Architecture Design


By Alexandria Abramian 

Designer Sue Capelli casts a captivating take on contemporary from a single, sea-front perch on Linda Isle

In the world of exceptional Newport Beach real estate, Linda Isle stands out from other communities for its ultra-exclusivity. The horseshoe shape of land is an actual island, only connected to Newport via a bridge where a guard gate keeps the island highly private. With just over 100 homes, all are waterfront, and all come with docks, often slips large enough to accommodate residential-sized yachts. Homes rarely sell for below eight figures and can fetch as much as $7,000 a square foot for this extremely rarefied slice of island life.

Capelli worked with a canvas of limestone, quartzite, and wood created by architect David Olson and builder Tony Valentine. This was the elevated, luxurious backdrop against which she built a rich landscape of shape and texture. The resulting style offers just enough drama while keeping the focus on the views.

Today the 5,500-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom home makes a case for modern oceanfront elegance. Ocean views flood in from every turn, including the master bathroom, where a soaking tub boasts a front-row seat as yachts glide by. Upping the experience even more are details like the fact that the bathroom comes with a generously proportioned stone-surround fireplace.

And while Capelli relied mostly on earth tones for both finishes and furnishings, she also injected moments of glamour throughout. In one upstairs bedroom suite, she gathered a collection of black and white patterns in textiles, wallcoverings, and tile to create a subtle nod to her own take on maximalism.

In other areas of the home, Capelli calibrated the glamour in other ways: In the kitchen, for example, she selected a rich palette of ebony and high-gloss lacquers.

The open plan kitchen combines a rich mix of materials, including limestone floors and quartzite countertops. Capelli custom-designed all the seating.

Throughout, Capelli custom-designed and made the furniture, much of it lower in profile so as not to block views—a less-is-more decision to let a singular waterfront location whisper its elegance throughout.  

Sue Capelli | Passione Inc. | 9550 Research Drive | Irvine | 949.336.7800 ext. 200 |

David R. Olson Architects | 470 Wald | Irvine | 949.450.0093 |

Tony Valentine Construction | 2435 East Coast Highway, Suite 2 | Corona Del Mar | 949.723.6449 |

One Comment

  1. Wow! Absolutely authentic glamour. The entire design invites the eye to take it in as a whole. Then leads you from one delicious detail to the next. Each can stand on it’s own, but together display a singular quality and balance of this very talented designer. Wow, again! Love this magazine!