Located in the Dover Shores community of Newport Beach, CA, this house had great bones when designer Ashley Clarke of sKout Interior Design first saw it — but she admits it needed some changes. The first design decision she made was a big one: “We relocated the entry from one side of the house to the other side and it was a game changer!” Though they left all of the bedrooms and the garage, tearing down the center of the house and flipping the entry from one side to the other is what the designer calls the most important move.
This reconfiguration allowed for a more inviting and defined entryway. “We carried the painted brick that we selected to use on the exterior inside to really make it feel like one area that had always been there,” she says. It was no easy undertaking — they had to get another address since the front door had originally been on a different street — but set the tone for a fun and communal space for her clients, a young family, to call home.
As you walk in, there are four slipcovered swivel chairs by Ashley’s shop, sKout. “That spot is a gathering spot for their young girls and their friends. Checking out Instagram while swiveling in a chair is a good combo,” she laughs. This opens up to the kitchen and family room. Though it’s technically a ‘great room,’ the designer worked to make sure it would feel cozy and comfortable. To achieve this, each space is defined and feels unique from the others.
The family room features a fireplace wall. “That slab is one of my all-time favs,” Ashley shares, “and the photos by local artist JP Greenwood is another one I just love!” There are wood stacks on either side, which bring some warmth and texture. The furnishings are fairly neutral, but pops of color are present in bold accessories, pillows, and art. In the dining space, a large oval table from Restoration Hardware is a great spot for the family to gather. “Oval and round dining tables are so good for large groups and conversations,” she says. Behind the table, white brick is a repeated element that brings cohesion to the space.
In the main bedroom, there’s a piece that’s perfect for the space, but was a tough decision for the designer to include. “That vintage shoe rack at the top of the stairs is just so good,” she laughs. “It came from my personal collection and was hard to part with!” The bedroom features more custom sKout furnishings — a set of chairs with matching ottomans in the seating area, as well as the bed. The rugs are vintage — a key element in Ashley’s aesthetic. She smiles, “You know we love to bring in a little vintage in just about every project!”
The remodel was done in less than a year. “Really once we settled on our plan, things came together pretty easily,” Ashley concludes. The end result is quintessential California — fun, bright, and above all, comfortable.