Charlie’s Angel

By Andrea Siedsma
Photos by Brevin Blach

In the 1920s, celluloid funny man Charlie Chaplin fell in love with the seaside town of Encinitas-so much so that he bought a two-story neoclassical bluff-top home in Leucadia (word is Chaplin may have purchased the house for his mentally ill mother or pregnant teen bride).

The home’s current resident, interior designer Melissa Anderson, can only imagine the extravagant parties the “Little Tramp” threw, which, local rumor has it, attracted celebs including Del Mar horse racing fixture, Bing Crosby.

Romantic notions of Chaplin shuffling about the home in his trademark baggy pants, derby hat and oversized shoes led to a redesign, in which Anderson added period-appropriate elements such as wood-paneled walls, beech wood floors and white marble countertops.

Anderson’s work on the home served as inspiration for Bixby & Ball, a home accessories shop she opened with friend Betsy Bracken late last year. The 1,300-square-foot beach boutique is housed in a 1920s-era cottage in Solana Beach’s trendy Cedros Design District.

“It was the first house on Cedros, and we’ve had customers come in and tell us how they remember playing in the house as kids,” Anderson says. “It’s those kinds of stories that breathe life into a home, or in our case, a store.”

Bixby & Ball is steeped in family tradition for both women. Anderson, whose family on her mother’s side owns Bixby Land Co., has ancestors who ventured west during the gold rush of the late 1800s. Bracken’s great grandfather was one of the Ball brothers, who launched Ball jars, the well-known line of glass canning jars.

“We want to offer products that are timeless and classic and have that sense of history,” says Bracken. “It’s embodied in this space.”
Bixby & Ball, 214 S. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach,

Add vintage or coastal flair to your apartment or home with:

Linnea’s Lights, a line of hand-poured soy candles made by a mother and daughter team in Indiana. Price: $29