A Coastal Style Queen Creates a Pristine O.C. Oasis with Plenty of Beachy Charm
Mindy Gayer Design, an Orange County tastemaker with a pack of social media followers, is transforming homes in and around Newport Beach one white sofa at a time.
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If the home of your dreams is inspired by the coastal Orange County lifestyle—that flawless, scuff-free fantasy of white walls, plush linen and cotton upholstery, woven wicker accents, and a cool palette of pale blue, dusky beige, and white—then Mindy Gayer is someone you should know about. Or maybe you already do?
The O.C. native and Balboa Island resident opened her own interior design studio in Costa Mesa in 2014, back when trends like shiplap were just gaining traction, and “regular” people started memorizing their favorite shade of white paint. What started as a one-woman show has grown into a full-fledged design studio, MGD, or Mindy Gayer Design. The MGD blog has expanded beyond interiors and regularly posts travel itineraries and curated lifestyle shopping lists. And her 100,000+ instagram followers look to Gayer and her team for advice on everything from what cabinet pulls to buy to which Janessa Leone hat to wear.
The remodel of this Newport house, built in 1971, is a great example of the MGD POV. The homeowner and client is a Southern California native who moved back from New Orleans with her young family. The resulting interiors scheme is in line with Gayer’s coastal-cool world, but also incorporates some Southern charm in the form of playful color in the kids’ rooms, vibrant art, and light fixtures from Circa, based in Charleston, S.C.
“As a design studio, we love to adapt to each client’s style while still maintaining our signature aesthetic,” Gayer says. So while there is definitely an MGD “look,” she leaves rooms to express a client’s personality and taste.
Without knocking down walls or changing the footprint extensively, she opened up the rooms and created the feeling of more space and light by painting everything white, updating the floors with light wood, and keeping the furniture and accessories pale.
“We kept the overall structure and bones of the 2,400 square foot home intact, and gave it a full makeover, both on the exterior and the interior,” Gayer says.
“I do love a neutral palette,” she adds. “In general, I gravitate toward bright and clean-hued spaces, and a light neutral palette complements that style so well. White is also just the perfect backdrop for all of the design details we love to add throughout each project.”
The brick was a new addition to the exterior during the remodel. “We toyed with painting it white or doing a light whitewash on the red brick,” she says. “In the end, both our clients and the neighbors loved the warmth and charm of the red brick, so we ditched the idea of painting it white and went with a light whitewash. I love the character it brings to the exterior.”
“We always add in natural textures and accent colors to keep a space from feeling too cold,” Gayer says. “A few of our favorite ways to bring in warmth include layering textiles like pillows and rugs, adding natural materials like jute or greenery, and of course, art! Accessories make a big difference, too.”
And for the record, Gayer’s go-to paints include White Heron by Benjamin Moore, Pure White by Sherwin Williams, and All White by Farrow & Ball.