Ross Thiele & Son: Classic Interior Designs Since 1932

Ross Thiele & Son has been creating beautiful homes with unique interior designs since 1932. With more than 80 years of experience in the field, they have brought together a professional and talented team of designers that has truly perfected its craft. From new construction and full remodels to freshening up a living space, Ross Thiele & Son continues to deliver expert design, quality, and service.

A History of Spanish Influence

Shortly after moving to San Diego with his family in the early 1920s, Ross was hired at Marston’s Department Store downtown. The New York-based store’s interior decoration department offered luxury draperies, furniture, fabrics, and Ross quickly became their go-to designer, helping customers select a cohesive scheme for their homes. In 1927, George W. Marston himself asked Ross to travel to Spain in search of antique furniture for the Junipero Serra Museum and in celebration of Balboa Park’s 1935 California Pacific Exposition.

That experience, along with Ross’s other adventures abroad (especially in Spain), helped shape his expertise in buying and exporting European antiques. A bit later, Ross met William Randolph Hearst, a famed antique buyer for architect Julia Morgan – at the time, Morgan and Hearst were in the process of building and furnishing the eccentrically beautiful Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

An Evolution Becomes a Legacy

Ross opened his own business on 5th Avenue downtown, the current site of Mr. A’s. In 1942, the business was relocated to La Jolla. They found a charming brick-front building on Prospect Street, which was previously home to the original Brown Bear Restaurant. Like the former location, the Prospect Street studio also featured a sprawling brick courtyard. The first level of the studio housed antiques and rooms of furniture, and the second floor contained several workspaces.

Ross’s son, John, joined his father’s business after returning from military service in the early 40’s., and the business was renamed Ross Thiele & Son. In 1982, they moved to their current location at 7425 Girard Avenue where a new building was designed and built. The new studio was constructed using reclaimed brick from the facade and the original iron gates from the Prospect Street location, as well as the original courtyard entrance.

Turning Dreams Into Realities

In 1987, John’s daughter, Elizabeth Thiele Barkett became the third generation in the family business and is now the face of Ross Thiele & Son. She and her team have truly perfected the art of turning dream homes into realities. For her, each client is unique and deserves individualized attention based on their own distinct style.

Whether the design is for new construction, a full remodel, or simply breathing life into an existing space, Ross Thiele & Son can help you through the transition. They’ve completed projects in every style imaginable, including beach bungalows (popular in La Jolla), Spanish, contemporary, and Country French.

Visit their website or call (858) 454-2133 to start transforming your home today!


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Emily Ruchlewicz

Emily Ruchlewicz

News & Feature Writer at
Emily Ruchlewicz is a News and Feature writer at Blue Book Publishers and has written more than 100 La Jolla-related articles. Follow her blogs to stay informed about new businesses, read exclusive interviews with local business owners, and keep up with community events. (

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