Tour a Dreamy San Diego Outdoor Haven Designed for Family Fun

Home to a family of six, a dog, 13 chickens and one duck, this sprawling San Diego ranch home is an outdoor paradise and the perfect gathering place to enjoy the incredible California weather.

October 05, 2020

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

Photo By: Gary Payne

A Farmhouse for a New Age

Treci Smith is a woman of many talents. As the head of her self-named studio, Treci Smith Designs, she is an interior stylist, a successful house-flipper — together with her husband, Amir — and a self-styled purveyor of fine vintage furnishings. For the last 11 years, the entrepreneur has made her home in an expansive ranch-style house in San Diego, California, with her husband and four kids, along with their dog, Rose, 13 chickens and one duck.

Home on the Range

Treci’s property is large, supporting a 2,300-plus-square-foot main residence and a 1,100-square-foot guest house. But the crowning glory of the property might just be its outdoor spaces, which include a large garden, pool and lounge space, and something special for Treci. “Recently, we converted a shed into a studio and office space for me,” the designer explains. “My favorite space is my studio because it’s my own little getaway and it allows me to feel inspired.”

Designed to Inspire

Treci describes her style as centering on her “love for vintage, Afro-bohemian and midcentury modern pieces.” It’s an aesthetic that comes through especially well in her studio. Weaving its component elements together seamlessly in a palette of soothing wood tones, it’s little wonder that the studio is one of the designer's favorite places.

Tools of the Trade

Whether she’s staging a house or designing for herself, Treci says it's vital to have access to the pieces that inspire her creativity. “Every room I style reflects my emphasis on connection,” she says. “I love to incorporate natural elements because they bring in so much life.” Beautiful, functional pieces like this bookshelf ensure that no matter the project, everything Treci needs is right at her fingertips.

SoCal Perks

Pools may feel like standard-issue equipment for southern California homes, but as this pool demonstrates, it really is all about execution. “This home was built in 1951 and remodeled in the 1970s,” Treci says. “It was in fairly good condition. But it needed some minor updates.” Fortunately the pool was already part of the existing design, but getting it visually up to speed took some doing.

Living Luxe

“Designing the pool courtyard was difficult because there’s so much space,” Treci says. “It was quite a challenge to keep it from looking cold and spare. I got around that by creating a few distinct lounging spaces throughout the courtyard and brought in lots of plants to fill in those pockets of space.”

A Family Room in the Sun

Away from the pool, there needed to be space for rest and relaxation. Most lounges, whether indoors or out, tend to aim to include enough seating for guests. But for a family of six, that amount of seating is the bare minimum. Treci’s outdoor lounge is designed with family time in mind. The large comfy seats are perfect for getting together after a day in the sun, and the big, central fire pit ensures that no one will get too chilly once the sun goes down.

Space to Connect

“I love creating places where people can connect,” Treci confesses. And her outdoor space does exactly that. “Granted, that’s not necessarily due to the design elements, but the design certainly elevates the atmosphere of the home. I think that the natural elements, like the mature trees and flowers, bring in a lot of color and warmth to a large space.”

Eating Out at Home

Having so much outdoor real estate offers ample opportunity to create different environments, and Treci took full advantage, designing a charming dining area to complete her outdoor space. Preparing the space, however, was one of the challenges of the renovation. “The outdoor space has been a true labor a of love. Although we loved how lush the property was, it was overgrown — we had to remove and trim a lot of the trees.”

Serving With Style

Now fully renovated with the completion of her studio, the outdoors provides an entire second living space, (or third, counting the guest house), complete with its own stylish serving decor. Small touches like these show not only the benefits of having a designer’s eye in the home, but also one with a vintage touch. Small statuary, sleek glassware and colorful vases are the finishing touches that complete a perfect entertaining vignette.

Upcycling in the Garden

The pool and studio weren’t the only addition the Smiths made when they moved into their home of 11 years. “We added a garden, built a treehouse (which has become a nice retreat for the kids during the pandemic), added a fence and chicken coop,” Treci says. “The garden gate is my favorite piece! It was originally the headboard of the first bed Amir and I purchased as a married couple. Choosing it as the entrance to our garden just seemed like the natural thing to do.”

The View From the Garden

“I love that my home is inviting and has good energy,” Treci says. “This goes back to my love for creating places where people can connect.” With an outdoor area of her home offering as much as any indoor space ever could, the designer has created the perfect place in which to enjoy those connections with her family, while connecting with the nature around them.

Shop This Look