My Favorite Room: Kelly Dodd lets natural beauty provide the drama

The ocean-view home of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" star has a fourth-floor great room.
The ocean-view home of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” star has a fourth-floor great room that includes a kitchen, entertainment area and a lounge that extends out to the patio.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

On television, Kelly Dodd lives it up as a housewife in tony Orange County. But for a major remodel of her four-story contemporary, she was inspired by Miami’s South Beach.

Dodd — the latest cast member to join “The Real Housewives of Orange County” — recently finished overhauling the Corona del Mar home she and husband Michael bought in 2014, taking it down to the studs and starting from scratch.

Although the reality TV star worked with a designer at first, she ultimately decided to go it alone.


“I wasn’t afraid,” Dodd, 41, said of redoing the beachfront home that features an elevator, shimmering chandeliers and a Swarovski crystal-covered wine opener. “My grandmother was very artistic. She loved interior designing, so I think I get my love of design from her.”

Away from the unrelenting spotlight of the Bravo show’s rants, romances, recaps and reunions, Dodd’s favorite room is a 1,200-square-foot fourth-floor living space. It features an open plan with kitchen and dining areas, a full bar, a kegerator, a wine refrigerator and a rooftop deck with views of the Pacific.

“It feels like old meets new and is very Old Hollywood,” she said.

Why so much white?

I was going for the look of the Delano Hotel in Miami. I wanted the blue from the ocean to pop against the white. I have white-on-white with touches of gold everywhere and a lot of brass.

What details generate the most buzz?

People love my white and gold La Cornue French range. They want to know what kind of countertops I have; they are called Super Thassos Glass. And people love my antique mirrors.


Biggest splurge?

The French Oak floors cost $64,000. But the Fleetwood sliding pocket doors that connect the room to the terrace were the biggest expense and cost over $100,000. There’s one off the kitchen and one off the living room.

What makes the room special?

It’s a great gathering spot. The room has a natural draw and so much light. We have random drop-ins all the time. We get up there and can relax and watch the sunset with a glass of wine. It’s beautiful.

You’re in the process of selling this house. Will you stick with the South Beach motif at the next?

No, my design style is different with each house. I picked the South Beach style because of the ocean. If I was moving into a single-story home, I would probably do a Napa Valley style.


Have you borrowed any home design elements from your “Orange County” cast?

No, God, no.

There must be one cast member with a design aesthetic you admire?

Meghan King Edmonds. Her style is relaxing and creative. I like her taste. It’s a little funky, and she’s young, so her design style is fresher than the other ladies’.

There are “Real Housewives” from London to Los Angeles. If you could swap homes with any series cast member for a week, who would it be?

Erika Girardi from “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Her home is so over the top.