Based in Orange County, PRAIRIE Design & Staging is leading the charge on bringing beautiful, on-trend design to the traditionally beach-y community. Shannon Wilkins, the founder and lead designer of the firm, partners with top realtors in the area to stage their listings — but this doesn’t mean bulky leather furniture and fake branches in oversized vases. Instead, she researches trends and builds a story for each home. Who does she imagine living here? What are their interests? Their needs? Her approach results in houses that look lived in and inviting.
This home is a modern new build overlooking the Back Bay in Newport Beach. With 4K square feet, she had a lot of space to fill. We’re chatting with her to learn more:
Who do you imagine living in this home?
This home has very clean lines, with polished cement counters in the bathroom and stainless steel in the kitchen. I see a couple in their 40s with sophisticated taste. Perhaps art collectors — this home has large gallery sized white walls to fill with art.
This space is beautiful! Can you take us on a virtual tour?
The living room opens into the backyard with large fleet wood sliders, and shares a space with the dining and kitchen. We wanted to space to flow easily while still giving each area their own moment. I love the grey leather dining chairs we found from living spaces. They have the perfect balance of clean design while adding texture to the room.
The home has two extra areas — a grown up den space downstairs and a more child friendly bonus area upstairs. We played up to these spaces by adding a bar and modern furniture downstairs, and a printed colorful rug, kids table and chairs upstairs.
The master has the best view in the house. While we kept everything more muted, we really went for it with large painted canvases on the walls.
We also are loving all of the indoor/outdoor living! What are your top tips for making it look effortless?
We always decorate for entertaining. Creating an outdoor space that looks ready for a party is the way to make your outdoor living space look so inviting. Lanterns on dining tables, Turkish towels on chaise loungers, and Acapulco chairs around a table give a casualness to outdoor living that makes us want to hang outside all day with our besties.
You always have furniture and accessories that are right on the pulse of “what’s new” and trending. What are a few of your favorite spots to shop?
We love to mix it up! From pairing a tray from Target with vintage bar glasses, to throwing a Mexican blanket over a couch to give it some character and color. I find accessories all over from the flea market in LA to Amazon to Target to local shops like 503found in Newport Beach. It’s all about taking something and making it feel like a happy accident. Our coffee table books give all accessories a rich and artful vibe.