An Interview with Design Studio West


Established in 1982, Design Studio West creates impeccable settings for every room in your home, including award-winning designs for kitchens and baths. With a seamlessly-integrated, comprehensive suite of services at your disposal, Design Studio West is proud to serve as Southern California’s “one-stop-shop” for the finest in cabinetry, flooring, countertops and world-class appliance brands.

Staffed by a highly-respected and accomplished corps of long-time industry professionals, Design Studio West’s entire team collectively possesses a rare and remarkable talent: to unite their inner artist with their inner pragmatist, resulting in kitchens, baths and outdoor settings that are as exhilarating to look at as they are to live in.

We had the pleasure of talking with owner Karl Utzman about this wonderful business.

Can you tell us a little about the background and history of Design Studio West?

Design Studio West has been around for over 35 years as a kitchen and bath design showroom. In 2001 as a result of a merger between two complementary businesses – a highly-respected construction firm and an award-winning design studio – Design Studio West began offering a full suite of integrated services that run the construction and design industries’ gamut, from initial concept to ultimate completion.


How would you describe your clientele?

We have projects as far south as Coronado to as far north as Carlsbad. Our clientele ranges from empty-nesters, young families, part time residents, long term homeowners to  new home buyers. We offer a diverse line of cabinetry product that can accommodate various project budgets. We also work directly with interior designers and contractors to provide quality design and cabinetry product to their customers.

Is there an area in design and remodeling that Design Studio West specializes in?

We are dealers of custom build to order cabinetry product so are projects typically revolve around area of the home that would call for use of those items: kitchens, bathrooms, office spaces, laundry rooms, mudrooms, entertainment centers, fireplaces, master bedroom suites etc. In addition, we can  help with general design detailing, space planning, furnishings, accessories as well as  complete home additions.

Could you describe a little bit of your design process for our readers? If I’m a new client, what should I expect?

Our design process is very fluid and we break each project down into 4 steps.

Step 1 – Research and information gathering: To start the process, we will ask the client detailed questions to understand their needs, desires, style and priorities. The answers to this initial interview provide us with direction and guidance. We will talk about options, timeframes, costs and take “before” measurements and photos.

Step 2 – Concepts and layouts: We create new layout/floorplan concepts to review with our client ranging from minimal changes to more creative options along with projected costs for each option. Once the  client has chosen  a specific layout or combination of layouts, then we proceed with design detailing and refinement, creating elevation drawings for the space or 3D Renderings.

Step 3 – Design Refinement & Material Selections: The materials options we assemble to review with a client may include: Cabinetry, countertops, fixtures, tile, flooring, appliances, etc. During this step we review budget considerations for materials and products selected and see how these items fit with the overall scope and budget for the project.

Step 4 – Contracts and Remodel Agreement: Upon your approval of the designs, materials & pricing, we will present a client with Design Studio West’s  Home & Lifestyle Remodeling Agreement package. Upon acceptance of these agreements, materials will be ordered and a start and completion dates will be scheduled.

What do you love the most about your new location?

After being located on Girard Avenue for 35 years, Design Studio West relocated to the Upper Morena Design District in 2018. Our new design showroom/studio is located at 4250 Morena Blvd. Suite C. We are just south of the Costco Wholesale Club on Morena Blvd and love our new location. We have been visited by many of our La Jolla clients and colleagues on their way to a shopping trip to Costco. The ease of parking makes our new location much more accessible. We love  the fact that we are so close to La Jolla and can access our clients easily. We still shop for product in La Jolla and work with many  homeowners, design firms and showrooms in the village. We are excited to continue to provide La Jolla with our design and construction services and are happy that we can showcase our products and services in a showroom that is convenient to the community.

0-6Tell us a little about this new showroom – that sounds exciting!

Our new showroom is about 2400 Square feet  and is located in the Upper Morena Design District just south of the Costco. The new space was a blank slate when we moved here so we had free range to design and create what we wanted. Our new space is light and airy and very open. We showcase 4 different cabinetry product lines  and show them in  various kitchen vignette installations. We have hundreds of cabinet finish samples and countertop materials that are available. We also show  appliance products, cabinet hardware, faucets and fixtures as well as a vast array of interior cabinetry accessories. We view our showroom as a working studio. Our vignettes and installations allow us to illustrate design details and installation applications to our clients and homeowners giving them clear illustrations of how their new cabinetry product will look and function.


Aside from the new showroom, is there anything else new and exciting about Design Studio West that you’d like to share? 

We recently became a dealer of an amazing outdoor cabinetry product line called Naturekast. They manufacture a weather proof cabinet that can stand up to the elements.  We are excited to be carrying their product because it allows us to be more creative when designing and working on outdoor spaces. Gone are the days where our outdoor patios and BBQ’s would have to have stainless steel doors or masonry kitchens. We can now create custom wood look kitchen and cabinetry storage spaces that feel more integrated to the home. The product is well suited for the indoor/outdoor lifestyle we all enjoy in southern California.

