When Southern California natives Taylor and Craig Borsari moved to Las Vegas for his work a few years ago, they agreed to maintain their Orange County ties by giving their two children the same Newport Beach summers they themselves had enjoyed when growing up. After searching the popular peninsula—famed for frothy surf and wide expanses of white sand—for just the right beach house, the high-school sweethearts settled on the lesser-known but family-friendly enclave of Bayshores.
After purchasing a newly built home in the picket-fence and playground-filled bayside neighborhood, Taylor set about giving the interiors some soul. “It was a blank vanilla box left on the market for a long time,” she says. “It had no heart. We scrapped everything, integrated a back balcony off of the alley into a great playroom, gutted all the generic white ceramic tile floors, and added reclaimed oak floors and splashes of color to give it life.”
Using her fine art background (Taylor majored in studio arts at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut), the designer let the palette evolve rather than overplan it. “I knew I wanted a crisp white envelope with vintage wood floors to give the house some weight and integrity,” Taylor says.
She started by choosing a sea-glass-hued Viking range for its heavy weight and light color. “That sea-glass shade was really the whole jumping-off point,” she remembers.
Her bold choice of bright pink-and-burgundy curtains for all of the floor-to-ceiling windows in the open living area upped the ante from pale jade and set a devil-may-care tone for the house. The rest of the predominantly neutral colors and texture choices evoke the wet sand of Newport beaches. Shimmery grays flash in the silver flecks of the kitchen backsplash tiles, in the almost-black soapstone countertops, and in the adjacent dining table’s industrial zinc top. “I like colors and textures with an elemental quality,” observes Taylor, who uses raw metals throughout the house, along with elegant grays for most of the main upholstered pieces.
The effect of her choices is that of a sophisticated and hardworking but fun-loving beach house—with a nod toward the sand that surely enters the family’s summer place on bare feet.
Above: A quiet palette greets guests. Sconces from Wisteria play off the stone top of a sofa table from Noir Furniture.
Photography: Karyn Millet