San Diego Design Series: Exploring Rancho Santa Fe
Rancho Santa Fe is a more remote, yet high-end, real estate area of San Diego. It draws in those looking for large estates with generous proportions of land that allows the many common interests of Rancho Santa Fe residents, such as private vineyards and horse rings. Rancho Santa Fe is home to many spas, golf clubs, and restaurants that bring the community together while embodying the relaxed lifestyle of residents.
A large number of the Rancho Santa Fe residences reflect a strong Spanish-style. The implementation of this design style can be greatly accredited to Lillian Rice. Impressively, Rice was the first woman to earn a degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley in 1910, which she utilized as she moved back into her home in the San Diego area. In the midst of her career, she was asked to help develop a new community, which would later become the Rancho Santa Fe we know today. Rice was directly involved in many early Rancho Santa landmarks such as La Morada (the Inn), the Civic Center, and Paseo Delicias. Drawing from the ideals of Spanish Colonial Design, Rice set out to develop a community that embodies the charisma and charm of a Spanish village. According to the historian, Lauren Farber, Lillian Rice also established “a standard Beaux-Arts and City Beautiful planning device which utilized landscaping, plazas, and parks to create a strongly-defined civic image.”
Clearly, Lillian Rice had intended to preserve the Spanish influence in Rancho Santa Fe. It is evident that she succeeded as the unique architecture and design remain in harmony with the design preferences of today. Now, Rancho Santa Fe is an inviting place, often populated with families and out-of-state visitors looking for a second home. Quite often the influence of the Spanish and Mexican history can be found throughout the home, whether it be the use of Talavera tile, Spanish quatrefoil shapes or hacienda plaster and rustic beams, etc.
J Hill Interiors is proud to have provided interior design services in this area. The uncommon and individual dynamics of the Rancho Santa Fe area has allowed us to expand our creativity to capture the essence of the community.