To learn more about Design Studio West, click HERE

La Jolla Weekend Open Houses: 6/6 & 6/7

Move into your dream home with our La Jolla Open House weekend guide. Happy house hunting!

Corrigan | Cohen Group | Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices California Properties

Patty Cohen
5502 Calumet Avenue, La Jolla
Open House on Sunday, 7/7 1:00-4:00 p.m.


Daniel Albrecht
3468 Bayside Walk, Unit D, Pacific Beach
Open House on Sunday, 7/7 10:00-1:00 p.m.



Maxine and Marti Gellens | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties:

When: Saturday-Sunday 1-4PM
Where: 13763 Rosecroft Way
Details: $1,248,000. 4BR/3.5BA.Tucked within the gated community of Stallion’s Crossing, this stunning home boasts a spacious, light-filled interior and beautifully landscaped backyard!!!!
Contact: Maxine and Marti Gellens 858.551.6630, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
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When: Saturday-Sunday 1-4PM
Where: 3503 Ray Street 
Details: $948,000. 3BR/2BA. Privacy and tranquility abound from this Modern Beauty boasting a prime location in the heart of Olde Del Mar’s Village!!!
Contact: Maxine and Marti Gellens 858.551.6630, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
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When: Sunday 1-4PM
Where: 835 Midway Street
Details: $1,595,000. 3BR/1BA. Resting upon a double corner lot, this cute beach cottage boasts a bright, single-level interior with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath!!!
Contact: Maxine and Marti Gellens 858.551.6630, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
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Team Chodorow – Open House Schedule:

Saturday & Sunday (7/6 – 7/7)

– 8555 Nottingham Place  $1,825,000

– 1681 Paseo Bonita  $2,450,000  


La Jolla Activities For This Summer


With summertime here, you’re going to want to be getting outside- and San Diego is indeed the picture-perfect city for people who have an affinity for outdoor activities. Scenic La Jolla, situated along San Diego’s central coastline, is idyllically located for people of all ages to access the areas myriad activities. This summertime you’ll find exceedingly more than enough to soak up your sunshiny San Diego days. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, or whether you prefer to participate by air, land, or water, lovely La Jolla is your getaway locale for fun and adventure.

If you love to soar, consider an activity that will take you up in the air among our fair-feathered friends. With either hang gliding or hot air ballooning, people can revel in a breathtaking, bird’s-eye view of San Diego’s unique terrain and coastline permeated with gorgeous canyons, lagoons, and bays. At the Torrey Pines Gliderport, you can take private lessons, fly your own glider or paraglider, or opt to fly tandem with an experienced pilot. Individuals can also hop aboard a hot air balloon and soar over the coastline in the second best area next to Oz itself. One local company offers special fantastic tours at the end of the day so you can glimpse the glorious sunset from high above the Pacific Ocean.

For those individuals who prefer to keep their feet on the turf, you won’t run out of places to explore or sports to enjoy in La Jolla. There are walking, jogging and hiking trails scattered throughout the village and greater San Diego area, from the world famous beaches and bays to canyons and parks. Some of the canyon hiking trails stretch for miles, and as you meander across various creeks and waterfalls, you won’t believe you’re in the middle of the city. For those who have a preference for guided walking tours, there are several to choose from in San Diego, from urban safaris and food and drink tours, to tours for bird watchers and nature lovers. Well-appreciated and highly popular areas such as expansive Balboa Park and Old Town also extend regular walking tours, where visitors and residents alike can be educated about San Diego’s rich history and unique geography. You’ll also find many free volleyball courts on San Diego beaches and some of the better golf courses in the entire country. Individuals of all ages can also cycle safely on many bicycle routes or opt to ride horses on the beach or inland trails.

If you have a penchant for water activities, there are at minimum 15 major beaches dotting the San Diego coastline. From Torrey Pines in the north to Ocean Beach in the south, there are considerably more inviting beaches and parks surrounding Mission Bay. Visitors may choose to swim, surf, snorkel, scuba dive, explore tide pools, fish, launch a kayak, a sailboat, or a motorboat, or kick back and enjoy a picnic and an outstanding sunset. Several of San Diego’s beaches also include year-round lifeguards, restrooms, bar-b-cues, picnic tables, playgrounds for the kiddo’s, nearby eating locales, as well as various equipment rentals such as body boards, snorkels, fins, and bicycles. If you’ve always dreamed of learning how to surf or paddle a canoe or kayak, or perhaps scuba dive, you’ll discover many schools offering lessons throughout San Diego. Furthermore, if you enjoy being on the water, but fancy somebody else to take the helm, you can take a look into San Diego’s many water bound tours, including fishing, exploring coastal caves, whale watching, or touring San Diego harbor. Check out what we recommend for snorkeling and surfing! 

