Home & Garden

This Cayucos home offers ‘a nod to the ocean’ — with beach color scheme, stunning views

When John and Dawn Turner began plans for a new home in Cayucos, they wanted an open floor plan with lots of light. They wanted big windows to capitalize on ocean views.

What they didn’t want was an overly contemporary home.

The couple has a large collection of antiques — some inherited from family, some picked up during their marriage. They needed a traditional-leaning backdrop for these pieces.

Their solution? A contemporary take on Craftsman design with plenty of openness, but also the warmth of organic materials.

The Turners, who previously lived in San Luis Obispo, bought their lot in 2016.

They worked with architect Laura Gough of Studio 2G in San Luis Obispo to design a new 2,500-square-foot home. Construction with Schaefer Custom Homes of San Luis Obispo began in May 2017 and wrapped up 17 months later.

John and Dawn Turner built their new Cayucos home with ocean views in mind. Rebecca Juretic Special to The Tribune

To make the most of views, the main living areas are positioned on the third floor of the three-story house. This includes the master bedroom, two decks, and a great room with strategically-placed 8-foot high windows.

The views that those windows capture get a further boost from high ceilings in the first-story garage.

Above the garage are two guest bedrooms, a bathroom and office. An elevator connects all floors.

Wood underscores the Craftsman aesthetic of the home. Floors are wide-plank oak, and a heavy wood beam spans the width of the great room ceiling.

A butcher block counter in the powder room, built by Los Osos finish carpenter Mark Alfirevic, was made to match an antique mirror. Alfirevic also built a Craftsman-inspired stair railing with carved wood posts joined by modern steel cables.

A heavy wood beam spans the width of the ceiling of the great room at John and Dawn Turner’s Cayucos home. Rebecca Juretic Special to The Tribune

Stone is another classic Craftsman element that brings organic warmth to the house.

The linear, modern look of the exterior gets a Craftsman twist with stone columns. Stone also covers the fireplace and kitchen island.

The interior design scheme was “a nod to the ocean,” Dawn Turner said.

The Turners consulted with interior designer Laila Tallon of Cambria to choose a beach-inspired color palette.

The 10-foot long kitchen island is clad in gray-green quartz. The stacked stone veneer on the fireplace has gradations of tan, green and gray that are reminiscent of beach rocks. And the kitchen backsplash is a textured tan tile that looks like sand.

The kitchen of John and Dawn Turner’s Cayucos home features a textured tan tile backsplash and and a 10-foot-long island clad with gray-green quartz Rebecca Juretic Special to The Tribune

Upholstered pieces, rugs and accent pillows were chosen in soft, beach glass hues of blue and green.

Even with the use of wood and stone, it took some finesse to make the family’s antiques work in the bright and open contemporary space.

The Turners parted with a few of their more ornate pieces. They also selected some new items in a transitional style, mostly upholstered pieces.

In the great room, they opted against using one of their treasured Persian rugs — instead tying together their main seating area with a contemporary rug in an abstract design.

The antiques the couple held onto have a specific function. An antique church pew provides a spot to put on shoes in the entryway.

Shades of blue and green in John and Dawn Turner’s Cayucos home serve as a nod to its beach town setting. Rebecca Juretic Special to The Tribune

Several pieces provide storage, such as an antique, handmade armoire at the top of their stairs that holds extra blankets.

A secretary that Turner inherited from her mother displays photos and memorabilia. An old Hoosier kitchen cabinet sits in the second-story hall and handily stores the family’s paper goods.

The finished home is both spacious and cozy. The large great room with its two patios has entertained groups of 17 with ease.

And yet the house “reminds our kids of the house they grew up in,” Dawn Turner said. “It’s contemporary, but it’s warm and it has all the things we love in it.”

A butcher block counter built by Los Osos carpenter Mark Alfirevic matches an antique mirror in the powder room of John and Dawn Turner’s Cayucos home. Rebecca Juretic Special to The Tribune


Simplicity is the key to making traditional furniture work in a modern home. Avoid overly ornate pieces and fussy patterns, and keep accents, such as lighting and window coverings, spare.

Think texture and color for a subtle beach theme. Accents in sea-glass shades of blue and green and materials that evoke stones or sand are reminiscent of the beach, but not obviously ocean-themed.

Hold on to family heirlooms and find ways to put them to work in your home. An old desk can become a display space for photos. A cabinet can be stashed in a hallway for linens.