The Family Tree

written by:
photos by:
November 3, 2009
Originally published in Groundbreaking Ideas in Home Design

For this San Diego family, the phrase "putting down roots" has taken on a whole new meaning.

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  For this San Diego family, the phrase "putting down roots" has taken on a whole new meaning.
    For this San Diego family, the phrase "putting down roots" has taken on a whole new meaning.
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  The blue-tiled master bathroom stands in contrast to the muted tones of the rest of the house. The tile is recycled glass from China.
    The blue-tiled master bathroom stands in contrast to the muted tones of the rest of the house. The tile is recycled glass from China.
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  Madeline and Gabriella check out the handprints of their grandmother and granduncle, which were cast in the original foundation in 1956.
    Madeline and Gabriella check out the handprints of their grandmother and granduncle, which were cast in the original foundation in 1956.
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  Gabriella swings on the rope swing hung from the podocarpus tree. The twenty-foot-tall, steel-framed, custom-built wood screen provides enough privacy to give the outdoor space the feeling of a room, with the 50-year-old polocarpus tree acting as a roof.
    Gabriella swings on the rope swing hung from the podocarpus tree. The twenty-foot-tall, steel-framed, custom-built wood screen provides enough privacy to give the outdoor space the feeling of a room, with the 50-year-old polocarpus tree acting as a roof.
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  Almost all of the Lees’ chairs, tables, and dressers are by the now-defunct Norwegian furniture company Peter Wessel. They were purchased from a friend whose grandfather was the accountant for the company. The friend hated the pieces and sold them all to the Lees after her grandfather passed away. “She’s a real Pottery Barn girl,” Kim says.
    Almost all of the Lees’ chairs, tables, and dressers are by the now-defunct Norwegian furniture company Peter Wessel. They were purchased from a friend whose grandfather was the accountant for the company. The friend hated the pieces and sold them all to the Lees after her grandfather passed away. “She’s a real Pottery Barn girl,” Kim says.
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  Kim and Gabriella enjoy their kitchen, which spills out onto their backyard deck.
    Kim and Gabriella enjoy their kitchen, which spills out onto their backyard deck.
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  The Lees commissioned local artist Blair Thornley to create a large painting, which Public then mounted on a slider. The painting now functions as a sliding door to close off the TV room when necessary. “Blair coated it in acrylic,” architect James Gates explains, “so they don’t have to worry about handprints.”
    The Lees commissioned local artist Blair Thornley to create a large painting, which Public then mounted on a slider. The painting now functions as a sliding door to close off the TV room when necessary. “Blair coated it in acrylic,” architect James Gates explains, “so they don’t have to worry about handprints.”
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