Sneak Peek of the Newport Harbor Home and Garden Tour


On Thursday, May 12 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., the Newport Harbor Educational Foundation will be holding its 14th Annual Home and Garden Tour. Co-chaired by Karen Taylor and Chris Wilkinson are this year’s co-chairs, whose children graduated from Newport Harbor. They have been working with countless volunteers to put together a very memorable day.


“The Newport Harbor Home Tour has become an event the entire community looks forward to each spring,” Taylor said. “We are very pleased to be able to help raise funds for public education.”

Attendees are invited to tour seven spectacular homes and beautifully appointed gardens in the Newport-Mesa area, in any order they choose from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. From beachy-casual to ultra modern, each home offers a unique look into the many different lifestyles of Southern California. It is a great day spent getting an up-close look at the wide array of options in trends and home design currently available.


I had the opportunity to tour two of the homes located in Newport Heights, so let’s take a sneak peek on what you can look forward to experiencing.


A Beachy Farmhouse Takes a Fresh Twist on the Traditional

The owners took a two-bedroom bungalow, tore it down and starting building their dream home from the ground up in September 2008; it was in move-in condition exactly one year later.The lady of the house is an interior designer by trade, so she created the interior space to truly reflect the personalities of she and her husband, who is an avid surfer and local boy … with an updated Eastern Seaboard feel. Their goal throughout the building process was to have a touch of old-school character, clean simple lines and “embrace the past, while dipping into the future.” She describes the wall color as “griege” … a neutral putty color (grey and beige) that works as the perfect palette for their seaside-inspired accessories. Because her favorite color is navy … check out this wall color in the dining room – it works beautifully against the white high gloss ceiling and beams, molding and wainscoting. The welcoming Dutch front door measures four feet wide with a large single window pane. The house is bathed in natural light with myriad French doors and overused windows. In addition, the rooms take advantage of the views – bringing the outdoors in.


My favorite feature was the hardwood flooring that was reclaimed from a pre-1900 Iowa barn and an early 1900 Wisconsin factory floor. The couple worked with the Vintage Wood Flooring Company in Costa Mesa, who found the century-old lumber structures, salvaged the wood, treated the planks and prepared them to be laid down throughout the home. Look for the salvaged wood beams, too. The house measures approx. 4,000 square feet and has four bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths.

The two things she opted for were the push button light switches and vintage ventilation covers. His office with a fireplace is in the front of the home, replacing a traditional living room, with double French doors leading out to the front yard, and an Almond Surfboard hanging behind his desk. The charming powder room is board and batten; and speaking of bathrooms, notice the use of white subway tile and limestone throughout. The dining room has a rectangular zinc-topped table with a wooden base (from Gardenology in Newport), creating a nice mix of textures. The breakfast nook is in the round with sets of beautiful windows, one above the other, making it the perfect place to start the day.


The spacious kitchen has green Caesarstone counters which are not only beautiful, but durable; a spacious marble central island; glass front cabinets; white subway tile backsplash; a Wolf Range with a hood that was mounted in front of the large bay window; and a SubZero. The kitchen opens to the great room with a reclaimed brick fireplace. Two custom-made wooden destination subway signs adorn one wall; each reflects the places the couple hails from (his has Newport affiliations; hers reflects Northern California). It’s a design tip worth noting to personalize your own spaces. Walk through the French doors to the side garden/patio – a place for quiet repose. Downstairs is a charming guest room, allowing for the ultimate in privacy, then check out the star pendants in the gallery.


Upstairs is the master bedroom with double French doors, an oversized distressed wooden bureau and zinc-topped end tables. The other rooms include their one-year-old daughter’s room with lots of pink touches, another guest bedroom decorated in yellow and grey (with a bath) and the comfortable media/play room. The closets in two of the bedrooms were designed after the original closets in the previous home, with upper closet cabinets, lower drawers and large closet doors that open out. It reminded her of her grandmother’s home, and is also a great way to maximize space.

The landscaped architecture and installation was completed by Sharon Blaine of Sharon’s Garden.


