COASTAL LIVING IDEA HOUSE | NEWPORT, RI (PART I)

When I read that this year’s Coastal Living Idea House was being held in Newport, Rhode Island and designed by Mark Sikes, I knew I had to make a visit while we were celebrating the 4th of July on the Cape.

If you’re not familiar with Mark’s work, I’d highly suggest you pick up a copy of his New York Times bestselling book: Beautiful which has quickly become a dogeared favorite in my own library. Best known for his timeless American style, a Newport beach house couldn’t have been a more perfect showcase for Mark’s signature blue and white palette.

After filling my camera roll with inspiration, I thought I’d take you on a tour as well. I’m told the home will be featured in the September issue of Coastal Living so we’ll have professional photos to look forward to in a few months. It goes without saying, but excuse the quality of my iPhone photos (desperately holding out for the iPhone 8 over here!)

The home was designed by A.Tessa Architecture and built by Horan Building Company, both of whom are Newport based. You can get a sense for layout via the floor plans here. If you fall in love after this tour, it can be yours for 3.2 million (unfurnished), but I would act fast, I toured on the second weekend the house was open and there had already been significant interest.

After walking through a Farrow & Ball striped entry, you’ll arrive in the open concept living room and kitchen. Light streams in through french doors in the living room which open to the front porch and back patio/pool area.

A symmetrical seating arrangement faces the fireplace and television. A perfectly styled coffee table was topped with one of my recent favorites: Lee Radziwell.

What I’ve always admired most about Mark’s work, apart from our shared love of textiles and blue and white, is is unerring attention to detail. His window treatments (above) are a perfect example – the header and leading edge are both piped in a contrast fabric and the baton is fabric wrapped. These are the things that take a project to the next level.

The entire home was peppered with beautiful abstracts by artists I’ve come to consider hallmarks of Mark’s designs: Kayce Hughes and Catherine Jones.

A custom pleated shade by Piggott Store atop the Farrow & Ball striped wallpaper.

In the breakfast room off of the kitchen, another pleated shade elevates the Circa Lighting chandelier (shop many of their pieces here).

I’m always a fan of a window seat and this one with its shiplap walls and array of blue and white pillows is no exception. Art by Serena & Lily.


The kitchen featured inset cabinetry – navy on the base cabinets/island and a crisp white on the uppers. Quartz countertops were used along the perimeter and a butcher block top on the central island which created a natural divide between the kitchen and living space. I only wish I had gotten the vendor on those fabulous counter chairs!

The Farrow & Ball striped wallpaper continued upstairs. The floor coverings throughout the home are Merida Studio – whom Mark has a collection of dhurrie rugs with.


This blue and white buffalo check room was one of my favorites. I love how Mark hung the arrangement of art above the desk to complement the roofline. In rooms with angular rooflines I always prefer to see the wall treatment (wallpaper or paint) continued onto the ceiling. It creates such a feeling of coziness.

Here’s another next level detail for you. The walls in this room (and in most bedrooms throughout the house) are actually upholstered – meaning that is fabric, not wallpaper – an old school technique I adopted (albeit on a much smaller scale) in my own entry.

What really impressed me about Mark’s upholstered rooms is how he’s used tape trim around all of the baseboards, window/door casings, etc. It’s such a tailored look and especially pops against the crisp white trim in this room.


The view to the buffalo check guest bedroom from a back hallway. More fabulous window treatments, art, lighting, and runners.

Even in bathrooms, Mark incorporates thoughtful details. Look how the striped border is echoed throughout the tile floor, walls (painted stripes, not tape trim in here), towels and window treatment.

A detail shot of the tile border on the floor. Big props to the installer for execution on this one!

Generally I’m not a tub person, but I think I could be swayed for this situation. 😉

I hope you enjoyed part one of the tour. I’ll be back tomorrow with part two which includes my absolute favorite room in the whole house!

2 thoughts on “COASTAL LIVING IDEA HOUSE | NEWPORT, RI (PART I)

  1. LOVE all these details, blue and white forever! I was just listening to his interview on Ballard Design’s How to Decorate Podcast, and it’s amazing he’s only been “in the field” for less than 10 years, and mostly by happenchance!

  2. Fabulous! Was recently in Nashville, and popped into Draper James. I ended up staying in the dressing room forever dissecting the details on the drapery he did. I felt like I was in a Master class. So good!

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