A Tranquil California Beach House

Cantoni design consultant Sarah Buehlman brings a casual yet elegant coastal vibe to a Monarch Beach house overlooking the water.

The first thing you notice when stepping into the cheery, sprawling space is the view: a long stretch of salty blue ocean, visible until water meets the sky, can be seen from the home’s floor-to-ceiling windows. The home, now bathed in neutral hues and warm woods with hints of turquoises and blues to play off the view, is a happy respite. But it wasn’t always so lively.


The owners weren’t looking for a home when the custom new build hit the market a few years ago, and the design wasn’t even to their taste—but they couldn’t pass it up. Anyway, they knew where they could go for a spirited re-do —Cantoni — and walked into the store fresh off the plane from a snow ski trip. There, they met design consultant Sarah Buehlman, and “there was an instant connection,” the homeowner says. “She has an amazing personality and is so fun to be around.”


Sarah immediately pinpointed areas for improvement. “The home was previously bathed in white, with white walls, kitchen cabinets, Carrera marble—it was in desperate need of warmth,” Sarah says. “We decided we wanted warm, beach-y modern vibe.”

Sarah started with paint, and used a custom color blend in several rooms, and other serene shades throughout the house. Given the expansive windows, she also designed custom shades and drapery for each space. She punched up a powder room with wallpaper, helped select carpeting and replaced the countertop in the TV room. “We worked to make it an inviting, soft contemporary space that leans more transitional with hints of organic, earthy elements,” Sarah says.


With the bones of the home now much cozier, Sarah moved on to the furnishings. The trio first fell in love with a natural acacia Vintage Tabletop that Sarah paired with the Ciato table base, creating a one-of-a-kind, statement-making table, perfect for entertaining. “This beautiful piece was the beginning of the project and set the tone for the space,” Sarah says.


They married the table with Essex dining chairs, which they customized in coordinating fabrics. Opposite the table, in the great room, Sarah brought in the large Valentino sectional, the Le Shag area rug, and added more wood tones with a custom cocktail table. Pops of color to play off the water were pulled in with pieces like the custom-colored Integrity sculpture, and whimsy brought in with a hanging bookcase.


Sarah took the entertaining theme to the outdoors with the Riviera dining table, chairs and chaises.

“Sarah took the time to listen to us,” the client says. “My husband and I have very different design styles, and she really worked with us to meld them together. She truly never gave us options we didn’t like, and is amazing with color and space. It was so refreshing to have a designer shopping for us and our home, instead of shopping for their preferences.”

160909_interiors_cantoni_taylor2435In the master bedroom, she gave the paint a warmer tone before bringing in a crisp white-leather bed, geometric side tables, Whisked fall table lamps and the Viera area rug. “We wanted it to have a cozy, inviting feel,” Sarah says.


In the office, she started with the vibrant area rug, and incorporated the Derby desk, corresponding bookcase and the Buco executive chair. In the hallway, six colorful paintings add punch.

Sarah ensured that every room in the home was consistent to the end goal. “We love it and couldn’t be happier,” the client says. Which is an understatement—so pleased with the result, they have since asked her to renovate a vacation home, and the husband’s commercial office. “They were amazing and so fun to work with,” Sarah says. “I truly enjoyed this project.”

Photos by Thang Troung

Learn more about design consultant, Sarah Buehlman, by checking out her entire portfolio here. Whether you are building a new home or simply shopping for the perfect piece of modern furniture to complete a room, a complimentary one-on-one consultation with our design team can help you create a space you’ll love. Click here to book your appointment!

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