CORONA DEL MAR
MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL
Admission is $65,
limousine transportation is $40
When Terri Foreman bought a prime oceanfront property in Corona Del Mar a few years ago, she made the leap of a lifetime. It wasn’t the house but the setting-stunning views of the Pacific from the front of the property, streets made for strolling and the convenient access to the beach - that attracted the empty-nester.
Never having a house built for her, she began dreaming of what could be and entertained the idea of a custom home.
To create her dwelling, she turned to Andrew Patterson, a custom home builder whose work she had seen in surrounding neighborhoods. Patterson, who grew up in Connecticut and whose body of work in coastal OC exemplifies predilection for East Coast coastal architecture, immediately understood the aesthetic that she wanted.
“We wanted to create a very classy, timeless home that would be very rich, but also incredibly warm and welcoming,” Patterson says. “I also wanted it to stand out on Ocean Boulevard as a testament to the eastern seaboard homes that are slowly taking over the plaster Tuscan monstrosities that were at one time the staple of Orange County architecture.
What Foreman didn’t realize then is that the result would mirror so much of her aesthetic.
For one, the house reflected Foreman’s East Coast roots, West Coast lifestyle and relaxed but sophisticated taste.
The classic two-story white clapboard and shingled structure is a picture of easy placidity, starting with wide open floor plan on the first floor and a quiet, ocean-inspired palette. There’s no question that white with sand and soft blues has been a favorite theme in Newport Beach residences for many decades, so the challenge for Patterson and Foreman was how to differentiate it from others.
The answer was in the details.
The interior architecture, the installation of the materials and the finishes all had to be impeccable so that they could shine on their own even without furniture and décor. The millwork throughout the house, for example, is painstakingly crafted and multilayered. The gorgeous neutral tiles on the floors and walls aren’t identical from one bathroom to the next, but thematically work to evoke continuity throughout the house.
Even the laundry room has been elevated from a utilitarian space to a must-see, as evidenced by its transparent glass pocket doors.
“I had been admiring the radius tile at Concept Studio for a while but did not know the application until I felt it click with the symmetry of Terri’s laundry room,” Patterson says. “The tile cannot be cut or the radius will chip off and the alignment will be off. After losing my mind trying to calculate all of the grout tolerances and unevenness of the handmade tile, I ended up installing all of the tile, then building all of the cabinets and counter around it. The laundry room is one of my favorite rooms that I have built to date, not only because it looks so clean, but also because it was so technical to create.”
One of the most noticeable features of the home is the amount of natural light that filters in, thanks in part to a custom skylight above the staircase. “I accomplished this by removing all of the walls of the staircase and cutting an opening in the roof larger and larger until I was satisfied with the amount of light that came to the downstairs,” Patterson says.
Initially, Foreman wasn’t sold on the concept, but once the skylight was completed, she couldn’t imagine the house without it. The skylight remains one of the features she loves the most.
Patterson collaborated with Foreman on every aspect of the house, stopping short of doing the interior design, which Bliss Home Design’s Ohara Davies-Gaetano handled capably. But Patterson left room for at least one special surprise.
“Andrew called me and said, ‘Can you trust me on this one thing that I want to get for the house?” Foreman says.
She did, of course.
Patterson found square crystal knobs that gave the master bathroom just the right amount of sparkle, the way a pair of diamond studs adds elegance to a little black dress. But he didn’t show them to Foreman before installing them. Foreman saw the knobs and other decorative features only when everything was in place for the house’s big and dramatic “reveal.” The knobs may be a tiny detail, but they’re a fitting finishing touch to a house that turned out to be feminine, understated and forever classic – a perfect embodiment of Foreman’s style.