Normal Heights Residence

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Interior designers Teresa Xu and Kevin Lee Yi partnered to customize a newly constructed single-family home in Normal Heights, San Diego. The client is a dental business owner, and this residence is his vacation home – a place to spend the summer and to host friends and family reunions.

Situated on a hill overlooking a valley of eucalyptus trees, the simple Scandinavian style house stands out among the Spanish-inspired homes characteristic to Southern California. The architectural design effectively blends indoor and outdoor spaces with folding glass doors, large windows, and glass walls on each floor to allow for plenty of sunlight.

White oak flooring was used in all the public areas and bedrooms for a natural and cozy feeling. Plain white walls create a gallery look, with empty walls to display artwork collected during the homeowner’s travels. In addition, the décor of each bedroom features cultural elements related to his personal living experiences. For instance, one guest room contains a Japanese tatami bed with a meditation spot, calling back to the seven years he spent abroad in Japan. Custom lighting fixtures and contemporary artwork were selected to complement the woodworking, finishes and materials throughout the house.

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Modern home with Exterior, Mid-Century Building Type, House Building Type, Flat RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, Metal Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, and Stucco Siding Material. The house was built on a hillside, with a driveway in front and a quiet valley in the backyard. Its appearance is simple: the upper facade is cladded with wood planks, and the lower facade is painted with white stucco. Photo  of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The house was built on a hillside, with a driveway in front and a quiet valley in the backyard. Its appearance is simple: the upper facade is cladded with wood planks, and the lower facade is painted with white stucco.

Modern home with Exterior and House Building Type. The entrance features a custom steel black door, integrated with a smart home system that can be unlocked with a smartphone. Photo 2 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The entrance features a custom steel black door, integrated with a smart home system that can be unlocked with a smartphone.

Modern home with Living Room, Light Hardwood Floor, Console Tables, Wall Lighting, Sofa, and Corner Fireplace. The entrance shows off the hillside. To the left is a guest room, followed by the staircase connecting the three floors. The living room, balcony, and kitchen are straight ahead. Photo 3 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The entrance shows off the hillside. To the left is a guest room, followed by the staircase connecting the three floors. The living room, balcony, and kitchen are straight ahead.

Modern home with Bedroom, Light Hardwood Floor, Lamps, Night Stands, Bed, Floor Lighting, Ceiling Lighting, and Chair. Blue velvet armchair with black stained oak side table in the guest room. Feather print on handmade Nepalese paper by an artist in Brooklyn, New York. Photo 4 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

Blue velvet armchair with black stained oak side table in the guest room. Feather print on handmade Nepalese paper by an artist in Brooklyn, New York.

Modern home with Bedroom, Bed, Night Stands, Pendant Lighting, and Light Hardwood Floor. Contrasting black and white orb pendants on both sides of the bed provide warm light for bedtime reading or for writing in the guest journal. Photo 5 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

Contrasting black and white orb pendants on both sides of the bed provide warm light for bedtime reading or for writing in the guest journal.

Modern home with Bedroom, Light Hardwood Floor, Night Stands, and Table Lighting. Closeup of the bedside guest journal. Photo 6 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

Closeup of the bedside guest journal.

Modern home with Bedroom, Pendant Lighting, Light Hardwood Floor, and Night Stands. The first-floor guest room mimics a midcentury modern hotel room. As the only room not used by the homeowner, it evokes a different mood and looks compared to the rest of the house. Photo 7 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The first-floor guest room mimics a midcentury modern hotel room. As the only room not used by the homeowner, it evokes a different mood and looks compared to the rest of the house.

Modern home with Bath Room, One Piece Toilet, Wall Lighting, Undermount Sink, Enclosed Shower, Ceramic Tile Wall, Tile Counter, and Porcelain Tile Floor. The walls use white subway tiles with black accent trim molding, and the floor features decorative artisan glazed tiles with raised surface patterns. Photo 8 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The walls use white subway tiles with black accent trim molding, and the floor features decorative artisan glazed tiles with raised surface patterns.

Modern home with Bath Room, Enclosed Shower, and Subway Tile Wall. Black powder-coated faucets contrast the white sink and tiles. Photo 10 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

Black powder-coated faucets contrast the white sink and tiles.

Modern home with Living Room, Light Hardwood Floor, and Wall Lighting. The living room displays prints by artist Richard Vergez. Photo 11 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The living room displays prints by artist Richard Vergez.

Modern home with Living Room, Corner Fireplace, Ceiling Lighting, Wall Lighting, and Light Hardwood Floor. A concrete paneled wall includes a TV and electronic fireplace. L-shaped track lights mirror one another, with one above the living room coffee table and another over the kitchen island. Photo 12 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

A concrete paneled wall includes a TV and electronic fireplace. L-shaped track lights mirror one another, with one above the living room coffee table and another over the kitchen island.

Modern home with Kitchen, Light Hardwood Floor, Microwave, Refrigerator, White Cabinet, Dishwasher, Range Hood, Metal Backsplashe, Engineered Quartz Counter, Undermount Sink, and Pendant Lighting. The waterfall countertop is paired with black stained oak counter stools from Afteroom. Photo 13 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The waterfall countertop is paired with black stained oak counter stools from Afteroom.

Modern home with Kitchen, Engineered Quartz Counter, Refrigerator, Light Hardwood Floor, Undermount Sink, Pendant Lighting, and White Cabinet. The minimal and functional kitchen features a built-in island that seats 5-6, but more often it serves as a prep-working surface for catered parties. Photo 14 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The minimal and functional kitchen features a built-in island that seats 5-6, but more often it serves as a prep-working surface for catered parties.

Modern home with Kitchen, Granite Counter, Light Hardwood Floor, Pendant Lighting, Range Hood, Metal Backsplashe, Beverage Center, and White Cabinet. Behind the kitchen is a pantry room divided by a full ceiling-height glass wall, glazed with frosted glass and bound by a steel frame. Photo 15 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

Behind the kitchen is a pantry room divided by a full ceiling-height glass wall, glazed with frosted glass and bound by a steel frame.

Modern home with Kitchen and Engineered Quartz Counter. The steel glass door creates a unique backdrop for the kitchen. Photo 16 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The steel glass door creates a unique backdrop for the kitchen.

Modern home with Staircase, Wood Tread, and Metal Railing. The stairway showcases a guardrail with long, custom-made stair rods, which start from the basement and reach the second-floor ceiling. Photo 17 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The stairway showcases a guardrail with long, custom-made stair rods, which start from the basement and reach the second-floor ceiling.

Modern home with Hallway and Light Hardwood Floor. Print by artist Richard Vergez. Photo 18 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

Print by artist Richard Vergez.

Modern home with Windows, Metal, and Picture Window Type. A dental surgery statue was a gift from a patient. Photo 19 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

A dental surgery statue was a gift from a patient.

Modern home with Bedroom, Bed, Light Hardwood Floor, and Wall Lighting. The built-in platform bed transitions seamlessly from the headboard to the same white oak flooring. One large picture window provides plenty of natural light and a view of the valley. Photo 20 of Normal Heights ResidenceView Photos

The built-in platform bed transitions seamlessly from the headboard to the same white oak flooring. One large picture window provides plenty of natural light and a view of the valley.

Credits

Posted By
Interior Design
  • Teresa Xu
  • Kevin Lee Yi
  • Dichen Ding (Architectural Consultant)
  • Simon Taveras (Architectural Consultant)
Photographer
  • Jason Wang

Overview

Bedrooms
  • 3
  • Full Baths
  • 3
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2017
  • Square Feet
  • 2700
  • Smart Home Tech
  • Blink Home Security