Summer inspires coastal home design and spaces that make waves. Dive into the details of beachy designs with Clayton Builders, a residential design company based in Newport Beach, California, as they share some of their favorites in this designer spotlight.

Highlighting custom mix-and-match cabinetry, islands that anchor a kitchen with a pop of color, and luxurious appliances, the Clayton Builders team shares some of their favorite quality finishes and timeless spaces. Gather inspiration from the beautiful homes they’ve designed and take note of the trends continuing to make a splash.

1.  Can you tell us about your favorite kitchen you’ve designed in the last year? What made it your favorite and why? Was there a certain space within the kitchen that stole the spotlight?

The kitchen from our Newport Island Project is our favorite design/build this past year for several reasons. It was such a fun project from concept through completion because we drew inspiration from the location for this ground up construction. It’s located on a small island on the Newport Beach Peninsula with a very laid back and local vibe. We decided to play off this tradition while adding a modern touch with updated finishes and all the current must-haves in the kitchen, especially. The dark bluish gray paint color we used on the island, the industrial inspired pendant lights, and the commercial grade appliances all combined to make this kitchen our modern beach house favorite.

2. What’s your must-have kitchen appliance? Do you have a favorite product you like to include in your projects? Tell us about it!

Our favorite kitchen appliance is a commercial grade range. A range can really anchor the scale of a new home, which often has high ceilings and spacious layouts. As home cooks ourselves, we love the flexibility a range offers not to mention the visual impact it provides.

3. What are your clients currently asking for in their kitchen designs? Any trends or themes you’d like to share?

Our clients want their kitchens to look amazing and provide multiple functions. We provide this form and function by utilizing timeless surfaces such as white Italian marble countertops and a mix of cabinetry styles and finishes to create multiple zones for prep work, cooking, clean up, eating, and storage.

4. Are clients currently gravitating toward a certain kind of house (modern farmhouse, traditional, etc.)?

In our area, we see a trend toward modern interpretations of classic design elements. V-groove and shiplap paneling have replaced bead board, floating shelves have replaced traditional storage, and integrated appliances such as microwave drawers have replaced above counter options.

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5. Are any of your clients currently looking at connected or smart homes? If so, we’d love to hear more about this!

Our clients appreciate the smart house features incorporated into the Thermador line of appliances. We just installed the new version of the 48-inch dual-fuel range with WIFI, allowing our clients to preheat the oven before they get home. Energy efficiency is also important to our clients.

6. Is there a design “rule” you’ve broken in a recent project? If so, what was it and how did it turn out?

Continuity is the only rule we strictly adhere to within kitchen design. We place emphasis on finishes and fixtures that feel like they belong within the larger context of the house. That said, we are having fun mixing metals, cabinet finishes, backsplash materials and cabinet hardware to create truly customized spaces for our clients.

7. Where do you typically gather inspiration for a new project?

We take our design inspiration from a variety of sources: location, architecture, travel, personal preference and, of course, social media.

8. Is there a favorite accent color, type of light fixture, or finish you like to incorporate into your design projects?

For our Newport Island kitchen, we used Farrow and Ball paint company’s Down Pipe No. 26 on the island for contrast and impact. Honed countertops, natural white oak cabinetry as well as the stainless-steel appliances were collectively our favorite design elements on this project.

For more exceptional design, take the plunge and check out Clayton Builders on Instagram:

What’s the biggest change you’d make in your home during a renovation? Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on our social channels: and @Thermador.

Photography: @ryangarvin

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