McElroy Project


Designed By: Sarah Buehlman

The road to a cherished goal often requires sacrifice. So, when Lisa and Kurtis decided to tear down the ranch house they’d purchased in order to build this custom home, the couple moved their family of four—plus three dogs—into a large motorhome situated right on the property.

Located in Villa Park, a very small and exclusive city in Orange County, California, the building project spanned two plus years (with the design portion taking about four months). Rather than feeling inconvenienced, the McElroys relished the opportunity to watch their new home take shape. The kids’ friends clamored for a chance to “camp out“ on the drive, and the experience proved enriching for all. “This creative and challenging time definitely led to some beautiful memories,“ says Lisa.

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So how did Kurtis and Lisa connect with designer Sarah Monaghan? The trio met after a friend suggested the McElroys check out Cantoni’s Irvine location. “I was lucky enough to answer the phone and speak with Kurtis, who called to inquire about the Ritz Collection—a Nicole Miller designed bedroom set,“ Sarah explains. “The couple was drawn to the Macassar Ebony wood, as it happened to match what they were using in the kitchen.“ Lisa adds, “Basically, we fell in love with everything in the showroom. Cantoni really opened our eyes, because we had looked at contemporary furniture elsewhere, and it just wasn’t very exciting."

As is often the case, a typical inquiry regarding one piece of furniture led to a substantial collaboration between our designer and the client. In fact, aside from some of the art and custom carpet, nearly the entire residence is furnished from Cantoni. Considering the McElroys were first—time customers, we can’t help but be proud of the fact that they obviously placed a lot of trust in Sarah and the capabilities we offer.

Cantoni Irvine General Manager, Jeff Wise, has this to say about our exceptional ability to fulfill special orders, “It’s true we maintain an enormous inventory, which comes in handy for clients wanting a quick turnaround, but we can also customize size, finish, glass, configurations, etc.“ “Really, the sky is the limit,“ confirms Sarah. “What customers and clients see in our showrooms is merely the tip of the iceberg in regards to our resources.“

Large scale furnishings were incorporated into the living area, including the Mondrian sectional, which was customized at 18’ X 11’. Sarah adds, “we also special ordered a cocktail table, that is the size of an average dining room table, to fit the u-shape design of the sectional." Distinct blue hardwood floors inspired the selection of the blue booth with a Fizz rug and the One and Only formal dining set. The custom patterned carpet in the “bonus room“ led the trio to choose Zac swivel chairs in a Kravet Candice Olsen black metallic fabric. The couple, of course, opted to stick with the Ritz bedroom set, and everyone agreed that incorporating the family’s pop art would add a sense of fun to the environment.

”Our experience with Cantoni was a pleasure, and Sarah did an amazing job furnishing our home,” says Lisa. ”She provided us guidance in choosing pieces I know we will love for a lifetime, and created a very contemporary home that also exudes warmth, beauty and a unique playfulness.” First serious, then joking, she concludes, ”We are very thankful for Sarah’s expertise and consider her a wonderful friend. And as last confession, now that the job is done, we try to avoid Cantoni—because we know we’ll leave with something else totally fantastic!”

Sarah did an amazing job furnishing our home with pieces I know we will love for a lifetime. She created the contemporary space we had always wanted.

— Lisa McElroy, Orange County

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