Tour a Modern San Diego Home That Was Completely Constructed and Decorated During the Pandemic


Perched on a rugged terrace along the San Diego coast, the affluent beach community of Encinitas is dotted with craftsman- and ranch-style homes that help give the municipality its authentic, laid back surfer vibe. So when architect Soheil Nakhshab, whose work often employs a minimalist, midcentury aesthetic, was commissioned to design and build a home there last year, he aimed to create a modern dwelling that would gracefully interact with the more traditional neighboring properties.

Adding to the project’s allure: he was also allowed to plan and construct the home without any input from the client. “I had the good fortune to have free rein on the entire process,” says Nakhshab, founder of Nakhshab Development and Design in San Diego who brought in Michael Hilal from the Bay Area and Julie Crosby from San Diego to work together on the interiors. “I was simply told to design and build as you see fit and give me the keys when you’re done.”

A navy blue velvet sectional sofa, accented with a throw by Acne Studios and pillows by Raf Simons for Kvadrat, anchors the family room. A burl wood top coffee table from Therien & Co. sports a bronze-and-plexiglass base. Tall, carved pottery lamps adorn the console. A Pierre Paulin Archi chair sits next to a black Matter Made stool.

The results, a sleek and unobtrusive residence with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, went well beyond simply pleasing the client. Settled on a hillside among the owner’s horse stables, the cantilevered stone-and-steel structure is being hailed by locals as an architectural gem. The most impressive part? The entire project was complete in just 11 months, all amid the pandemic, by relying on local resources to help reduce timelines.

“The idea of being dependent on out of state or overseas manufacturing is detrimental in many ways because it makes a project like this more costly. [A]nd, [it] creates a negative carbon footprint,” says Nakhshab. “Using local resources not only benefited our client’s timeline and overall costs but also helped the economic growth of our micro-economy.”

Two low, cream-colored sofas anchor the living area, surrounding a vintage gold mirror-based cocktail table with a rosewood top and two midcentury Italian chairs. A custom ottoman topped with Hermès fabric for Dedar and a tree trunk-shaped floor lamp by West Hollywood designer Robert Kuo accent a room that includes a floating fireplace and a custom silk-cashmere rug.

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