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There’s a reason we’re called America’s Finest City! With hilly landscapes, mild year-round climates, expansive vistas across the Pacific, and unique, bustling neighborhoods, who wouldn’t want to call sunny San Diego home?

San Diego’s unique design and architecture styles make it all the more charming. Just take a look at the world-famous Hotel del Coronado, the lavish Victorian beach resort that’s been a long-standing attraction since 1888. With a rich history dating back to the mid-1700s, many of the San Diego interior design trends we see today are rooted in cultural traditions and styles. Native American history, Spanish Missionary heritage, a military presence, and many other events and cultures have influenced San Diego’s distinctive design style.

Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego

Our team of designers here at Nativa has serviced homes and commercial projects all across Southern California, offering luxury interior design and furniture to the city’s most special spaces. We love working with the interior design trends that make San Diego so unique and have great respect for the cultures and traditions they originate from. We’ve put together a complete guide to San Diego interior design trends to give you some luxury design ideas for your Southern California home.


History of San Diego Architecture

To understand San Diego interior design trends, we first must understand the architectural styles that are prominent in the city and their historical influences.

San Diego was actually the first West Coast city to be visited and claimed by European settlers in the 16th century. Long before it was established as the first California settlement by Spain in 1769, Southern California was home to the indigenous Kumeyaay tribe. In 1821, San Diego became part of the Mexican Empire and subsequently became part of the United States following the Mexican-American War. Because of this culturally-rich history, early San Diego settlers merged Latin American, Spanish, and Native American style traditions in their home design. This created a diverse combination of Victorian, Craftsman, Pueblo, Modern and Mediterranean home builds that have become a staple of San Diego scenery.

The architectural styles of San Diego homes reflect the character and charm of the Birthplace of California. Costal, bohemian, and traditional interior design styles have all resulted from San Diego’ Diego’s rich history and dynamic architecture styles to create a classically modern urban hub.

San Diego Spanish architecture


San Diego Interior Design Trends

Baja California Norte and Southern California have distinctive interior design styles that reflect the region’s coastal nature. Minimal, yet warm and eclectic, San Diego interior design trends highlight the surrounding vistas’ beauty. San Diego’s design often has echoes of beach life, Latin influence, and even Missionary accents that create an atmosphere as light and breezy as the neighboring ocean.

Style fads tend to come and go, but there are five San Diego interior design trends that have endured throughout history. If you’re looking to add a touch of San Diego flair to your home, try out these trends to achieve the California-Cool look.


Trend #1: Light & Monochrome Color Palettes

Adhering to the relaxed California vibe, interior design color palettes tend to be light and monochromatic. Creamy whites, warm browns, and neutral color schemes are a staple in San Diego homes and allow the lush coastal backdrop to be the star of the show. Using warm earthy tones in various hues and textures prevents the monochromatic palettes from feeling too sterile and monotonous.

Linens and other breathable, organic fabrics can be found in troves throughout homes in Southern California. Wooden furnishings offer soft-masculinity while maintaining an earthy and natural atmosphere. We executed this trend in this Coronado Beach home. Our interior design team used a minimal color palette with wood detailing and cool-toned accents to give the space warmth and texture.

Coronado home designed by Nativa


Trend #2: Versatile Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor spaces are given just as much consideration as the bedroom when it comes to design in San Diego homes. With expansive vistas, sandy beaches, and breathtaking sunsets, integrating lush outdoor spaces into your home is integral for taking advantage of all the San Diego landscape and the weather has to offer.

If you’re still in the early stages of a home build, hiring a landscape architect can help you optimize your home’s indoor-outdoor flow to create beautiful views at every turn. Patios and pools are commonplace in San Diego, so placing the focus on lighting, furniture, and accents allow designers to create an elevated space that seamlessly transitions from day to night.

Complete with poolside chaise loungers, a canopy sofa, grilling area, and side tables, this patio we designed for this Santaluz home is textbook San Diego style. Quality patio furniture is essential for pulling off this look, so look for pieces in rattan, wicker, and wood materials.

Outdoor space designed by Nativa


Trend #3: Artistic Pops of Color

Because neutral color schemes are pervasive in San Diego homes, art, rugs, and decor accents are a great way to introduce pops of color to the space. Blues, yellows, greens, and reds all work well within the bright California style and offer an impactful feature reminiscent of the city’ city’s Mediterranean, Indigenous and Latin influences.

In this entryway display we created for a Pacific Gate condo, we chose a colorful abstract piece as the focal point to add a touch of sophistication, worldliness, and drama to this mid-century modern home.

Pops of color incorporated into homes


Trend #4: Mosaic Tiling

Another one of our favorite home decor tips for incorporating color into your palette is tiling. From backsplashes and bathroom tiles to fireplaces, mosaic tiles have been a mainstay in San Diego’s interior design trends. Inspired by Mediterranean designs, mosaics offer a bright and bold way to infuse texture and color into the home.

Coming in an array of eye-catching shapes and tones, tiles can completely transform a space and give it a luxury resort vibe. Opt for a floor-to-ceiling tiling as we did in this Santa Luz living room to capitalize on this trend.

Mosaic tiling in a Nativa designed living room


Trend #5: Bathroom Spas

For the residents that call San Diego home, every day can be a spa getaway. No Southern California home is complete without an elegant bathroom with mixed metals, a large shower, and a giant soaking tub. Adding organic elements like seashells, plants, or wood instantly creates Southern California’s signature coastal style. This high-end bathroom we designed for a Rancho Santa Fe home is fitted with a floor to ceiling glass-door shower, upholstered sitting benches, and potted trees, complete with a luxurious marble tub.

Spa bathroom in a Nativa designed home


Bring San Diego Interior Design to Your Home

Our award-winning, high-end interior design team have gained its experience over the last 20 years through projects servicing not only Southern California but with some outstanding works across the nation and internationally. Very diverse in taste & style, whether you are looking for Mediterranean, Modern Mountain, Contemporary, Transitional, or Coastal décor style, we’ll be able to pair you with the best designer to match your needs.

Meet with one of our designers today or stop by one of our San Diego showrooms to discuss how we can incorporate these signature San Diego interior design trends into your home!