With all these wonderful outdoor adventures calling to you here in scenic and inviting La Jolla, what are you waiting for? Whether you seek to delight in San Diego’s many activities in the air, on the ground, or in the water, it’s high time to grab your favorite sunscreen and get out and enjoy life!

-8We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

Some ad space opportunities are limited as so many businesses renew their same ad spots with us year after year. We hope to hear from you soon.

“Find It La Jolla” App


La Jolla Weekend Open Houses: February 23rd & 24th

Move into your dream home with our La Jolla Open House weekend guide. Happy house hunting!


Maxine and Marti Gellens | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties:

When: Saturday and Sunday 1-4PM
Where: 1428 Stratford Court
Details: $2,695,000. 3BR/3.5BA. Absolutely stunning views of the sea, surf and sunsets are showcased from this private penthouse condominium!!!
Contact: Maxine and Marti Gellens 858.551.6630, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties


When: Saturday and Sunday 1-4PM
Where: 6275 Cardeno Drive
Details: 6275 Cardeno Drive. $2,295,000. 4BR/2.5BA. Enjoy the chill vibe from this swanky pad, resting upon a beautifully landscaped 20,000+ square foot lot with canyon views, night lights and mountains to the east!!!!
Contact: Maxine and Marti Gellens 858.551.6630, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
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When: Saturday and Sunday 1-4PM
Where: 5417 Caminito Bayo
Details: $1,399,000. 3BR/2.5BA. Tucked in a tranquil location within the gated community of Emerald Cove with resort-inspired amenities consisting of a clubhouse, library, gym, pools, spas, a sauna & lighted tennis courts!!!!
Contact: Maxine and Marti Gellens 858.551.6630, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

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1842 Bel Air Terrace
Largest model in sought-after Pacific Ranch! Spacious, light-filled home featuring 5 bedrooms and 4 baths!!
Saturday and Sunday 1-4PM

835 Midway Street
Resting upon a double corner lot, this cute beach cottage boasts a bright, single-level interior with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath!!!
Saturday and Sunday 1-4PM
835 Midway Street

Team Chodorow – Open House Schedule:

Sat & Sun (2/23 – 2/24) 1-4PM
– 5836 LJ Mesa  $3,150,000
– 2915 Woodford Dr.  $2,825,000
– 2531 Via Viesta  $2,395,000
– 8258 Prestwick  $4,750,000
– 7536 Via Capri  $1,879,000

Sun (2/24) only 1-4PM
– 2488 Azure Coast  $1,048,000

5 Romantic La Jolla Restaurants to Dine at This Valentine’s Day

Looking for a romantic place to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Treat your sweetheart to one of these incredible La Jolla restaurants

Marine Room


Indulge in a truly unforgettable four-course dinner at San Diego’s “Most Romantic Restaurant.” Savor main course options of Wild Honey Kalbi Glazed Cobia, Plugra Agrume Butter Basted Lobster Tail and Center Cut Black Angus Filet Mignon. Top off the evening with our Dessert Trilogy of Gianduja Chocolate Crunch Orb, Star Anise Rumchata Pot De Crème and Pistachio Halvah Gelato. Reservations (858) 459-7222.

The Shores Restaurant

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Treat your Valentine to a romantic oceanfront four-course dinner including main dish options of Pacific Ahi Tuna Steak, Maine Diver Scallops, Maple Leaf Farm Duck and our Three Sweet Tastes for dessert. 


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Soft candlelight, romantic music, and a four-course, prix fixe menu are sure to set the mood at NINE-TEN this Valentine’s Day. The special menu will be offered from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm for $110 per person or $155 per person with wine pairings (plus tax and gratuities).  Click here to learn more and see full menu. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (858) 964-5400 or online here. (Passport Unlimited program and other discount programs are not available.)

Herringbone La Jolla

Celebrate love with a decadent 4-course prix-fixe dinner for $88 a person. Reservations (858) 459-0221. 

George’s at the Cove

Enjoy a 3-course dinner for $95 or $125 per person with a complimentary glass of bubbles and chocolate truffles. Reservations (858) 454-4244.

Enter For Our La Jolla Blue Book Giveaway!

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 2.01.34 PMWe are offering FREE $50 gift cards to @harryscoffeeshop Want to win?


1. Follow @lajollabluebook

2. Tell us your favorite category in the Blue Book.

3. Tag a La Jolla local in your comment!

Winners will be chosen legally at random with auction and raffle software.

