Real Stories

Home Tour: Serene in SoCal

By Sabra Morris | February 9, 2019

When Summer and Audi Garner moved into their Lake Forest, California home six years ago, they knew they’d created a space their family could grow into together, personally and financially.

“Around California, it’s hard to find any home that doesn’t have Mello Roos [a type of property tax common in the state] that is a pretty decent size,” says Summer. “We were fortunate to get into a small community, to pick out our lot, and to build this home, which is the largest of three floor plans in our community. We chose everything on our own.”

With three children (daughters, identical twins now 12 and a son, now five), it was important for the family to have room to do homework, find quiet and creative spaces to be alone, and to be able to spend time together. Happily, this home turned out to be a perfect fit.

“Our strongest memories are of the gatherings in this home; social gatherings, family gatherings, and Christmas,” says Summer. “Those are memories that will last a lifetime, and this home is a beautiful space to be able to have guests and family over and make people feel comfortable. Our twins were able to have their own rooms. Board games are a tradition for us, and we’ve played them as a family on our casual dining table and sometimes even on the couch.”

In addition to providing a great backdrop for family life, the Garners were able to design every inch of this home to be fresh, bright and inviting. Here are some of Summer’s favorite features:

Modern Farmhouse: The black light fixtures over the kitchen island pick up the tone of the black knobs on the cabinetry, lending a feel of continuity to the home’s overall look and feel, and creating a focal point. 

A Study in Contrasts:
Summer chose a gray marble backsplash to contrast with the clean white cabinetry and countertops. “There’s a continuity that occurs with the white, but when you see all that white you need to see a contrast somewhere, too,” she says.

Location, Location, Location: “It’s Central / South Orange County, and being central is so nice! You have Irvine Spectrum, you’re close to the beach, and a lot of people gravitate towards Irvine,” says Summer.

Custom Finishes and Fixtures: Summer, who gravitates toward a timeless and classic style with contemporary lines, oversaw every detail. “I love that it’s stood the test of time for sixe years. I adore the finishes in this home,” she says.

Neutral Territory: “[Throughout the home], we went with a lot of white, blue and gray because it’s neutral enough that if you want a pop of color, you can do so with your furnishings and décor,” says Summer. “It’s easier to do so, and more cost effective.”

Style Underfoot: The floors are solid wood, and were stained with a greyish overtone to contrast with the lighter walls and cabinetry.

Open, Yet Intimate: The home’s floor plan is mostly open, in keeping with the needs of contemporary family life. However, for Summer, it was also important to create a separate, more formal dining space to foster connection over special dinners.

The Backyard Fireplace: “I sketched the fireplace by hand and had it made,” says Summer. “It was unusual at the time, and I wanted something more contemporary. It’s a beautiful focal point when we have guests over for wine, and a really functional space.”

Efficiency = Priority: The home runs on a photovoltaic system, which takes energy from the California sun and converts it into electricity for everyday use. HIgh-grade insulation and quality air seals on the windows contribute to the home’s overall tight energy envelope, especially when running the central A/C in the summertime.

Why Sell?

The Garners are saying “goodbye” to this family home in order to move closer to their children’s schools and to be nearer to work. “We will miss this home, but we know it will be the perfect place for another family,” says Summer. “What you get, price-wise, for something that’s so beautiful is really incredible.” View the listing here.

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