House Beautiful: January 2013
A California Beach Cottage Makeover
Designer Peter Dunham and architect Scott Laidlaw transform a Mediterranean-style stucco house in Newport Beach, California, into a cottage-style clapboard. By bringing in natural elements, skylights, and an open-space plan, Dunham creates an easy and casual home.
Written by David A. Keeps | Photography by Victoria Pearson
A window seat in the living room is upholstered in Pacific Blue Lido chenille from Dunham's textile line. Unlined natural woven shades filter the light. The 1950s French wall lamp is by Pierre Guariche.
The living room mix: Dunham's contemporary sofa accented with pillows in vintage indigo Japanese textile; a wrought-iron coffee table by Parisian designer Jean Royère; and 1940s Swedish chairs covered in Clarence House's Rigato.
Living Room Fireplace
By the living room fireplace, the seating area is like "a cozy pub" on chilly nights. Ole Wanscher armchairs flank an ottoman covered in antique rug fragments. Jacques Adnet lamp. Christopher Farr rug.
The deck sports vintage wicker chairs.
A David Hicks-inspired banister enlivens the front hall.
The wood kitchen counter continues the modern nautical feel. "And with everything else white and stone, it adds a dimension of warmth," Dunham says. "It's much less cold to lean on."
"This was a dark room that was a bit stodgy and gloomy," Dunham says. "I thought, 'Let's go more cavelike.' So I paneled it in cerused white oak, inspired by Jean-Michel Frank." Anchoring the seating group is a storage ottoman with a cushion in Edelman leather from Dunham's store, Hollywood at Home. He designed the sectional sofa for the room and added vintage Peter Hvidt lounge chairs as a counterpoint: "You have to mix the notes. With all the solid upholstery, I wanted wooden pieces that were bony and sculptural." Walnut and ebony mirror from Reborn Antiques.
The library's sleek white leather desk is stylishly paired with a sculptural oak Craftsman-style chair.
Dunham designed the bed for the master bedroom; he hung Japanese fabric embroidered in butterflies and wisteria from a set of curtains he found at an estate sale. "I love four-poster beds," he says. "They're so come-hither. A mattress and box springs on a metal frame does not say, 'Come lie on me or sit with a friend.'"
A 1920s Japanese hand-embroidered curtain panel from a Pasadena estate hangs behind the cane headboard on the four-poster in the master bedroom.