Many 13-year-old girls dream about becoming models, but Jennifer Clark lived it. She and her identical twin sister were in WrigleyÂ’s famous Doublemint ad campaign in the 1980s. While she probably didnÂ’t realize it then, the experience opened her eyes to the concept of realizing oneÂ’s potential. ItÂ’s a philosophy that serves her well as the founder of the interior design firm Shop Maudlin in La Jolla and as the resident of a beach house in that same neighborhood.
About a decade after the commercial, Clark went house hunting with her husband. At the time, his career as a pro beach volleyball player dictated being near the water. Regardless, Â“We knew we liked it and hoped to live there one day,Â” Clark says of the beach. When they discovered a four-bedroom, three-bath ocean view house in La Jolla, Clark was convinced it was the one. As a designer, she was honing her skills in seeing the potential in everything from a single room to an empty home, and this house had great potential. Only one other home adjoined theirs at the high end of the street, which meant that Â“regardless of how built-up the neighborhood becomes, it will never ruin our view.Â”
The harshness of the saltwater environment takes its toll on a faÃ§ade, but Clark wouldnÂ’t have it any other way. Â“ItÂ’s imperfect, as are a lot of my furnishings, but it creates a warmth,Â” she says, adding that it has Â“character.Â” Clark, her husband, and their three boys, three cats, and three dogs live among similarly worn, funky items. ThereÂ’s a carousel rocking horse from Argentina, antique telephones, French coffee grinders, carved Black Forest horns and, of course, shells from the local beach. Â“ItÂ’s warm and homey without beingÂ…too sweet,Â” Clark says. –By Diane M. Byrne