The Woman Behind the Look of the Hotel Del's Shops

For over 20 years Jaci Springfield has created interior spaces for the retail shops at Coronado’s most historic, most iconic building -- the Hotel del Coronado.  She loves working there. “You get to create a complete environment in a tiny space,” she said.

This involves more shelving and lighting. In can also involve moving walls, redesigning the storefront, the cabinetry along with mechanical, electrical and plumbing fixes. All of this involves some unique challenges.

Because everything is so old, she also faces tremendous challenges. “You open a wall and discover a structural beam running through it or a gigantic concrete retaining wall that no one knew was there.” 

She’s come across vintage pipes, lighting fixtures, even trash. “I keep expecting to find Jimmy Hoffa,” the Alexandria, Virginia native joked.

Because retail is often in flux, Springfield has designed some shops more than once.
When the Hotel del took over Geppetto’s and changed its name to the Blue Octopus. A nautical theme was clearly called for, so Springfield designed it to look like an underwater cave.” 

“It can be very painful to watch something be demolished that you’ve put so much care into designing,” she said. “It like killing one of your children.”

Above:  Jaci Springfield (Photo by Roberto Zeballos)

The Blue Octopus (photo by Roberto Zeballos)

Still working at the del is special for her. “It’s fun to work there, to be connected with the Hotel del, which is a world class organization,” she said. 

She also treasures her relationship with Valerie Willis, Director of Retail Operations at the Hotel del, who collaborates closely with Springfield on all shops. It is both say very much a team effort, both say. 

“I develop a concept for a new shop and have some idea of how I want it to look,” said Willis. “I do sketches, design a logo, develop the product mix and suggest colors and layout.” 

Jaci takes it from there, translating Willis’ ideas into a “workable space, planning and adding her creative genius,” Willis added.

Sea Bath and Body (Photo by Roberto Zeballos)

The Hotel del is not Springfield’s only client. She has designed for other business and organizations, including the San Diego Zoo. She designed the interiors for its veterinary hospital. Most recently she designed the space for Zilaro Cellars Tasting Room in Coronado. 

For many years Springfield only did retail. Then her retail customers asked her to design their homes. Overtime she has branched out into doing home designs, specializing in kitchens and bathrooms. 

Springfield has won a number of national and international design awards. She studied environmental design and San Diego State University. Early in her career she worked for two of San Diego’s biggest architectural firms – BSH&A (now Carrier Johnson) and Salerno Livingston. 

Springfield describes both her retail and residential style as a blend of contemporary and traditional. “I like the clean lines and simplicity of contemporary, yet I like the warmth of traditional.” 

A sensibility that she thinks goes with Coronado’s Cape Cod, turn of the century architecture. It is certainly one the Hotel del appreciates. Jaci’s creative talents, her flexibility and enthusiasm make it a pleasure to work with her,” Willis said.

Spreckels (Photo by Roberto Zeballos)

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Tags: business, people

Comment by Coronado Bliss Salon - AVEDA on January 24, 2014 at 4:27am
I Love The Shops at The Del!
Comment by Elizabeth Peterson on January 27, 2014 at 10:10pm

I worked at the shop now housing the spa shop in the picture.  It was the Sweater Store back when I was there in the nineties to 2000.  Howard and Pearl owned it and were a pleasure...I miss it to this day.

Comment by Jaci Springfield on January 28, 2014 at 5:32pm

Thanks for the great write up! It really has been fun working at the Del for so long.

Comment by Julie Overstreet on January 29, 2014 at 4:45pm

Beautiful work! :)

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