Mediterranean dwelling overlooks Salt Creek Beach

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Monarch Beach Residence is situated in Dana Point, California, on a sheer bluff overlooking Salt Creek Beach, a legendary surfing haven. The clients contacted architect Bob White of Forest Studio to design this dream home and M. Elle Design for the interior decoration. The home features jaw-dropping views and Mediterranean architecture, which the clients were drawn to through their travels from Dubrovnik to the clifftop village of Èze on the French Riviera. The exterior facade was inspired by the architect’s discovery of photos of a flat-roofed house in yet another Mediterranean locale: Ibiza. The result blends old-world rustic charm—a whitewash-and-stone exterior, wood beams, shutters—with California beach house cool.

The long and linear shape of the home embraces the coastline and the clients wanted the house to embrace its occupants and take on a calming atmosphere. The single story home is set just 12 feet from the cliff’s edge, feeling as if the home is floating on the sea’s waves. The decorators made the most of that sensation, using a palette of serene blues, greens, grays and creams. The floors are elegant French white oak and limestone, while the master bathroom features four color lots of marble set in a random pattern. The walls throughout the house are hand-troweled plaster. The landscaping reflects the interior’s palette, with olive trees, lavender, and succulents.

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The design also took cue’s from the wife’s favorite “house movies”: The ebonized dining chairs are a nod to Meryl Streep’s in It’s Complicated, while a striped runner down the long central hall echoes Diane Keaton’s living room rug in Something’s Gotta Give.


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The wife loves to cook for her large extended family, and the team warmed up the large kitchen with a buttery limestone wall and a ceiling covered in reclaimed barn wood. The island is topped with an enormous slab of Calacatta marble.

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Photo Sources: Elle Decor, M. Elle Design & Forest Studio

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