Pacific Overtures

Modern Contemporary Design Helps a Hilltop House Make the Most of Its Spectacular Ocean-View Setting

Pacific Overtures

Modern Interior Design Helps a Hilltop House Make the Most of Its Spectacular Ocean-View Setting


Although it stands on a hill in Corona del Mar overlooking a breathtaking panorama of the Pacific Ocean, the residence previously was unable to enjoy the full beauty of its setting. Walls separating the main living areas—living room, kitchen, and dining room—broke up the views. Heavy, outdated decor further distracted from the natural beauty of the surroundings.



Modern interior designer Helena Brana, founder of BRANA Designs, reorganized the main floor by opening up the walls between the living and dining rooms and the kitchen. The result is an expansive great room where our clients can relax together or gather with family and friends while enjoying the full glory of their natural surroundings, including spectacular Pacific sunsets and updated furnishing.


In the process, we also transformed the outdated, dreary look into a chic, modern interior design for gathering space at once sophisticated, elegant, and comfortable—one of our favorite examples of our signature “Organic Contemporary” approach. The interiors now feature clean lines and a fresh embrace of color that enables our clients to fully experience the natural world while living within a thriving metropolis.

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Interior Design Ideas

We employed a wide range of ingenious innovations to help transform the house from dark and outdated to bright and inviting. Consider just a small sampling of our Organic Contemporary design solutions:


Combining natural materials and metallic accents.

Fixtures, furnishing, and equipment featuring natural materials, clean lines, and soft curves add elegance and serenity to the contemporary space. In lighting the kitchen and in the geometric Italian wallpapers adjoining the fireplace, metallic accents add a luxurious feel.


Adding glass walls.

To bring subtle definition to the open space, we designed a wall of “living glass” that separates the great room not only from the large foyer but also from the kitchen pantry, a custom wine room, and glass stairs.


Bringing nature indoors.

Many studies have found that indoor plants provide inspiration and promote emotional well-being. Throughout the interiors, living foliage promotes a connection to the home’s surroundings, making the interior feel at once chic, modern, and natural. In particular, the glass wall displays an array of plants within its metallic gridwork.


Putting dining center-stage.

At the center of the space, the dining area is the natural focal point. To make it shine, we used a unique statement piece of art lighting that, like a rainbow you might see over the ocean, reflects a dazzling, ever-changing spectrum of colors.


Serving up a gourmet-worthy kitchen.

Designed to showcase every meal, the kitchen features a luxuriously soft color palette, with sleek wooden cabinets that blend beautifully with Calacatta marble, blue Brazilian quartz, and minimalist metallic LED lighting. Abundant natural illumination also enters through the large windows. Two separate kitchen islands—one for food prep and storage, the other a dining bar for casual meals graced by gorgeous ocean views—fully integrate the cooking space into daily life.



As complex as the entire modern interior design process was, the results achieved feel effortlessly elegant and as serene as the vast Pacific.

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Corona del Mar
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