David Justice's Wife, Rebecca Villalobos On Her Furniture Line
David and Rebecca Justice
Ed Brown Photography
Above: David: Robert Graham shirt from Mister B. TBM pants and Borsalino hat from Mister B. Rebecca: Escada jumpsuit from Maggie B and Emilio Pucci scarf from Maggie B. Jewelry and sunglasses from StyleStudioSD.com. Decor: Outdoor hand-forged iron double chaise lounge with sunbrella fabric cushions.]
If surroundings are a reflection of self, then the Villa de Justicia speaks volumes about its designer. Every adornment in the Poway estate is fraught with meaning, unapologetically lush and remarkably beautiful—a true likeness of the woman who inspired every inch.
And when it comes to Rebecca Justice, it’s hard not to be inspired. The wife of famed Major League Baseball player David Justice, Rebecca is an accomplished model, mother and furniture designer, who accepts her fame with poise and grace.
“When you pay attention to detail, that’s what carries you through with anything,” the Poway native said. “You have to have that type of mindset.”
No detail has been spared in Justice’s home, which became the springboard for her blossoming career as a high-end furniture designer. Each heirloom piece showcased in the home was lovingly and painstakingly designed by Justice.
[Decor Shown Above: Hand-carved dining table with egg and dart edge, accented with hand-carved Roman-replica pedestals. Gothic dining chairs with hand-forged iron medallions, accented with fleur de lis finials.]
“I would say that I discovered that, really, your dream home is you, and that’s where your family resides,” she said. “Every wall, every art piece, every console is me.” And an appreciation of each piece requires an understanding of Rebecca Justice—the designer, model and mother.
Justice, the Designer
In 2007, Rebecca Justice had just finished building her dream home. Unlike other professional athletes, the Justices hadn’t built the perfect home in each city David Justice had played. Instead, they saved all their money to build the ultimate home in San Diego, where they chose to live after David retired.
[Shown Above: Rebecca Justice: Olvis top and pants from Maggie B. Necklace and earrings from Artisans Jewelry. Decor: Hand-carved master bed with open carved medallion on headboard. Accented with cherub pillars.]
But the 2007 wildfires razed all of the Justices’ hard work.
“Everything was burnt to the ground,” Rebecca Justice recalled. “We lost everything, and based on that, I was extremely depressed.”
It was from the ground that Justice began to rebuild her dream home. And while the fires were a painful loss, Justice was given the unique opportunity to start over from scratch, scrapping the inconvenience of relying on other interior designers.
“I honestly feel like I really never got what I wanted,” Justice said. “I had to work with certain vendors, and then my next-door neighbor would have the same thing. And I was tired of paying an hourly fee. I felt like I was paying attorneys.”
On the recommendation of a friend, Rebecca Justice was put in touch with Marie Cunning an internationally renowned designer and founder of Andrew Morgan Furniture, a San Diego factory famous for its hand-made wares. Justice gave Cunning some furniture design sketches, which Cunning produced to exact specifications.
[Shown Above: Rebecca: Jiovani dress from Mia Bella, shoes from Steve Madden. Ring, necklace and earrings available at StyleStudioSD.com. Marie: Jiovani dress from Mia Bella. Jewelry from StyleStudioSD.com.]
“It really took me out of my depression and it became an exciting project,” Justice recalled. “That’s really where it came from—out of necessity. It took me out of depression because it turned out the way I dreamed it would turn out.”
People’s appreciation for Justice’s “flair and unique style”—marked by plush fabrics, ornate medallions and Swarovski crystals—eventually lead to the Villa de Justicia Furniture Collection. It involved a partnership with Cunning, without whom “not one piece would be possible,” Justice said.
The Andrew Morgan Collection produces Justice’s custom-made, one-of-a-kind furniture, among many other styles.
“As soon as we met, I knew we were going to be friends, and from that, it has developed into a great friendship as well as a business relationship,” recalled Cunning, who has been designing and manufacturing furniture in San Diego for 30 years.
[Shown Above: Rebecca: Jiovani dress from Mia Bella. Bracelets and earrings from StyleStudioSD.com. Decor: Hand-carved bench.]
“The Rebecca Justice Collection is like no other in the industry,” Cunning continued. “You would need to go to the old castles of Europe to find something similar.”
Indeed, in developing her ornate pieces, Justice studied Spanish décor, European chateaus and cathedrals, and Tuscan villas. Her signature style is marked by fleurs-de-lis, crosses and crowns.
“It’s a lot of royal inspiration,” Justice said. “There is a Spanish-Mexican flair in my attraction toward furniture. I love things that look distressed and old-world, especially growing up with a lot of that religious, spiritual art all around.”
One of Justice’s favorite pieces is her entryway piece, a circular, hand-carved sofa with an angel at the center. Rosaries that were blessed by the Vatican hang from the angel’s hand.
“It just makes me happy every time I see it,” Justice said. “Religion inspires me. When you grow up like that, it’s a culture behind you. That’s what you know, and that’s that.”
Justice, the Model
Justice’s penchant for the bespoke and distinctive stems from her background in fashion and modeling. A graduate of Long Beach State University with a degree in design and fashion merchandising, Justice worked as a professional model for several years. She even founded Exotic Spices, a professionally collaborated calendar featuring ethnic women.
“It was to show the ethnicity and the beauty within that,” Justice recalled. “It gained a lot of hype.”
When marriage and pregnancy grounded her modeling career, Justice didn’t look back.
[Shown Above: Rebecca: Jovani dress from Mia Bella. Bracelets and earrings from StyleStudioSD.com. Decor: Hand-carved chair replica of Louis XVI, accented with 24-karat gold leaf.]
“I don’t miss the industry, and I don’t miss the lifestyle,” she confessed. “But I do miss the art of it all. I actually enjoy the fashions and creativity and artistry that’s involved in modeling. I enjoy the transformation.”
Justice has channeled her love for creativity and artistry into her furniture collection, which she admitted she is very excited about.
“It’s for a reason. I don’t do things just to do things anymore,” she said. “Fame is not our priority, but we like to promote something that we love, like my furniture line… I want to share this with people.”
Justice, the Mother
While she has traveled the world, Justice—a self-described “home-girl San Diego”—was thrilled to settle down with her family in her hometown. And the San Diego lifestyle wasn’t a hard sell for her Ohio-born husband.
“Once you’ve spent a little bit of time here, you get it… and you do just have such a great appreciation for San Diego as a whole,” she said. “You have privacy here, and people are really great. If we step out of this area, it’s a different world for us. Here, we’re good.”
And despite her busy life and promising career, Justice said her main focus remains her three children, ages 12, 10 and 8.
“Nothing comes between me and my children,” she said. “It’s not about balance. It’s about taking care of them first, and everything else just falling behind that.”
Of course, Justice doesn’t do this alone.
“I’m blessed because my husband is retired, so we just live our lives,” she said. “We have our projects and the charities that we are involved in. My parents live with us, and my husband is around—and he’s a hands-on father. I have a lot of partnership.”
In the future, Justice said she plans to focus on expanding her collection, especially her outdoor patio furniture, and delving more into her accessory line. She’s also considering fashion apparel. However, her focus remains on her family—both now and in the future. “I don’t just have my dream home,” she said. “I have my grandchildren’s playground. I built this for the future.”
Related Article: Rebecca Justice Jewelery Line Inspired after Witch Creek Fires