By Laura Gosselin | Illustration by Ken Harris | Photos by Jody Tiongco
As you leave the bustle of downtown and head north on Pacific Coast Highway, the homes on Beverly and Wave streets offer a laid-back vibe typical of Laguna Beach. The welcoming neighborhood, featuring residences that vary from 1940s- to 1960s-era cottages, as well as duplexes and custom homes, is cozy, quaint and full of coastal charm.
“The friendliness of the people in the area is rare to find,” resident Jill Witte says. “It’s not unusual to have a genuine conversation with a neighbor or make a new friend on [a] walk.”
As with the rest of Laguna, on these streets, no two homes are alike. Each is brimming with character and has its own unique style and voice. You’ll find everything from modern minimalism to storybook cottages on these streets, which run parallel to one another off Pacific Coast Highway. Those who reside on Beverly and Wave streets feel like they live in paradise; it’s located just a stone’s throw from Shaw’s Cove, a local treasured diving spot and one of the most private public beaches in Laguna.
Wave Street Cottage
Jess MacEachern, her husband Steve and 9-month old daughter Vienne live in a classic two-bedroom cottage on Wave Street. Originally built in 1958, the family purchased the home in 2010 after they fell in love with its proximity to the ocean and the amazing views. Built on top of a two-car garage, the home is elevated above Pacific Coast Highway, affording breathtaking panoramas all the way to Main Beach.
The house is cozy, featuring one great room with floor-to-ceiling windows on one side, opening up to a wraparound patio.
The high ceilings make the space feel larger than its 800-square-foot floor plan.
“We can see the sun rise over Laguna in the morning and set towards Crystal Cove in the evening,” Jess says. “We are also in close proximity to all of the wonderful things Laguna has to offer; we can walk across the street to Shaw’s Cove beach, up the hill to the hiking trails and a couple blocks to the start of Artwalk.”
Inside, the cottage features an open-concept design, tastefully peppered with personal artwork, mementos and family treasures.
“I grew up overseas, as my mom works for the State Department, so our home is decorated with what we have picked up along the way,” Jess explains. “I like a lot of color in my life, and I think my [painted] purple fireplace is one of my favorite parts of the house.”
What makes the house particularly special to Jess and Steve is that they began their family there. They converted the guest room into Vienne’s room, hopping on what they call the “crazy parenting roller coaster,” and loving every minute of it.
“The space is absolutely perfect for our little family,” Jess adds.
FAMILY FACTS: Steve, Jess and Vienne (9 months) MacEachern, and Goodman (English bulldog) and Junior (a fish). DAY JOB: Steve is a real estate investor; Jess, along with her mother, owns and operates Little Freebirds, an infant and child boutique on Ocean Avenue.SPACE: 800 square feet, two bedrooms and one bath. HOUSE TIMELINE: Built in 1958, purchased in 2010. FABULOUS FEATURE: There is a stained glass scene of sailboats on the water right above the patio door that casts blue rays across the living room in the morning light.
Modern Meets Traditional
“We just needed a change,” Kristi explains. “We yearned for beach life and we haven’t looked back. Here, it’s magic.”
Modern and cozy, their updated 1965 home is just under 1,600 square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious kitchen and a cozy front porch with ocean and Catalina Island views.
The home boasts two decks, including a private deck off to the side that’s perfect for entertaining with its picturesque views of the ocean. The warm interior features decor in a mix of modern and traditional pieces. They brought most of the existing furniture from Columbus, but there are some new pieces they’ve acquired since moving to Laguna Beach.
“The final touches were made with the help of our interior designer and friend Vanessa Holliday of CCH design,” Kristi explains. “My favorite part of the home is the front porch, where my husband and I sit and watch the sunset or have breakfast on weekends while watching the ocean and listening to the waves crashing.”
Their cottage, as with all homes on Beverly and Wave streets, is just a short walk to restaurants and downtown shopping—and a short drive to Crystal Cove. The couple also frequently hikes the gorgeous hills of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.
“Our neighborhood is amazing; we have met some great friends from a simple ‘hello’ during a walk,” Adam says. “We look forward to many years of enjoying our home and giving back to the community.”
FAMILY FACTS: Adam and Kristi Deutsch, and three cats. DAY JOB: Adam is a financial advisor; Kristi is a mortgage loan officer at Wells Fargo. SPACE:1,600 square feet, three bedrooms, two bathrooms. HOUSE TIMELINE: Built in 1965, moved in 2012. FABULOUS FEATURE: The front porch, where you can hear the waves softly crashing.
Also newcomers to Laguna and just up Beverly Street from Kristi and Adam, outdoor enthusiasts Jill Witte and her husband Chris rent a 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom duplex located four homes away from Pacific Coast Highway. The couple moved from Del Mar, Calif., and although they downsized by moving to Laguna, they say the sounds of the seals barking from Seal Rock definitely make up for it.
To make up for the space they lost in the move, the apartment came with access to an extended-length garage, which is ideal for storing all of their adventure equipment, including bikes, surfboards and snow gear. The garage space also doubles as a fitness training area for Jill’s business.
The rooms are adorned with simple and clean decor, which Jill and Chris says defines coastal living. The efficient use of space coupled with an outdoor lifestyle makes for a happy home and inspires their appreciation for the environment. The couple spends most of their free time walking their goldendoodle, Roofus, in nearby Heisler Park or playing volleyball at Main Beach. They can also often be found in the water either surfing or paddleboarding.
“I work from home a lot and love the fact that I can take a quick break and walk Heisler Park with our dog or sneak in a brief surf session down at Rockpile [Beach],” Chris says. “Our home is the perfect place to kick back, relax and watch the sunset after an active day.” LBM
FAMILY FACTS: Chris and Jill Witte, and Roofus Yoda Tebow (goldendoodle). DAY JOB: Chris is a regional sales manager for Success Factors; Jill is a certified personal trainer for her company, JPeace Fitness Laguna Beach, and a spinning instructor at Rhythm Cycle Laguna Beach. SPACE: 1,000 square feet, two bedrooms and one bathroom. HOUSE TIMELINE: Built in 1958, moved in 2011. FABULOUS FEATURE: Its proximity to the beach for impromptu surf sessions.