Filling the Nest


Denise Morrison Interiors strikes the perfect balance between cool and comfortable in this modern Corona del Mar home.

The main living floors offer expansive views. Photos by Chad Mellon.

“While in college, I learned my favorite design principle: tension. A beautiful antique with a modern sofa, a vibrant painting in a cool, minimal living room. It’s this tension and balance between design elements that sets the framework for unforgettable design,” says designer Denise Morrison about her firms design philosophy that she applied when curating this modern home in Corona del Mar.

Hoop Chairs by House of Morrison sit in the living room. Photos by Chad Mellon.

The clients, recent empty nesters, have traveled the globe and wanted a house that reflected their sophisticated taste and provided endless comfort. They enlisted Denise Morrison Interiors to collaborate with the architect Brandon Architects on interior elements and to build a collection of furnishings and art.

Glass banisters allow for no disruption of the views. Photos by Chad Mellon.
The backsplash tile by Ann Sacks is illuminated by Tech Lighting. Photos by Chad Mellon.
A dining table by Alfonso Marina sits below a chandelier by Lindsey Adelman Studio.
Photos by Chad Mellon.

The 5,000 square foot home newly constructed by Patterson Custom Homes, has an open floor plan with multiple stories and expansive views that allows for both intimate moments and larger family gatherings. The clients wanted the design to integrate objects collected from their travels, pops of color and vintage materials to soothe the modernity. “They really wanted a vintage wood floor with lots of character, which felt a little contrary to the modern aesthetic, but in support of tension it was a beautiful addition to the design,” says Morrison. “We balanced this element with modern art, upholstery and cabinetry. They also had some beautiful tapestries from a trip to Turkey that we framed in plexi glass and included in the dining room and powder hallway.”

Custom pendants and skylights flood the stairwell with light. Photos by Chad Mellon.
The media room features custom millwork on the wall to add texture. Photo by Chad Mellon.

Selecting unique materials and finishes was a priority for the team to complement the modern bones while creating a relaxing environment. “My favorite detail is the back lit cement tile creating a beautiful star pattern on the stairway wall,” says the designer. “This was really tough to execute but we got together and pushed through to make this beautiful design element just perfect.”

An exterior seating area equipped with a fridge, perfect for entertaining.
Photo by Chad Mellon.

The team designed clever combinations of steel, stone and wood found in the main fireplace and altering counter heights in the kitchen, that add texture and subtle yet distinctive moments. “The varying heights, depths and finishes found in the kitchen make it one of my favorites,” says Morrison. “Far from a large flat counter the island has tremendous design ingenuity.”  

A bed from Shine by Sho sits atop at rug from Nourison. Photos by Chad Mellon.
Metal, wood and stone add dimension in the master bathroom. Photos by Chad Mellon.

The final result is a stunning forever home that her children often return to enjoy. “They absolutely love their new home and were so excited to see their beautiful tapestries placed so prominently as well as the incorporation of other thoughtful artifacts,” says Morrison.