A note from our editors: 

It’s time for one of our favorite traditions! Each year, we spend the holidays reflecting on the stories and articles you loved most. It’s the “Best of Rue” and this is one of 2020’s top stories. Enjoy!

Previously published on November 4, 2020:

Professional baseball player Anthony Rendon helped lead the Washington Nationals to a 2019 World Series Championship, but soon after signed a record contract with the Los Angeles Angels, bringing he and his family to the West Coast. Rendon and his wife, Amanda (who was expecting at the time) needed an interior designer to help get their family resettled in the Orange County area quickly.

Enter Leigh Lincoln & Aly Morford of Pure Salt Interiors! The home was relatively new, with incredible views of the Newport coastline and the adjoining canyon. The design duo brought their signature aesthetic of clean, coastal, functional and family-friendly design to the ocean view home and the results are not only beautiful, but functional for a family of four with two young children. We sat down with the pair (virtually!) to learn more:

Tell us a bit about this home. How did the location influence the design?
This house was built overlooking the Newport Coast. The views are incredible and there are multiple opportunities for outdoor living surrounding the home. All of this solidified our priority to design for indoor/outdoor living—lots of windows and greenery, everything to make the natural light soak through the home. 

We’d love to know more about your clients! What were their goals when hiring Pure Salt?
This is home to Anthony Rendon, third baseman for the LA Angels, and his young family. The Rendons had recently moved to the area, and wanted someone to inject a lot of personality to their home and give it a bit of California flair. They loved our contemporary coastal aesthetic, and we were eager to marry our designs with their personal tastes. It was an incredibly exciting project to be part of because we’re Orange County natives and huge Angels fans. Anthony’s wife, Amanda, who was such a pleasure to work with, was expecting during the design process, so it was especially fun to bring their vision to life for their new family home.

We love that! So, as you created the design plan, what were the first things that needed to be changed? 
Since this house was a fairly new build, we were at a great starting point to begin designing. A few changes we made were to the great room. To make this large space feel more homey we added some architectural details like arches and stucco to warm up the room with texture and interest.  

Could you take us on a virtual tour through the home? We’d love to hear about a few of the main design decisions.
While every room is specifically designed to suit its functions, we wanted the whole home to feel relaxed and cozy. We played up neutrals throughout the home to bring warmth and create a sense of casual sophistication, but added pops of color in subtle places as a nod to the client’s love for jewel tones. 

We were sure to dedicate a place for every need, so that when the family is all home together they do not feel the need to leave—they can gather and work and play throughout the home. We converted an office space into a playroom for the kids so that everyone could be together on the main floor, and brought a nook into the master bedroom to act as a space where the adults can get some work done. 

But because the goal of this design was to create a seamless transition between the outdoors and the interior, we added lots of greenery to every room. Every window you look out of is filled with foliage! Framing nature and cozying the exterior living spaces with soft furniture and plenty of creature comforts transform the home into a getaway destination no matter the room. And once you’re out enjoying the yard in one of a few gathering areas, you’ll never want to leave that view.  

As a professional athlete, Anthony is on the road a lot. What are some of the ways you made this home a sanctuary for the family?
We wanted to be sure that coming home was more than being in a place where you store all your stuff. Focusing on gathering areas and relaxed living allowed us to create a home where this family can feel at ease and enjoy one another. We created many spaces to relax and unwind both indoor and outdoor including outdoor lounges, poolside retreats, a private office, a living room in the master suite and plenty of places to unwind.

Choosing beautiful furnishings that are also durable and functional for a young family is a high priority in our design process. The result is a home that will grow with them and house all of the memories they will build in the years to come. 

2020 has been full of surprises. What were some of the biggest challenges with this project?
COVID has been the bane in all of our existences this year and this project was no exception. There were a few instances of product delays, sometimes to the point that a redesign was in order. Through it all, we leaned in to our tendency to over-communicate with clients and project partners to manage expectations and troubleshoot all that comes when things are out of your control. 

What do you love most about the finished home?
Such a tough question! There is much to love about this home, but we feel the harmony between the build and the design is unmatched; utilizing all the possibilities this property offers and creating new ways for this family to live in their home is the definition of satisfaction. And doing it all the Pure Salt way, with natural materials and neutral tones, compliments the inside to the outside so highly. 

We know there are likely a lot of items from your own Shoppe, as well as other local favorites. Which pieces do you love most?
If we could link everything we would! There is so much to love in this home. A few of our faves and must-haves are our new one-of-a-kind ottomans, our Quinn Chandelier, our Leona Outdoor Chaise, and our Zulu Daybed. These selections always transform a space because they are such eye-catching statement pieces—we swear by them! Another statement piece is our Hamali Block Coffee Tables. We grouped four together in the outdoor seating area and now we can’t stop drooling over that swath of reclaimed teak. 

We also leaned in to our go-to design tricks and tips in styling this home, like using double-sided pillows (like the Costa) to refresh living and bedrooms through any season. And when it comes down to the decor, styling can be so personal, but we love adding multipurpose pieces like our Harmony cutting boards (that act as both a workstation and a design element), or our Hermosa and Montauk throws, which add color and texture to setting arrangements, and are so soft they are perfect for snuggling up whether you’re lounging inside or outside. 

Additionally, we have some amazing vendors we partner with on a regular basis whose products and services we can’t live without that we want to highlight. One, being Clé Tile, whose Fired Opal Zellige subway tile transformed the master bath into a rich and vibrant spa, and another being Parachute, whose linen sets we swear by to make any bed feel and look luxurious and dreamy. 

Snag more design details (including a look at the gorgeous spa-like bathroom) in the slideshow.