Coastal Contemporary | ICONIC LIFE

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Coastal Contemporary

Designer | Anne Michaelsen Design

Builder | Ray Lewis 

Architect | Cynthia Childs 

Landscape Designer| Bridgette Skinner 

Photographer | Ryan Garvin

Ryan Garvin

Anne Michaelsen Design’s Home Remodel in Corona del Mar

Perched on the cliffs soaring above the Pacific Ocean, this home remodel in Corona del Mar has a Mediterranean flair. For the homeowners who’ve lived in the area for more than two decades, it was time to take their home from Med to Mod.

With their last child leaving home, the time was right for the design team at Anne Michaelsen Design (AMD) to reimagine the house for the newly empty nesters. 

“The home had been remodeled several times over decades that left the space without a unified look,” Michaelsen says. “The homeowners wanted better flow and a more contemporary design.”

Working with a $1.5 million budget, the team, which also included Builder Ray Lewis, Architect Cynthia Childs and Landscape Designer Bridget Skinner, spent a year planning the whole house remodel and more than a year renovating the 4,100 sq. ft. home.


“Anne led us to the right architect and builder, and landscape designer and collaborated with them to bring our dream home to fruition,” the happy homeowners say. “She knows how to work and lead a team, so everyone is able to express their best work.”


The previous remodels left the Corona Del Mar house with too many small rooms that rendered it choppy and less functional. The AMD designers created larger, more open spaces that could be closed off as needed.

“We took three separate rooms and created a large great room and a library or office space,” Michaelsen says. “The office is outfitted with sliding doors that can be opened to the great room, or closed off depending on the homeowner’s needs.”

The team also removed one bedroom to create two guest suites, each with a private bath. 

“The homeowners felt that creating these ensuites would be better for when their children come home to visit now, and in the future with their own spouse and families,” Michaelsen says.


The homeowners love entertaining, but the flow of the home and its outdoor space also made that a challenge. AMD set out to create an interior that gave the home fluidity. 

“We created a true entry hall, so guests didn’t immediately enter the new great room,” Michaelsen says. “And we reimagined the outdoor spaces so they can have large parties that flow inside to out now.”

In the backyard AMD designers removed height differences in the yard that created a feeling of choppiness and took down a fire feature that was dividing two areas. In its place they added a fire pit perfect for s’mores, an outdoor kitchen and bocce ball court. The new elements worked around an existing pool and sunken dining area and made the backyard a true oasis and perfect place to entertain. 


While the primary suite was large, it suffered from the same lack of cohesion that ailed the rest of the house. Working with a soothing palette of neutrals and pops of blue that epitomize coastal chic, the AMD designers improved the flow of the room. A fireplace was added to turn up the coziness and romance, and the wall behind the bed was covered in a gray wallpaper that gives the impression of an ancient wall and adds visual interest to the room. Large walk-in closets finally gave the homeowners the storage needed.

In the ensuite bathroom a large freestanding tub is the focal point, while faux finished walls and unique tiles compliment the design. The room opens to the front garden, creating a zen, spa-like atmosphere.

The AMD team created a second suite ideal for their grown children and any other guests. The room is tranquil with white and gray neutrals and purple accents. A third room with twin beds is a nod to the future when grandchildren might need a place to stay. The standout feature is a mural that is an ICONIC design from a French company. The colorful mural appeals to kids, but is sophisticated enough for the room to double as a space for adult guests as well. 


A key component in the Corona Del Mar remodel was working in the homeowner’s extensive art collection throughout the house, and using the art to inspire additional design elements.

“We looked at the spaces in the house to find the best ones for their favorite pieces,” Michaelsen explains. “We used lighting to highlight the art, and we were intentional in choosing wallpaper and lighting fixtures that were themselves works of art for use throughout the home.”


In the entryway the AMD team got creative using a John Pomp light fixture as a sculpture set against Nobilis wallpaper. The result? An artistic piece that provides great ambient lighting welcoming guests to the home. 

In the kitchen a unique stone backsplash is so visually interesting juxtaposed with the white cabinets and black granite countertop to be a work of art in itself. 

The result of the extensive whole Corona Del Mar home remodel is a stunning space that blends beauty, functionality and meets the needs of the homeowners. 

“Anne does not create ‘one note’ looks like many designers, she uses her educated and informed eye to create a truly personal and unique space for each client,” the homeowner says. “She took our art , lifestyle and experiences into account and incorporated the design of the home, decor and furniture around it. We couldn’t be happier!” 

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