A Mediterranean French Chateau Above the Harbor

Reclaimed France oak flooring, Venetian plaster walls, decorative arches, Swarvorski crystal chandeliers, travertine flooring, a downstairs media/second family room and a rooftop deck to take in the exquisite harbor, ocean and Catalina Island views welcome you to this 4,500-square-foot five bedroom, four bath family home with attention to every detail. Special amenities include an elevator and wine cellar housing 3,000 bottles of their favorite vintages and hand-painted floors in the baths. As you enter the home, notice the custom arched hand-forged iron door and the Old World hand-hewn 100-year-old beamed ceilings, which you’ll see throughout.


On the main level there is family-sized dining room with an Old World iron mirrored ceiling and wine storage – perfect for entertaining; a family room that adjoins the dining room and kitchen, with a limestone fireplace and custom bi-fold disappearing glass wall; and a powder room with an exquisite vessel sink and hand-painted European encaustic tile. The spacious master bedroom with ocean and city lights views, a walk-out private loggia and fireplace has bedding in cream. mauve and Robin’s egg blue. The master spa bath with his and her sink and a sit-down vanity has a spacious sit-in shower, Rohl rain head, shower head and body spray fixtures in polished nickel; hand-painted tile and mirror surround; seashell limestone sink counters; and concrete flooring with a hand-stamped print.


The kitchen suite, a gourmet’s delight, has a breakfast nook; dramatic six-foot center island with sink and storage; light oak cabinetry with a rain glass fronted double cabinet; hand hewn beams; marble, granite and antique limestone counters; Viking professional appliances including a six-burner range (total of three ovens), warming drawer and double dishwasher; walk-in pantry; pot filler above the range with multi-colored tile backsplash; and a custom bi-fold disappearing glass wall. As you walk down the hallway gallery, look up to view the whimsical pendant light fixtures.


As you ascend to the upper level, notice the reclaimed oak and antique marble stairs. The office has a full bath. Bedroom five with its ensuite bath has vaulted ceilings, a walk-in closet with custom built-ins and custom sliding glass doors leading out to the rooftop deck that’s pre-wired for an entertainment system, has a barbecue and provides endless panoramic views.


The lower level game room features a large wet bar with refrigerated wine storage, a custom bi-fold disappearing glass wall, marble flooring and limestone fireplace.


The exterior with professional landscaping features a state-of-the-art security system.


An Overview of the Other Five Homes on the Tour

Located in Dover Shores, this home was originally built for a member of the Knott family. This contemporary has been remodeled, with a fabulous old/new feel overlooking the Back Bay. Many original features have been used, restored and enhanced.


Another Dover Shores new contemporary, it is situated on a large lot, with a guest house, cabana and pool. This great entertaining home with a professional chef’s kitchen, also features a dining room with a glass wall exposing a wine cellar.


A gem on a tree-lined street in Costa Mesa, this beautifully remodeled home that was stuck in the ’80s. European, beach farm house with a large double yard that includes a pool, vegetable garden and an old shed that functions as a home office.


The other two homes are located in picturesque Bayshores – one is an “enhanced” original with all the charm of old Bayshores, with beautiful gardens and an outdoor living space in both the front- and backyards. The other is a new structure, a family home that’s kid friendly, just steps from the beach. It is filled will antiques from the owners’ childhood home.


In addition to touring the homes, Molly Wood Garden Design will host an all-day Open House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A delicious luncheon, courtesy of StoneFire Grill, will be served bayside at the Newport Harbor Theatre Arts Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A specialty boutique including more than 20 local vendors and a fabulous opportunity drawing will be available at the lunch venue as well from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Concluding the day will be a champagne reception hosted by Barclay Butera Interiors in Westcliff Court from 2 to 5 p.m.


Tickets, which include lunch, are available for $65 and can be purchased at Feathers and Gatehouse on 17th Street in the Costa Mesa Promenade, Barclay Butera Interiors on Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach and Marmi in Corona del Mar Plaza. For more information, visit or call 949.642.6255.


The day is presented by SouthCoastCollection and StoneFire Grill. The proceeds will benefit the 2,400-member student body at Newport Harbor High School. For more information, visit www.Newport, or call 949.642.6255.

By Lana Johnson