Corona Del Mar-velous Home

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Corona Del Mar-velous Home

Photography by John Ellis

Adhering to Leonardo Da Vinci’s principle that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” Aria Design crafts a Corona Del Mar classic.

When designing a home, Arianna Noppenberger and her team at Laguna Beach-based Aria Design subscribe to Leonardo Da Vinci’s conviction that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Arianna’s recent interior design of the stunning and timelessly elegant residence in Corona Del Mar, California well-illustrates her adherence to the edict.

“The homes I design are known for their restrained simplicity and sophistication but at the same time they are the essence of easy living—warm, tactile and timeless,” Arianna says. “It’s about the connection of indoor and outdoor spaces taking advantage of the benign climate, sunlight and coastal view. The emphasis is on facilitating year-round outdoor living.”

The 3600 square foot new construction, single level home was designed for (and with) the homeowner for optimal entertaining and to comfortably accommodate visiting friends and family. Arianna, Italian born and raised, moved to Laguna Beach in 1992 and founded her firm in 2002. She achieved this client-requested goal by visually connecting the interior space to the outdoors. The great room’s open floor plan contains no boundaries between dining, kitchen, interior courtyard and the backyard. Two extensive glass walls slide to fully open and connect this room to the outdoors. The stone hearth turns vertically to form a display niche and extends to the backyard to become an art pedestal.

The brushed and unfilled titanium travertine that clads the fireplace wall also extends to the outdoors. A cedar wood ceiling continues from the inside through the clearstory windows on the cantilevered roof eaves. The stone floor material is also used throughout and unifies the interior and exterior spaces. The large sitting arrangement invites informal gathering; guests can sit on sectionals, large ottomans, the back of the sofa, or comfortable arm chairs. And the entire color palette throughout is kept to a minimum, with just a splash of blue on the canvas above the dining area.

Noppenberger, a graduate of Milan’s Istituto Europeo di Design (IED), is more than an interior specialist; she is a spatial designer, analyzing room size and flow, and reconfiguring space by moving or removing internal walls and openings if needed. She and her team at Aria Design (which has defined itself through a series of high profile commercial and residential projects along the Southern California coastline, such as their stunning, San Diego Bayfront Coronado Cays home) are intricately involved in the design process, working closely with both the architect and the contractor to make sure that specified details are executed with proper workmanship.


“We like to get involved early on in the design process, working with the architect to reshape the interior space based on our client’s needs,” Arianna says. “We believe that the foundation of a great interior space, starts with a well-designed footprint that not only accounts for client program, but also provides a well-defined circulation pattern as well as seamless transitions between each space. Once we come up with a great layout, the next step is to design all the interior architectural elements like fireplaces, staircases, skylights, custom millwork etc. We often design the built in lighting to enhance our work.  We select all the materials and specify furniture and fixtures to accentuate the design. Many times we like to use unique and innovative elements and/or materials to elevate our design.”

At this home, that particularly unique material is found in the powder room, where a large skylight stretches wall to wall, grazing the large, carved stone slabs with natural light.


Arianna often returns to Italy to find inspiration and sometimes brings her clients along to expose them to unique products and design. During the design of her high end custom homes she personally guides her clients, carefully listening to their needs and dreams, supporting them through the challenging decision process and ultimately delivering a home often above their expectations. Her knowledge and experience inspires trust, and eventually her clients delegate to her all final decisions. She considers herself successful when a client comes back to her excited to start a new project.

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