Tuesday’s Are For One Thing – Tacos

Seriously, who doesn’t love to sink their choppers into a delicious, freshly made taco or other scrumptious Mexican food? Taco Tuesday in La Jolla is easily affordable and convenient. If you’re thinking, “Yeah, but I bet…” let me stop you in your huaraches, amigo, because though reasonably priced, you’re still getting great quality food. Let’s take a peek at some of La Jolla’s best places to grab a bite to eat.

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Puesto Mexican Food 
Puesto first appeared on the scene in lovely La Jolla (now with a great second location at The Headquarters) advertising itself as fresh Mexican street food. Puesto has lived up to this distinction by serving up fresh and ever tasty Mexican food. Puesto is the definitive must try, as their signature tacos are crafted with a layer of crispy melted cheese topped with your choice of favorite proteins and fixings on a handmade tortilla. Puesto also recently opened a sit-down full-service restaurant located right next door to the original and more casual Puesto on Wall Street. The sit-down menu offers exclusive and various items than that of the causal location along with a full-service bar. Puesto is a fantastic place for lunch or dinner or simply for enjoying your fave adult beverages and delicious appetizers with friends or family. Due to their ever fresh ingredients, Puesto tacos will set you back a mere $12 for three tacos, but hold on just a sec, friendo, if you ease by during Taco Tuesdays they are only $2 per! Taco Tuesday at Puesto, a can’t passer upper! Puesto is located at 1026 Wall St.

The Taco Stand 
The Taco Stand is a relative newcomer but nevertheless a fast growing favorite among locals. So what sets them apart from all the rest, you ask? Well, for starters they offer al pastor the authentic way — on a vertical spit. In addition, all meat is of the highest quality and they also make their own hand-made tortillas. Oh! And they offer a decent amount of authentic Mexican sides such as corn on the cob with parm cheese, mayo and chili powder. Inspired by the taco stands of Tijuana and their adventures along the Baja peninsula, The Taco Stand features Mexican flavored popsicles (oh, yum!), refreshments, and imported beer. And if you’re lucky, the churro machine might actually be cranked up and diners can get their dessert on with freshly prepared Rosarito-style churros! The Taco Stand is conveniently located at 621 Pearl St.

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Verdes, a.k.a. “The Ranch,” as locals refer to it, has been a La Jolla establishment since WW II era 1945. This sit-down restaurant serves up authentic and traditional Mexican dishes passed down through the family such as Chile Rellenos, Carnitas Michoacan, Pozole, Enchiladas, Burritos, and Tamales, as well as fresh salads, tasty tostadas, and soups. Be sure to stop by during happy hour Monday through Friday from 3 ‘til 6 p.m. and titillate your taste buds with one of their all the rage tequila margaritas. Verdes is easily located at 7404 La Jolla Blvd.

Jose’s Court Room 
If you’re looking for a casual Mexican food stop with panoramic ocean views, family friendly dining, as well as late night drinks and entertainment, then look no further than Jose’s! Established in 1956 and family owned, Jose’s has a delightfully fun beach vibe with seating either indoors or outdoors in the ideal La Jolla climate. Gnosh on a delicious burrito and chase it down with a cold brewski all the while chillaxing and taking in the scenic views of the Cove from the outdoor patio. Coming in from the beach? No worries, shirts are entirely optional. Jose’s is easy to find at 1037 Prospect St. in beautiful La Jolla.

San Diego Happenings: August 11th & 12th

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Saturday, August 11th
13th Annual Fine Art Festival 
10 to 6 p.m. (through Sunday), Liberty Station

Come celebrate 13 years of Liberty Station’s Art District at Ingram Plaza. The event will take place at The Arts District, which will have booths with local artists, beer and wine, and street food at this. Not to mention, the event is free!
San Diego Beer and Wine Fest 
3 to 6 p.m., Embarcadero Marina Park North
Get ready to cheers! Two festivals, San Diego Beer Fest and San Diego’s Uncorked Wine Festival, have teamed up for one large event. The inaugural San Diego Beer and Wine Fest will have unlimited samples from a selection of hundreds of brews and wines. A $55 general admission ticket gets you everything you need. Don’t worry, there will also be tasty bites for purchase from food trucks.
Sunday, August 12th
Cinema Under the Stars: ‘When Harry Met Sally’
8 p.m., Hotel Del Coronado 
Grab a blanket and a lawn chair, and get ready to watch a movie under the stars. Come watch “When Harry Met Sally,” starting at 8 p.m. A different film will be shown each week for the summer season through September 2. Admission is $18 at the box office, or you can reserve your seat in advance for $20.
Nature Walk at Silver Strand State Beach
1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Lifeguard Headquarters (Silver Strand)
It’s going to be a beautiful and warm weekend to get outside! Get in on this free, one-hour nature walk as you use learn about the scenery and the animals in their natural habitat. The walk begins at Lifeguard Headquarters.