Home Sweet High-Rise
by Miriam Raftery
photography by Vincent Knakal
"Every room here has an incredible view of the city,
the water, or both,” Jan Miller says of her downtown high-rise home.
Miller moved to San Diego from Atlanta, where she owned a home appointed in
traditional European style. Attracted by the convenience of downtown living,
she sought out a condominium in the heart of America’s Finest City
discovering a 5,000-square-foot condominium that had originally been two
units combined by a previous owner, Miller realized that she had found her
new dream home. She hired designer Robert Brown of Atlanta and contractor
John Schenck of Schenck Building in La Jolla to transform the high-rise unit’s
bachelor décor into a metropolitan modern classical motif.
palette of taupe and ivory accented by coral, dusty lavender, and spa blue
created a soft yet sophisticated backdrop for the condo makeover. “Originally,
the foyer and formal living room were bright red,” recalls the homeowner,
who drew inspiration for her color scheme from a painting. An avid collector
of modern art, Miller chose a cubist-style work by Yuroz and a contemporary
sculpture by Galdez to grace the home’s foyer.
A contemporary painting
by Joe Niermann adds drama to the living room, where etchings by Anderle,
a European artist, are also displayed. But the room’s most eye-catching
elements are the panoramic views of the harbor and Coronado. “On
a clear day you can see all the way to Mexico,” says Miller, who
added automated window coverings and silk draperies.
atop a corner table reflect the shape of skyscrapers visible outside.
A custom fireplace from Germany serves as focal point
for the room.
Nearby, an ebony player grand piano provides entertainment for guests.
glass doors lead to a family room, where ebony wood floors contrast the taupe-painted
entertainment cabinet. A custom velvet sofa and rug
in cocoa hues have been accentuated with a spa-blue windowpane, pillows,
cocktail table with an iron-silvered base. A multi-media painting
by California artist Jimmy O’Neal adds whimsy.
For the dining room, a
painting by California artist Bradford Stewart in vivid green and lavender
hues sets a luxurious tone. A Donghia
chandelier with twisted
contemporary Murano glass illuminates a trestle-based dining table,
where wingchairs double as host and hostess seats. A silk-covered
Brown mimics the circular shape of a breakfast table off the kitchen,
overlooks Horton Plaza. There’s even some luxury here for Lucky,
dog, who reclines atop a mink pillow.
“This is the coral bedroom,” the homeowner announces,
stepping into a guest suite appointed with coral-hued draperies, linens with
a coral motif,
and bookcases displaying coral and seashells. Artwork by Yuroz
add touches of sophistication to the room. A second guest suite features two
beds with custom headboards and benches in cut velvet upholstery.
Ivory shag rugs and mounds of pillows add to the sumptuous effect. “I
love to have friends and relatives come visit, wherever I live,” says
Miller, who created an opulent guest bath complete with sunken spa tub, crocodile-embossed
textured wallpaper, and slab granite shower.
A harbor-side study
affords spectacular views of the San Diego skyline, Seaport Village, and
the Convention Center. Wood and
fold open for entertaining,
leading to a balcony beyond. Inside, an argyle-patterned floor,
custom desk, floor-to-ceiling bookcases and a painting by Chinese
We Lang Zhao
combine to create an inviting working space.
“I fell in love with a swatch of wallpaper that my designer
says of the dusky lavender-toned wall coverings in her master
suite. A sofa and chairs brought from Atlanta coordinate with a quilted, silk-upholstered
bed. Lavender velvet pillows, white cabinetry, a built-in
vanity, and etchings
by Anderlé complete the room’s ambience.
floors and countertops in lavender hues set a feminine mood
in the master bath, along with lavender and silver-toned
wallpaper. A contemporary
chandelier, candles, and tropical flowers complete the romantic
How has the homeowner adapted to a San Diego lifestyle? “Everything
is right in the vicinity — shows, the stadium, restaurants,
and shopping. I don’t need to hop in my car,” she
concludes. “I love living
|SWEET SOPHISTICATION: Dusky lavendar hues and quilted silk furnishings
add romantic touches to the master suite, complimenting spectacular views
when twilights descends over the harbor.
|CORAL SUITE: Richly-appointed guest suite features a coral motif, floor-to-ceiling
bookshelves and a lavish bath. Designer Bob Brown observed, "Jan entertains
a lot, so instead of guests staying at the Ritz Carlton, they stay here."