A bit of the Old South in Newport

After spending 20 years of decorating huge multimillion-dollar homes, interior designer Ann Fraser decided it was time to apply her design expertise to her own home. She tore down a 1950s single-level home in the Newport Heights area of Newport Beach and in its place built a two-story that looks like a centuries-old plantation-style estate.

Features that give it an aged look are numerous. Iron railings enclose an expansive balcony where Mexican pavers were installed upside down to make them look older.

The entire home has dark-stained distressed hardwood flooring. A stone wall in the great room has arched French doors that open to a side garden.

Inspired by a photo of an estate owned by fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, Fraser originally covered the dining room walls with orchid-color paint over several layers of plaster, according to a 1998 story in the Los Angeles Times. The area now has Asian toile wallpaper.

Although Fraser sold the home two years ago and relocated to Florida, the current owners have preserved many of her touches. The ambience of a luxury cabin aboard the Queen Mary remains intact in the downstairs guest bathroom. It features carved antique furnishings with gold starfish drawer handles, silk walls and custom double-sided ballroom-gown drapes.

An open kitchen has a large center island with a bead-board backsplash and wainscoting. Deep custom cabinets are topped with limestone, and walls are covered with French toile wallpaper.

A wide stairway with rosette details along the walls leads to the master suite, which has silk-upholstered walls. It features a sitting area with ballroom-gown draperies and bamboo shades. The master bathroom measures more than 230 square feet and has floor-to-ceiling wardrobe mirrors.

Small hexagon black-and-white tiles cover the floor in the 1930s-style bathrooms, which feature pedestal sinks, claw-foot tubs and exposed plumbing.

Throughout, doors are painted a shiny black, which complements the white crown molding.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Lauren Beale, Business, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012. Questions may be sent to