When the Flinns married in 2009—Jayne, a commercial real estate developer, and Michael, Scope Packaging president—they combined their families and began house hunting. “We both wanted a fresh start in a new home,” Jayne says. With two adults, five children, and a pair of active Jack Russell Terriers, they needed a lot of space. Friends since high school, the couple had grown up in Newport Beach and wanted to live on Lido island where they bicycled, swam, and jumped off the Lido Isle bridge as kids—“now totally illegal, of course,” says Jayne.
It took a year before they found the 5,000-square-foot, two-story home set on a large double lot. Its smooth plaster exterior with pilaster columns and carved lintel above the handsome bronze door beckoned to them, as did the interior appointments—crown, door, and window moldings throughout, period hardware, and a trio of handsome French fireplaces. “It reminded us of an urban, French apartment,” says Michael, who once lived on Isle de St. Louis in Paris when he worked as a model for Hugo Boss.
They were less enamored with the traditional French decor that resembled a Pierre Deux showroom. “There was floral chintz everywhere—on the walls and windows, covering tables and chairs—with loads of furniture and knickknacks,” Jayne recalls. “It was just too much.” What they wanted was a sophisticated lair with furnishings paired to a modern sensibility and lots of art.
To that end, French-style fireplaces once stained dark wood are now a gloss white. Walls and moldings previously in Provencal peach and sunflower yellow wear a crisp gallery-white, a perfect foil for the couple’s contemporary art collection. Jayne, a former trustee for the Orange County Museum of Art, says living with art enhances their lives. It also serves as inspiration for their new joint business, Boxfli, a creative packing company they opened two years ago selling colorful, patterned shipping boxes.
Accompanying the home’s art is an eclectic mix of Euro-style antiques and more modern furnishings, as well as select pieces from the couple’s past lives. Jayne’s old china cabinet made the move, as did an ottoman and a pair of chairs, now refinished and reupholstered. Michael’s corrugated cardboard, Gehry-esque bed and chair he made for his son Jack now add panache to upstairs bedrooms. Both brought their personal collections of midcentury glass, now arranged on Plexiglas shelves in the master bedroom. “It was amazing, when we put the pieces together, we couldn’t remember which were hers and which were mine; they were so similar,” says Michael.
Today the family’s home—filled with the old, the new, and the nostalgic—succeeds in creating the ambience of a Parisian apartment that has been redone by many families over the years. “We all feel very much at home,” says Jayne, “as if our families had lived here together for a long time.”
Photos by Priscilla Iezzi