Sunday, April 11, 2010

Crystal Cove

Located midway between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach is the Irvine Company's latest seaside development. Crystal Cove is located on the hillsides of Newport Coast above Pacific Coast Highway and offers SPECTACULAR ocean views. Upon entering the guard gated community you will pass the tract developments and as you ascend Reef Point Drive you will eventually reach another set of gates that signify the Custom Homes. These homes must adhere the the architectural styles the Irvine Company deems acceptable.
1. Tuscan
This home is located in Shady Canyon but defines the Tuscan style the Irvine Company requires. The beautifully simple, low slung walls and the informal combination of masonry and stucco are the heart of this style of architecture. This home, named Val Verde, was previously the home of John McMonigle until he sold it in December of 2008 for $10.9 million.
2. Santa Barbara
Also located in Shady Canyon, this home is a prime example of the Santa Barbara style. A previous post about this house can be found here. The architect George Washington Smith pioneered this style by designing houses with thick stucco walls and calling on the architecture of North Africa, Andalusia, and Mexico. This style offers a relaxed sophistication that is the back bone of California style.
3. Provence
Inspired by the farmhouses of Provence, this style is blends the informal with the formal. Notice the use of a pediment above the door in this example and how it is used with the shutters and weathered wood doors. My favorite part of this style is how the terra cotta tiles are bought down into the exterior walls, effectively blurring the roof line and creating a very romantic effect. This home is located in the neighboring community of Pelican Hill.
4. Northern Italian
This style is inspired by the hillside villas that dot the Northern Italian countryside. The defining element of all these compositions is their use of roof tiles and the use of stucco. Northern Italian is the most formal of all the styles and can turn out the most heavy handed houses. However, when this style is executed by a true architect its effect is sensational. The home used as an example is located in the front row of the Pelican Point Community, the only Irvine Company community located below PCH.

As a whole, these four architectural styles provide the Mediterranean atmosphere that the Irvine Company so desires. When the concept is firmly grasped the results are unparalleled. It is a sad reality that many of the homes created in the community lack that architectural pedigree that these four examples exude. However, with the opening of a new custom home section in the community, new homes will be created that will hopefully exceed all stylistic expectations.


  1. I wish I were there to see these in person. Perhaps one day. Thanks so much for the view.

  2. These stiles are certainly acceptable to me. I don't think they'd let me in either gate to see them. In this economy are these sort of places being built out? In Atlanta, in the very safest places (I mean proven safer for investment than others) there's lots of building, otherwise almost none.

  3. The same goes for Orange County, if people have money to spend, they will spend it. Recently, I have noticed a lot more construction going on in North Tustin and from my constant aerial vigilance (Bing Maps) of Crystal Cove, there are still many homes in the construction stage and quite a few that are already completed. However, I don't Crystal Cove to reach final build as nearly as fast as Pelican Crest did next door.

  4. Also, these aerial views are at least 6 months old so many more new homes may have begun construction.

  5. This single place has certainly brought me into four different places. Every house made me feel like I’m in different country because of it architecture design. The Tuscan style made me feel like I’m at Grandma’s in Grand Lake Oklahoma Homes. For sale, however will be the first to greet you instead of Granny. It’s sad that it’s out on the market but I hope the new owner would take care of it. Grandma is now in a hunt for smaller houses for sale (Oklahoma). She prefers it that way because it makes her more comfortable.