A House Full of Cool Ideas

HGTV Magazine takes you on a tour of a freewheeling California ranch house bursting with fun, try-this-at-home inventiveness.
By: Kathleen Renda and Jennifer Berno DeCleene

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (Styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

Photo By: Lisa Romerein (styled by Liz Strong)

From Average to Amazing

Not many home buyers would purchase a bland 1959 ranch house and reconceive it into a rustic farmhouse, woodsy sleepaway camp, and salty surf shack. But Raili and Ryan Clasen saw past the cramped interiors and low ceilings of the Newport Beach, CA, house they bought in 2013 and envisioned something ultracool. Teaming with architect Eric Olsen and landscape designer Bridget Skinner, they embarked upon a gut reno, preserving the footprint but changing everything else—from the pitch of the roof to the location of the walls.

One-of-a-Kind Home

When they moved in eight months later (along with their son Rees, 12, and mixed-breed rescues Abby, left, and Minnie), the place was unrecognizable: The great room had a vaulted ceiling that soared up to 20 feet, there was a bocce court, and every room was filled with Raili’s laid-back decor. Now there’s a constant stream of friends popping in for dinner, the couple’s daredevil son skateboards through the open-plan rooms, and no one’s afraid to prop their feet up on the furniture. "It’s like living at a high-end camp," says Raili. "But instead of a dirt floor, we have white oak laid on the diagonal."

Dining Space

Extra-Large Lighting: Epoxy and fiberglass lights by Bertjan Pot are a hip alternative to a classic chandelier. "I love to mix styles," says Raili. "The rooms are modern, industrial, and rustic—all at the same time."

Great Room

A floor-to-ceiling, 18-inch-wide niche filled with firewood gives new meaning to "log cabin." A cutaway in the white oak cabinets displays Raili’s 15-plus array of vintage metal thermoses. Redone in burlap, a World War II army cot pulls triple duty as a coffee table, a bench, and a footstool. An elegant oak frame and Belgian linen make a butterfly chair from One Kings Lane living room–worthy.


Massive industrial lamps Raili scored at a local salvage shop hold their own with the dramatic ceiling. Instead of upper cabinets, simple white oak boxes hold dishware.

Home Office

Ryan’s custom deskis white oak, to match the kitchen cabinets. Surf-inspired prints in assorted sizes look unified, thanks to identical black frames.

Master Bedroom

"The rest of the house has hardwood floors, but I wanted a cozier feel in here," says Raili. "Wall-to-wall carpet in a low-pile wool makes a huge difference." Only the bottom of the wood headboard and the wall around it are painted (Gray by Benjamin Moore). The door decal—a nod to Ryan and Rees’ passion for riding waves—is the work of a local surfboard designer. A glazed ceramic garden stool, which stays rust-free, keeps bath essentials in reach of the freestanding tub.

Guest Bedroom

Crate & Barrel willow lights in the guest bedroom hark back to the days of making twig crafts at camp. Knotty wood planks resemble paneling but are actually realistic-looking lumber wallpaper.

Rees' Bathroom

Enter through a 1940s pebbled glass door with the original lettering and a 3-foot-long trough sink.

Rees' Bathroom

Repurposed first aid kits are grouped together for impact. Recessed 6 inches into the bathroom wall, vintage metal lockers conceal towels and toiletries.

Outdoor Kitchen

A cedar pergola—with fast-growing trumpet vines and an antler chandelier—defines the dining area.  Screen-printed onto plywood, a phrase from one of Ryan’s favorite T-shirts became graphic artwork above the grill. Powder-coated red, Emeco’s lightweight aluminum chairs energize the weathered cedar deck with a hit of zingy color.


The small side yard was partially visible from the street and shady all day—but perfect for a bocce court. A framed chalkboard displays the family’s easygoing rules for bocce. Topping the list: "Hold drink in non-throwing hand."

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