From San Diego Magazine (more pics here):

With its monumental fireplace, balcony with French doors, and stenciled beams across a vaulted ceiling, Ingrid and Bob Coffin’s 1928 Spanish Colonial Revival living room feels palatial. But the heart of their warmly elegant house—the real party room—is an enclosed veranda added by a previous owner, a former president of Mexico, who traced his aristocratic family to 1545 and, in 1930, survived an assassin’s bullet to the head on inauguration day.


Pascual Ortiz Rubio, who was also a general and a diplomat, bought this Kensington home after he left office and lived here with his family during the early 1930s. His armed bodyguards, wearing sombreros and bandoliers, patrolled the neighborhood sidewalks and the steep canyon on this one-acre property.

Rubio and his wife brought artists from Mexico to transform the three-bedroom house into a unique hacienda. Most striking is the long veranda, with its exuberantly painted folkloric-themed ceiling, colorful doorways framed with glazed tiles, handsome murals, and life-size portraits of a Mexican man and woman.

Although the couple recently couldn’t agree whether they paid $110,000 or $123,000 for the house in 1977, there was no question about removing its heavy drapes and red shag carpeting as soon as they moved in.

They also made sure to reflect the veranda’s character when they remodeled the adjacent, non-original kitchen, adding grooved wood cabinets, tile counter tops, and a vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stove.  “We didn’t have all the [design] books back then,” says Bob, leafing through a glossy volume on Spanish Colonial Revival homes. They tried to make the kitchen compatible by visiting historic homes.

“There’s something friendly in every room,” says Bob. “It’s a wonderful experience for everyone who’s lived here.”

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