Quintessentially Newport


Local designers reflect the city’s casual sophistication in their stunning indoor and outdoor spaces. By Vicki Hogue-Davies

Newport Beach boasts an interesting and eclectic mix of architecture and home design styles within its multiple neighborhoods. Here, local interior and architectural designers highlight rooms they have designed in the city and explain what makes these particular spaces so quintessentially Newport.

Elegant outdoor living
Mark Scott, Mark Scott Associates

“I like to tell my clients, ‘You give me the ingredients, and I’ll bake the cake,’ ” says landscape architect Mark Scott of Mark Scott Associates in Newport Beach. “I listen to what they say and then interpret it.” For the Santa Barbara-style Crystal Cove summer home of his clients, a Texas-based couple, Mark was challenged with creating a backyard outdoor space with different entertaining areas that incorporated the wife’s desire for more formality and the husband’s for something more “random and natural.” The result was a terraced space that perfectly blends casual and formal aesthetics, and features several spots for entertaining and quiet relaxation. On the upper terrace is a covered pavilion, which encompasses a complete outdoor kitchen, bar and fireplace and is bounded by formal clipped hedges. A few steps down is the lowered pool terrace, which channels a tropical lagoon vibe with its palm trees, lush plantings and waterfall. Opposite the pavilion is an approximately 20-by-30-foot synthetic turf lawn “that is like a green fuzzy patio,” Mark says, adding that the couple can have functions there or just relax.

Chic Coastal-Living
Ohara Davies-Gaetano, Bliss Design

Located near The Wedge, the coastal weekend retreat of Ohara Davies-Gaetano’s clients takes its inspiration from its waterside surroundings.  Ohara, the principal designer for Bliss Design, set out to create “a chic, sophisticated beach house” that was also approachable and comfortable.

“The rooms, including the living room, are not huge, so I wanted to make sure the furniture didn’t overwhelm the space,” she explains. “I focused the palette in neutral colors to make the living room feel larger.”

She calls the living room “European-inspired meets Newport Beach” for its mix of styles and pieces. The Karen Robertson sea fan and seashell art piece over the sofa bring the ocean and its creatures inside, mirroring the vast ocean outside. The gray upholstered chairs by the fireplace, with their antique European style, would be perfectly at home in an elegant mountain chalet. In the home by The Wedge, the chairs juxtapose perfectly with the relaxed beach feel and seem to say, “Come in and enjoy the sunshine and read a book,” says Ohara, noting that they are her favorite pieces in the room.

Beach-Style Kitchen & Nook
Dawn Rosenmayr, Rosenmayr Interiors

“My client was completing the construction of his new home and wanted it to be comfortable for a couple,” says Dawn Rosenmayr, principal of Rosenmayr Interiors. “He wanted an equal balance of masculine and feminine touches, but most importantly, he wanted the home to be warm and cozy. He was single at the time of the design but is now married.”

Dawn achieved the goals of her client throughout the Newport Coast home’s interior. In the kitchen and kitchen nook she balanced the hard lines and dark colors built into the 4,000-square-foot home’s Tuscan architecture by using light and airy fabrics like linens and cottons on the furniture and window treatments. She had a down sofa custom-made for the eat-in kitchen nook.

The nook’s custom-made oval table is built of rustic walnut planks. It was designed to swivel in the small space to make it easier to walk around. The chairs, which feature upholstered seats, add another touch of softness to the space. By the kitchen island, McGuire barstools provide casual seating.

The kitchen, nook and family room were designed as one large open space. The family room features custom-made oversized sofas and other pieces covered in linens and cottons. The stone coffee table is inlaid with shells for maximum beach ambience. Large glass doors from the room open up to let the outside in.

“To me, quintessential Newport style is a blend of traditional and coastal looks,” Dawn says. “I wanted everything to be open and see-through and when the wind came in through the doors it would feel airy and breezy.”