888, the 128-year-old building is still a sight to behold that attracts tourist from around the globe. The building is a massive, seaside spectacular that is recognized for its aww-worthy design and iconic red roof. The Hotel del Coronado has contributed to making Coronado Island the major resort destination it is today. A beautiful blend of old and new, the Hotel del Coronado has been able to make modern updates while holding on to its original charm. This trend of mixing design and architecture can be found in many Coronado homes; Spanish-style and beach-style home fronts, while adapting to modern trends for their interiors, creating the best of both world

Today, Coronado still embodies the simplicity of island life with its gorgeous beaches as well as its many shops, restaurants, and theaters that bring the community together. A simple elegance filled with blends of personality creates an inviting environment for all. Stop by Coronado Island any time to get design inspiration from the Hotel Del Coronado and from the thousands of custom homes that convey every design and architectural style known to man.

The 5 Stages of Design | Stage 2 | Design Development

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Once we have learned our client’s lifestyle, needs, and design tastes, we can move on to the next stage of into a physical The Design Development. In this stage, the Interior Designer begins to visualize their client’s needs.

The Interior Designer will begin to brainstorm and develop various ideas that can be implemented into their client’s space. Sketches, floor plans and elevations help in visualizing these ideas and develop an understanding of how the different rooms in a given space will relate to one another. We show these documents alongside movable furniture and décor tear sheets to convey a design.

Throughout the brainstorming process many ideas will formulate, some will be discarded and others will get further developed. Often, we come up with an ideal design for the space, and then shave down the design based on budget (as needed). This helps to show the client the space’s potential, and gives them the full spectrum that they can work down from.

During this stage the Interior Designer simultaneously selects and proposes materials and furnishings for the space. This includes products such as any renovation materials, textiles, wall paints, lighting, art, furnishings and home accessories like rugs and lamps. T

The brainstorming process of ideas and materials for the space help the client understand what the finished design of their space will look like. When the best ideas are brought together and approved by the client, then the Interior Designer can move on to the next stage of design. he Designer will select his or her materials and furnishings from various catalogs, showrooms, and online sites.

The 5 stages of Design

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The Five Stages of Design {Stage 1}

Client Research and Development

We were inspired to write a series of blog posts on the design project processes, as this is a commonly asked question. Most client inquiries who call J Hill Interior Designs are perplexed by how one even starts an interior design project. The key to carrying a project from beginning to end with max efficiency is like any other; to break it down into organized, thorough steps.Most people see our line of work as solely being creative, fun, exciting and eventful. However, the work of an Interior Designer also calls for extremely detailed budgeting, accounting, project management, scheduling, assertiveness, problem solving, structure and organization.

This leads us to our first stage in the design process: Client Research and Development. The first steps is to learn about our client.  How do you design someone’s intimate living space without knowing their lifestyle needs? We ask open-ended questions about how they live their life, what they enjoy on their down time, how often they entertain, how they cook, if they watch TV, read, etc.  Things like the size of the family is important when procuring furniture. Questions such as number of children, ages of children, pets, overnight guests, etc., are always asked. Often times, larger families spend a lot of time together, so creating space-efficient and family-friendly spaces is ideal. On the contrary, we may identify a single professional client who primarily focuses on their career and entertaining guest, thus designing around those needs.
The next step in understanding our client is to ask design-related questions. Most people don’t know what they want until they visually see it. The same goes for what people do NOT want. J Hill Interior Designs uses a specific, visual design survey to probe the mind of our clients. It is as general as what color tones they like, to as specific as what style of couch leg they like. Everyone always has an opinion once they see it. Conducting detailed surveys such as these mitigates rounds of revisions once we propose a design. Our goal is to predict exactly the design tastes of our clients are before they even know.
The last area we strive to gain understanding is in our clients’ expectations. What is their budgetary expectation? What is their expectation on the caliber of design? What is their expectation on timelines and date of completion? What is their expectation on how communicative we are? How do they communicate? Often, there are so many unspoken expectation, thus, we try to make them spoken to reduce miscommunications and frustrations.
In summary, these three things: Understanding client’s lifestyle needs, design tastes and expectations, are essential to begin a successful project! Hopefully you find this insightful.

