Hottest Architectural Styles in Newport Beach, CA

Hottest Architectural Styles in Newport Beach, CA

  • Summer Perry Group
  • 07/13/23
What springs to mind when you think about Newport Beach, CA? Perhaps it’s the exquisite oceanside views or the romance of the fine dining and late nights on the water. You may imagine surfing or boating on the Pacific waves, exploring the ecological preserves, or other outdoor pursuits. This extraordinary city is truly a shining example of high-end living in Southern California.

Nevertheless, when many people think of Newport Beach real estate, they think about the architecture. Over the years, the affluent homeowners of the past and present have built up some of the most sublime homes and condos in the country here. Below, we’ll guide you through the most compelling styles and trends in the Newport Beach, CA, architecture scene. Let’s get started!

Early Modern

The first architectural style we’d like to introduce has one of Newport Beach’s most famous buildings as a template. The instantly recognizable Lovell Beach House, located on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, was completed in 1926. It heralded the emergence of the Early Modern architectural style on the west coast, perhaps a decade before it became a favorite building style all across the U.S. Designer Rudolf Schindler was behind the construction of this legendary home for several years before unveiling it.

The signature style of Early Modern architecture is now one of the most common in Newport Beach real estate. We can distinguish these homes by their full-height windows of the ocean, exterior stairways, raised living quarters, and exposed building elements. Check out the Mariners Medical Arts Center and Fashion Island (a fashion-forward, open-air shopping center built in 1967) for two other notable examples of the Early Modern architectural style in Newport Beach.

Mediterranean Renaissance

Following the huge shift in architectural styles that we saw in the ‘20s with the Early Modern emergence, California homeowners from the ‘50s and ‘60s decided to switch up their design priorities and try out another style. The so-called ‘renaissance’ of the Italian or Mediterranean fashion of home construction started in California, Florida, and other coastal states around the midcentury, and it took off in Newport Beach in particular. We saw Fashion Island (to pick up an example from above) take on a new Mediterranean look as recently as 1989, a fact that testifies to the longevity of this style.

Mediterranean Renaissance (or ‘revival’) homes are generally spacious, with warm-colored stucco walls, courtyards, patios, and balconies that allow fresh air to ventilate the space. Bright walls with expansive windows that allow homeowners and guests to filter in and out of outdoor rooms are also prevalent. The exteriors also take after Riviera-style European homes, thanks to their red-tiled roofs, carved doors, raw iron metalworking, and stone details. You can find beautifully manicured Mediterranean-style homes all over Newport Beach, CA, today.

Palladian/Classical style

We continue our tour through Newport Beach, CA, architecture with a look at a style that became very prominent in the ‘90s and which still makes up a good proportion of the high-end luxury homes in the area today: the classical Greek and Roman villa style. Also named the “Palladian” style, this architectural format for designing homes has been around since the 15th century.

The Newport Beach version of this classic style is a uniquely California take on design that incorporates elements from Spanish missions, Italian villas, and other seaside resorts from the old world. Wide, walkable stone verandas allow guests to take in the sights from anywhere, while the grand marble facades of these properties create an uninterrupted sense of splendor for visitors. Columns are an essential building element, as are symmetrical windows and large undecorated walls. It’s common to find extraordinary wood carvings, stairwells, and crown moldings in these types of Newport Beach homes.

Sustainable building strategies

Newport Beach has gone through many recent changes when it comes to new home and condo architectural design. The eco-friendly priorities of architects and contractors today have taken hold among a growing number of residents and new home buyers, leading to a cutting-edge trend in architecture that thrives today. Sustainable building materials like stucco, wood, bamboo, cork, and brick are all essential to building these kinds of homes.

Environmentally conscious builders made strides with the construction of the Newport Beach Civic Center in 2013, for example. This 95,000-square-foot building makes use of shaded paths and open-air corridors between living spaces and commercial areas, which improves airflow and reduces the amount of sunshine that penetrates the building. Many residential homes (both large and small) are following in the footsteps of these kinds of designs with better natural ventilation that can lower the temperatures indoors without harming the environment.


We’re wrapping up our guide to the hottest architectural styles in Newport Beach, CA, with a quick look at the types of homes that were once the defining feature of Southern California living: the bungalow. Originating all the way back to the turn of the century, these small and modest but extravagantly decorated private homes still populate the Newport Beach real estate landscape despite being somewhat out of fashion in the last two to three decades.

Nevertheless, the bungalow house lives on. These residents are easy to identify: they appear cottage-like in appearance, usually restrict themselves to a single story or two stories with a sloped roof, and often come with quaint dormer windows and deep verandas that can circle the entire home or just a side. The small size of the bungalow makes it an ideal home design for moderating the temperature and easy maintenance year-round.

Get in touch with a top local real estate agent today

With that, we’ve come to the end of our round-up of the most impressive designs in Newport Beach, CA, architecture. If you have any questions or comments, or if you’d like to learn more about Newport Beach real estate, reach out today to get started! Contact the trusted team at The Summer Perry Group at Compass for more information.

*Header photo courtesy of The Summer Perry Group

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