A Blank Canvas


Prairie paints the perfect story inside this Newport Beach home for a pair of artists

In the living room, a sofa is covered in fabric by Schumacher, the coffee table is from DWR. Photos by MELLON Studio.

“Our clients were relocating from Northern California, and it was important that they were in the right area with the right architectural fit,” says Shannon McLaren, founder of Prairie—a full-service interior design studio based in Newport Beach—about clients who had just found their forever home. “They moved into a temporary location, so that they didn’t rush the process in finding their dream home. It was worth the wait, and we ended up finding the perfect home in Newport Beach, CA, right near the Newport Harbor in an exclusive waterfront community.”

A small mirror above the range is by Lawson-Fenning. The barstools are by CB2. Photos by MELLON Studio.
A breakfast banquette is covered in fabrics by Claremont. The dining chairs are by Carneros Studios and the lighting is vintage. Photos by MELLON Studio.

Having previously worked as a fashion stylist across the globe, McLaren was a master at blending various pieces together to define an original style. When it came to the full-scale remodel of this 3,400-square-foot home that was originally built in 1957, she was able to achieve a unique look that showcased their diverse art collection and reflected their eclectic personalities. “They are artists and collectors, and wanted a home that was unique like them—collected, artful, full of color and texture,” she notes. “They wanted the furnishings to reflect their style; lots of prints, wallpaper, vintage pieces and pops of color.”

Custom fabric by Schumacher covers a headboard by Lawson-Fenning in the primary bedroom. The nightstands are from Restoration Hardware. Photos by MELLON Studio.
A vintage rug from Lawson-Fenning adds color in the primary bathroom. Photos by MELLON Studio.

Avid entertainers, the clients requested that McLaren and her team carve out a variety of areas that would be suitable for both work and play, including a casual dining space that could double as an office. “They have grown children and grandchildren and love hosting and entertaining,” McLaren remarks. “They wanted to have little pockets where people could escape, and have meaningful conversations, and great backdrops. Upstairs our clients wanted a more intimate family room where they could retreat to relax or read.”

In a guest bedroom the wallpaper is by Andrew Martin, the bedding and pillows are from Blue Springs Home. Photos by MELLON Studio.
Wallpaper by Andrew Martin continues in the guest bathroom. Photos by MELLON Studio.

One of the most significant moments in the home is a central courtyard that can be accessed through arched French doors from the living room and standard French doors from the dreamy guest suite that is covered in a majestic wallpaper by Andrew Martin. “The kitchen was an addition with an abnormal layout, but we wanted there to be two connecting viewpoints to the living room and out to the front yard,” she recalls. “From the center of both rooms, you can see the garden from the front and the back.”

The courtyard can be accessed through the kitchen and guest bedroom. Photos by MELLON Studio.

Through the strategic placement of organic materials, assorted prints and seamlessly curated vintage finds, the Prairie team was able to capture the homeowners’ distinguished style. “They were stunned at how well it matched their taste and represented them,” she recalls. “We left a great canvas for their personal pieces of artwork to feather in seamlessly.”