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Beach Home with a Lovely Seaside Palette
Taylor Borsari chooses not-so-obvious colors from the seaside for her family’s beach house
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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
The lofty living area looks luxe but is actually both livable and indestructible. Borsari used weatherproof outdoor fabrics—including the taupe from Silver State Textiles on the custom chesterfield sofa and the cream-on-cream pattern from Mokum Textiles on the swivel chairs that can face either the TV or the kitchen with an easy twirl.
The sun eases through a shade made from Galbraith & Paul’s “Heat Wave” fabric, adding a note of exotica to the kitchen. The sculptural stools from Wisteria were chosen for their sturdy and lightweight qualities.
The Viking range inspired the subtle seaside palette that plays off Taylor’s favorite detail in the house—the slightly iridescent backsplash tile from Walker Zanger. “It’s like a little dash of jewelry when the sun hits it just right,” she notes.
Tough and sophisticated Eames chairs from Modernica surround a zinc-topped table from Noir Furniture for an industrial look that keeps company with a cabinet Taylor describes as “fancy and fluffy.” New and vintage items—bowls are from West Elm, polka-dot glasses are vintage—create a chic table setting.
Taylor created a colorful backdrop that encourages creativity in the pewter-painted playroom. Beanbag chairs from PBteen and a “Hi Ho” rocking horse from Design Within Reach offer kid-friendly seating options.
Colorful pages from Leanne Shapton’s The Native Trees of Canada were uniformly framed with the help of Art Services Melrose. The display creates a playful environment when paired with a mix of patterned pillows and bronze-hued draperies from Lee Jofa. The sectional sofa is from Room & Board.
Red-rimmed wire baskets create festive storage options for toys.
The metal bed from Room & Board contrasts with the delicate shell-encrusted bedside chest from Currey & Company. The seaside is referenced with subtle touches—the chest, the wallcovering by Phillip Jeffries, and bamboo blinds by Horizon Shades—without resorting to beach kitsch. Taylor continues the subtly patterned palette with an ikat sofa from West Elm and a collection of geometric pillows from Anthropologie and West Elm.
A custom vanity painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Misted Green” is topped with a shellwork mirror from Made Goods.
Pairing reclaimed saal wood on the West Elm dresser with painted poplar on the Land of Nod bunk bed works with a little help from Taylor’s cohesive palette. Crafted with woven strands of abaca, the Made Goods mirror adds a textural element to the space.
The Sidecar, price available upon request from Moore & Giles [1-800-737-0169]
This beautifully crafted bar cart, The Sidecar by Moore and Giles, is a great way to store liquor, glassware, bar tools, and anything else needed to complete your own miniature bar. The cart, made of Virginia black walnut, birch, leather, aluminum, and brass, is wheeled to make sure the party can travel with you. Perfect for drink-lovers without the space for a full bar.