By Catherine Laughlin | Houzz
Opulent isn’t a description one should use easily, but when it comes to Blair Box’s California dream haven in Newport Beach, it’s entirely appropriate.
When her large home was built a year ago, Box enlisted the help of Kathryn Smith of Kensington Smith Design to create a home so enchanting that it would make Box feel as if she were on an endless vacation and would entice her two grown sons to stay for long visits. To get that, Box called for “a modern farmhouse style with French overtones and vintage charms,” Smith says.
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Blair Box, a domestic engineer, and, at times, her two sons, Ryan, 25, and Gordan, 23
Location: Newport Heights neighborhood of Newport Beach, California
Size: 5,277 square feet (490 square meters), plus a garage of 619 square feet (57.5 square meters); five bedrooms, 5½ bathrooms
Designers: Kathryn Smith of Kensington Smith Design (interior designer) and William Guidero Planning and Design (architect)
An artfully created landscape by Perennial Design greets visitors as they approach the home. The exterior includes limestone, Pennsylvania bluestone and board-and-batten siding. A front porch overlooking a water feature provides an inviting spot to perch and say hello to neighbors.
A 5-foot architectural overhang contrasts nicely with the limestone facade, adding a bit of vintage quality.
Smith designed the Dutch door, whose Bleu de France color was custom-mixed on-site. The signature color, a hallmark of French history, repeats in accent pieces throughout the home, standing out against the mostly neutral palette.
Expansive openings allow for smooth transitioning from one room to the next. Under a 20-foot ceiling, the light-filled entry is breezy and airy, with numerous windows and shiplap paneling on the walls. See How You Can Make Shiplap Work.
Smith and Box thoughtfully designed the home so that no room would be considered off-limits, and they laid out the floor plan to ensure maximum interaction. With a mix of new and previously owned furniture and accessories, an organic feeling exists between the inside and outside spaces.
The first level has two bathrooms and two bedrooms that Box uses as an office and a gym.
In the great room, the dramatic ceiling rises to a peak; its Douglas fir paneling was distressed and stained on-site. Pocket doors that hide within the walls separate the great room and the patio.
Two neutral sofas anchor the room, and the blue chairs, brought over from Box’s previous residence, add color to the warm surroundings.
Sofas: Lexington Home Brands; light fixtures: Currey & Co.; coffee table: cFc; pocket doors: LaCantina Doors; wall paint: Light Pewter, Benjamin Moore
The ornately carved counter stools pick up on the warm woods and organic qualities throughout the home. The great room opens to the kitchen, which combines beauty and functionality.
The custom-made cabinets are finished in bright white. They contrast with the French-made Lacanche range, which is blue and trimmed in chrome. The countertops are Calacatta marble, and the backsplash is decorated with 3-by-6-inch Calacatta marble tiles in a beveled pattern.
Food prep and cleanup take place in the butler’s pantry, directly behind the kitchen. The space features the same custom-made cabinets, and a large farmhouse sink adds to the vintage character. Small appliances share shelf space with Box’s collection of cookbooks and ovenware. Discover the Appeal of a Farmhouse Sink.
Across from the kitchen, a custom-made, curved banquette with bolsters in a taupe fabric punctuates the breakfast area, which backs up to the pool area. A tiger-print rug adds character in front of a built-in that houses a flat-screen TV.
The dining area is a few feet from the breakfast area. Gray cabinetry is recessed into the wall, and art with a beach scene hangs on the stone wall. Black French doors further enhance the inside-outside atmosphere by connecting the area to the outdoor covered patio.
Dining table: Bassman Blaine; side chairs: Orient Express Furniture; artwork: Lyman Drake Antiques
The outdoor covered patio is a favorite spot for Box to relax, read or watch TV. Surrounding the gas fireplace is the same limestone that’s on the front of the home. White tongue-and-groove paneling finishes the ceiling.
Next to the butler’s pantry, a mudroom corrals boots, hats, backpacks and yard supplies. The floor is custom-made, custom-colored cement tiles.
Reclaimed wood from the original Hollywood Bowl, an amphitheater in Los Angeles, was used to make the mirror hanging above the white vanity in the guest bathroom. Limestone hexagons in a brushed finish cover the floor. The shower walls are 12-by-24-inch limestone tiles. “This was one of my favorite rooms to design,” Smith says.
Fir rafters soar above the second-level bonus room, a large loft-like space, which is a hangout room for visiting children and another spot for watching TV.
Box’s sons are both in college, but when they visit, each has his own room. Smith balanced the French-themed ambience in one son’s room with distressed furniture.
Soft grays, browns and whites abound in the soothing master bedroom, where an imposing chandelier creates a focal point. Motorized shades allow just the right amount of morning sun to filter in.
Bed: Restoration Hardware; light fixture: Currey & Co.; shades: Solar Shading Systems
The showstopper in the luxurious master bath is the cast-iron French bateau tub in an antique burnished finish. The gorgeous room has a blue cabinet for storing towels and toiletries. The floor is Bianco Canal Grande marble combined with an AlysEdwards mosaic inlay.
Tub: Whitby, Penhaglion; floor: Ollin Stone
The layout allowed for an oversize and curbless shower, which is finished in marble and features spa-like shower heads. Another AlysEdwards mosaic decorates the shower floor.
The extravagant dressing room has pullout trays, glass-covered shelving, plenty of hanging space and deep drawers. Besides the vast organizational system, the space also includes a flat-screen TV, beverage refrigerator, coffee maker and cozy chair. The chandelier is a sentimental piece that the homeowner owned. “[She] and I had so much fun dreaming up and creating this special master bedroom closet,” Smith says. Bring Style to Your Kitchen Countertops.
Island: Lawson Millworks; countertops: Luna Marble, Granite and Tile; closet system with LED lighting: Closetology
Out back, an ipe wood deck wraps around a pool and a hot tub.
Moss helps soften the seams along the ipe wood and the concrete.
Contractor: Chris McClary of C.P. McClary Custom Construction
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