Caribbean Cool Vibes Brighten A California Home


coastal exterior

Taking its cues from the West Indies, a new home brings Caribbean flair to Corona Del Mar.

coastal dining area rug blue...

Taking its cues from the West Indies, a new home brings Caribbean flair to Corona Del Mar.

coastal entry open mahogany door

For Sue and Jim Costanzo's residence in Corona del Mar, architect Stan Andrade conceived an open-plan, island-inspired structure, while designer Wendy Blackband selected furnishings that give the home a Cape Cod-meets-West Indies sensibility, signaled by a bamboo bench with a cane seat from Redford House in the entry. The mahogany Dutch door by Interior Carpentry Design sports Rocky Mountain hardware.

coastal living room fireplace jute...

Outfitting the living room are a custom sofa upholstered with linen and a jute rug from Hemphill's Rugs & Carpets. A Marilyn Muller painting titled Irene Waves from Wendover Art Group hangs next to the fireplace and alludes to the dwelling's seaside locale.

coastal kitchen and dining area...

In addition to designing the home's grounds, landscape designer Karen Andrade worked on the interior architecture, including in the kitchen. There, a trio of pendants from Visual Comfort & Co. suspends above the island. Pirch provided the appliances and the Waterstone faucet. The cabinet pulls and knobs are from New York Hardware.

coastal bathroom fish patterned wallpaper

Wallpaper with a whimsical fish pattern from Cole & Son adorns the walls of the first-floor powder room. Kate Spade New York sconces flank the mirror. The rustic basin is by Stone Forest with an oil-rubbed bronze Watermark faucet.

coastal dining room blue rattan...

Chandeliers from Arteriors illuminate a custom alder wood table, rattan Palecek chairs and linen-slipcovered armchairs from RH in the formal dining room. The artwork is from Natural Curiosities, and the wool rug is by Dash & Albert.

coastal living room fireplace linen-covered...

Linen-covered sofas provide comfortable spots for lounging in the family room and are joined by Palecek chairs. The Costanzos' son, Jay McCoy of JSM Builders in Sun Valley, Idaho, crafted the fireplace mantle and molding, in addition to working on other elements in the home.

coastal bedroom white walls blue...

Beneath an RH ceiling fan, cane detailing accents the custom bamboo bed in the master suite; Matteo linens dress the bed. A rug from Hemphill's Rugs & Carpets rests on top of European white-oak flooring from Warren Christopher.

coastal bedroom sitting area blue...

Custom lounge chairs and ottomans upholstered with blue velvet flank a Moroccan-style occasional table near the fireplace in the master suite. Concept Studio supplied the fireplace tile, as well as the rest of the home's tile, which was all installed by Epic Ceramic & Stone. The Jeld-Wen windows are from Associated Building Supply.

coastal covered porch and sitting...

The master suite connects to a second-level covered porch that offers glimpses of the Pacific Ocean. General contractor Andrew Patterson oversaw myriad complex details, including the X-motif porch railing.

Though, at the time, Sue and Jim Costanzo lived in Crystal Cove, Sue would often venture to Corona del Mar with the couple’s Bernese mountain dog, Gracie. “The people were wonderful,” Sue recalls. “Everyone would say hi and ask how I was doing–so we moved!” They purchased a small home and “used it as a little beach house to test it and see if we liked it,” she says. After the property next door became available, they jumped at the chance to build a more permanent roost enlisting designer Wendy Blackband, along with architect Stan Andrade, landscape designer Karen Andrade and general contractor Andrew Patterson.

While their new residence is nestled on a street just steps from the Pacific Ocean, its design makes the Costanzos feel like they’re a stone’s throw from the Caribbean Sea. “We were inspired by the West Indies,” Sue says. And the look happened to be a perfect fit with Blackband’s own aesthetic. “My design comes from British Colonial style,” she says. “I also do a lot of updated coastal-influenced interiors; the combination of those two things are what Sue and Jim found appealing.”

Stan Andrade, too, took the West Indies directive to heart. “There’s a porch with a detailed railing, vertical columns, ceiling fans and wood beams that are all part of that vernacular,” he says, and on the first floor’s front elevation awning shutters shade the windows. Inside, the architect devised open-plan public spaces including a large living room, dining area and kitchen that continue to a terrace and courtyard. There’s also a family room and a mudroom with a dog wash for Gracie and the couple’s Peekapoo, Taffy. The master suite, which accesses that classic, West Indies-inspired wraparound porch, is located on the second floor, as is a music room for Jim and two guest rooms for the couple’s children and grandchildren. Achieving perfection with so many details required Patterson’s eagle eye, and it wasn’t just the complex carpentry. “This house has a custom lighting package on it and to get the lights to work inside the bays without dropping the ceilings was really a marvel on its own,” he notes.

The plan also emphasized indoor/outdoor connections, something Karen Andrade capitalized on in her plans for the grounds. “The courtyard on the ground floor has a fountain that helps block noise and create ambience,” she says. “There’s also a fire pit and California-native plantings around the perimeter. From the inside, they have this beautiful garden view, but they can open it up in the spring, summer and fall and have that outside connection.”

The indoor-outdoor flow drove Blackband to select furnishings that are in harmony with the landscape. Rich textures and both bright and muted tones reference the home’s beach setting. “From the beginning, I saw turquoise as one of the colors for this interior,” Blackband says. “You can pull both green and blue tones out of it.” In the dining room, the designer placed turquoise rattan chairs at the ends of an alder wood table and arranged chairs with linen slipcovers on the sides; brass pendants with leaf-like forms add another layer of texture to the space. In the living room, she flanked a linen-upholstered English roll-arm sofa with custom blue-hued wood end tables. And the family room, too, received a dose of color. “The coffee table has a custom wax finish that’s kind of a light turquoise gray,” says Blackband, who inset wall niches in the family room with photographs of aqua water.

The designer mixed classic and contemporary pieces to add depth and balance. “There’s a traditional bamboo bench with a honey-colored cane seat in the entry,” Blackband says. “And I also found a contemporary mirror made out of coconut wood and beads for the space.” She blended styles in the master suite, too. “There’s a Colonial-style four poster inset with caramel-colored cane that I just love,” she says. “And then there are a pair of armchairs covered with blue velvet and leopard linen pillows. What’s cool about those chairs is they have a traditional English roll-arm, but they also have a squared-off leg that gives a more modern feel.”

When it comes to residential design, it really does take a village–especially in the case of the Costanzo residence. The group effort contributed to the rich layers that make the home a dynamic one. Not only did Karen Andrade design the landscape, she also worked on the interior architecture. Patterson didn’t just handle construction, he also supplied suggestions on finishes and fixtures as the project evolved. And, in addition to selecting a classic and whimsical display of furniture and accessories, Blackband helped Sue make final choices when it came to practically everything. “Sue and I were walking in the slab yard and we turned a corner and saw that turquoise granite for the countertops,” the designer says. “I said, ‘I really think we should do this.’ And she said, ‘I do, too.’ Sometimes the design changes when you see something that inspires you. It’s so fun when you jibe with a client.”