latimes.com — Modernist architect Irving Gill wasn’t known for designing houses with the main rooms on the second floor,
but some touches inspired by his work — such as a creamy white exterior, use of natural light and heavily framed windows — makes this custom home stand out on Little Balboa Island.
It’s a hybrid of old and new — a bit of Craftsman, Contemporary and Mission-style in appearance.
“Some people call it southwestern contemporary while others label it California modern, but it’s neither of those,” says Glen Gellatly who designed it nearly a decade ago when he was with Bissell Architects “We didn’t want to copy any one style.”
The two-story home, which sits on a pair of 30- x 85-foot lots, features symmetrical openings and arcaded porches on the front and back.
At the owner’s request, Gellatly designed the living areas on the top floor, creating a sense of privacy and diminishing the need for window coverings. The open plan enhances the flow of the living room, dining area, kitchen, media room, office, master suite and a wide covered porch that provides a peekaboo view of Newport Bay and the Grand Canal between Little Balboa and Balboa Islands. A stairway off the master suite’s proch area leads to a third-floor sun deck that has 360-degree views.
A long, narrow skylight splits the wood beam ceiling and stretches from the kitchen across to the living room’s fireplace. Using both square and rectangular shaped soffits in several rooms, Gellatly mixes a white-textured ceiling with cedar rafters and Douglas fir beams.
Together with alder doors and oak floors, there’s a subtle color variation among all the grains. The heavily framed custom awning windows are yet another connection to Gill who liked to design them in horizontal groups.
Terracotta-colored porcelain tile, which compliments the wood and gives the house a Mission feel, covers the floor of the porches, bathrooms and game room on the first floor.
Location: 1511 Balboa Avenue, Newport Beach 92662
Asking price: $5,595,000
Size: There are 3 bedrooms and 4.5 baths in 4,675 square feet
Lot size: 5,100 square feet
Additional features: Two Bosch dishwashers, Viking gas range, zoned heating and air conditioning, radiant floor heating, tankless water heater, low-voltage lighting, two-stop elevator and drought-tolerant landscaping; a four-car garage (there’s space for three additional cars in front of the garage) features epoxy-coated floors, carpenter’s table and a wine cooler.