An Elegant Coastal Estate

AN INTERIOR DESIGNER TAPS CANTONI TO BRING WARMTH TO AN ULTRA-MODERN NEW-BUILD.

Designed By: Cantoni Irvine Design Team Photos By: Jeri Koegel

Step inside the light, airy home of Catharina and Andrew Gerken, and you are instantly transported to an elegant “tree house” rising above the surrounding lush landscape. The salty Corona del Mar, California, breezes linger, and the serene ocean can be seen on the horizon when the floor-to-ceiling windows and a retractable glass wall are opened.

The two-story, five-bedroom home’s bones, designed by Brandon Architects, are clearly innovative and distinctly modern — but the materials and décor bring it back down to earth and lend an inviting feel often lacking in sleek spaces.

Credit the balance to Paige Hill of Ultra-Mod Home Concepts, who selected all finishes and collaborated with Cantoni on the décor.

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The design collaboration began when Paige took the Gerkens on a shopping trip to Cantoni in Irvine. Catharina, who is Swedish, immediately resonated with the clean-lined furnishings and accessories. “She said, ‘I could buy everything in the store,” Paige says.

From there, it was simply a process of elimination. Over the 16-month building process, the Cantoni design team worked with Paige and the Gerkens to furnish the house piece-by-piece, sourcing most of the artwork, sculptures lighting, furniture, rugs and textiles to reflect the homeowners’ personalities. 

Key pieces included the Thomas bar stoolsToro side chairs, glass-topped Brenda dining table, “C” console table, Flow cocktail table and a plethora of sculptures and beautiful hide rugs. “It’s crazy how you can furnish an entire home from Cantoni,” Paige says, adding how effortless it was working with the Cantoni design team. “They suggest things, can draw a furniture layout, and make it easy to get samples, materials, and images. 

The design team targeted their searches to infuse vibrancy and find unique furnishings that helped blend the indoors with the out—seamlessly. 

The end result is exactly that: incomparable.

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