Often times people love the feel of a traditional design but want the feel of a newer, more modern home. Mixing elements of the two designs can be simple enough to accomplish the space you’ve always dreamed about.

The architectural style of a home does not have to define the interior. Despite the exterior of a traditional home, the interior decoration can be a mix of traditional with contemporary and modern pieces. Contemporary furniture in a home with an emphasis on tradition can be unexpected and catch the eye. An eclectic composition avoids style clichés and allows the homeowner to make it uniquely their own. Be spontaneous with design! It is the unexpected choice of design that defies tradition. The contrast of hard and soft is a style on its own, breaking the ordinary rhythm of traditional design. What ties the two together is the color palette. No matter what furniture pieces are in a space, the color palette creates a cohesive design.

In contrary, the modern edge of a newer home can be transformed into a warmer environment through the implementation of timeless pieces, reminiscent of the old world. Incorporating traditional with contemporary in a design can transform a space into something unexpected and artistic. Characterizing the modern style with a surprising focal point creates maximum impact for a design. Charm can easily be developed in any room with an eclectic mix of old standing against new. Hard lines of the contemporary style can be broken down through accents of soft, artful decor.

Another way to blend old with new is through a vintage country blend. Incorporating rustic furniture with the contemporary design of a home is a cutting-edge way to get away from typical design styles. Vintage items like chrome pendant lights and a farmhouse sink combined in a kitchen with dark hard wood cabinets and modern appliances is a surprising element in a home! Characterize your style; if you are envisioning a contrast of modern with rustic then go for it!



By | Interior Design and Decorating | No Comments – J Hill Interior Designs: creating spaces to reflect your lifestyle

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Jessica Tompane is the founder and principal designer of home-décor J Hill Interior Designs (JHID), located at Liberty Station. Her design assistant, Amy McKnight, assists with multiple facets of the business and is currently working toward her National Council for Interior Design Qualification.When Tompane first opened her doors during the down economy of 2010, she offered affordable design and “focused on using home décor in a more creative and resourceful way.” Now, nurturing a thriving business, she continues to offer creative, versatile solutions for a variety of budgets, including high-end projects.

Given Tompane’s referral network of contractors and vendors, “Clients don’t even need to lift a finger, although some do enjoy being part of the hands-on process.”

The firm has worked with clients ranging from the historic communities of Point Loma and Coronado to the more modern, gated communities of Del Mar.

One of the keys to JHID’s success is that it provides scalable, budget-friendly and versatile design concepts. Tompane and McKnight said they are passionate about tailoring their designs to people’s tastes and aesthetics. Whether a client wants to enhance a room’s comfort level, create a practical functional space or provide a design concept for an entire home, JHID is dedicated to assisting the client with bringing a vision into being.

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Funky Friday

By | Decorating Quick Flip Tips, Great Decorating Ideas, Interior Design & Decorating Inspirations, Interior Design and Decorating, Kitchens, San Diego Design & Decorating | No Comments

Happy Funky Friday Everyone! Below is a fun colorful dining nook that we found from and we here at J Hill Interior Designs adore it!  As you can see below sometimes just adding a bit of color can create that spunky, funky, fun touch your looking for without breaking the bank.

Funky Friday Space of the Week: Colorful Breakfast Nook

Funky Friday Space of the Week: Colorful Breakfast Nook




 Set of 2 Urban Outfitters Cafe Chair

Set of 2 Urban Outfitters Cafe Chair $149.00




Emily Round Dining Table : Living Spaces $395.00




Prestige Fuchsia Pillow: Embroidered

Embroidered Fuchsia Pillow: Moroccan Prestige $135.00




C Wonder Home Decor Throw Pillows : C Wonder $20.00 – $49.99