TITLE: Frontgate Presents, Inspired Spaces
Betsy Burnham: “I love the thought of people actually living in my rooms.” “It’s the kind of design I do.” “It’s tangible, it’s not fussy, it’s not over-the-top.”
“So my job here is to select the furniture for all the outdoor spaces.” ” What would make sense for a big family living in this house?” “How would they use these very generous outdoor spaces?”
“My name is Betsy Burnham.” ” I am the owner and principle designer at Burnham Design in Los Angeles California.”
“We’re here in beautiful Coronado, California.” “We’re right on the beach.” “We’re in a Cape Cod, Nantucket style, kind of a classic coastal home.”
“This house in particular is built for entertaining: a flow between outdoor and indoor that is necessary here.”
“The way I begin a project like this is by really looking at the floor plan and seeing how the space moves and how we’re going to function through the space, and then I start putting in a furniture plan which is kind of my favorite thing to do.” “Maybe because it involves space and it involves scale but also because it involves how people are going to live here.”
“Process to me as a designer is getting to know my client then looking at the architecture; understanding what period it is, how I can best furnish it so that it’s not completely offbase from what the architect had intended.” “I kind of put those two things together with my aesthetic and hopefully come out with something that appeals to everyone on the team.”
“I don’t think that we as designers walk into a project and say, “we’re going to do this and we’re going to do that.””” “I mean I think it really is a team effort and it really is listening to your client and understanding their needs.”
“In the outdoor spaces for this house I used several different collections of outdoor furniture.” “I made sure that I had a constant and in this case, it was a white finish.”
“I kind of think of rooms in terms of a puzzle that I have to put together.” “What are the pieces I’m working with?” “What are the parameters?” “Who’s the client? What’s the light like in that room?” “What kind of colors am I gonna use? And I juggle all those pieces in the air for a while.” “When they land and they seem to make sense, that’s when I have a room that seems effortless in the end, which is really what we all want.” “We don’t want it to look like a designer was there, but we want the thought behind it, and the usefulness behind it, and the beauty behind it.”
A Coronado Island Retreat
Situated just across the bay from San Diego is the tony resort town of Coronado, adored for its unique blend of small-town quaintness and cosmopolitan vibe. The 33-square-mile city is crowned by Coronado Beach, with its pristine sand, magnificent mansions and historic resort hotel.
Within this exclusive island community is an expansive and welcoming 4,500 Nantucket-style home, the 2014 Coastal Living Showhouse. Boasting a broad wraparound porch with a second-floor deck, copper detailing and a fabulous ocean breeze, this outstanding home is just steps from the beach.
As the sponsor for the showhouse’s outdoor living spaces, Frontgate worked with designer Betsy Burnham, who was selected to curate the outdoor furniture in this outstanding 4-bedroom home. Owner and principle designer of Los Angeles-based Burnham Design, Betsy is known throughout the West Coast for creating inviting spaces that aren’t fussy or overdone.
For Burham, getting a feel for the architecture and the architect’s original intent was an integral part of Burnham’s process. “This house is built for entertaining,” she says. “It has a flow between outdoor and indoor that is necessary here.” She also considered how a family would use all the expansive outdoor areas, studying the floor plan so that she could harmonize the space itself with the furnishings and the way people would use them.
From the front porch to rear terrace, she arranged comfortable groupings for chatting, relaxing and dining. With the Melbourne chaises on the rooftop deck, the owners can bask in the sun. Or they can move into the shade and sway in the welcoming Hampton Wicker Rockers on the front porch. And when it’s time to entertaining on the ocean-view terrace, the Grayson seating and dining collection are ideal.
“In the outdoor spaces for this house, I used several different collections, but I made sure I had a constant. In this case, it was a white finish.”
The outdoor accent pieces – the finished touches – are keeping in the spirit of the home’s ocean-adjacent locale, including the Newport Teak Lantern and our Nautical Knot Outdoor Rug. In this and in all her projects, Burham strives for the finished space to look effortless and approachable. “It’s what we all really want,” she states. “We don’t want it to look like a designer was there, but we do want the thought behind it, the usefulness behind it and the beauty behind it.” The Showhouse is open until September 30, so if you’re in the San Diego area, stop by to see this magnificent home. Proceeds will benefit the US Navy SEAL foundation, which supports the needs of active-duty personnel, their spouses and children.