A weekend retreat in Paradise Cove designed for entertaining, relaxing and just being.
Behind the patchwork wooden door of Art Luna and Tim Clarke’s turquoise home in Paradise Cove is a living, breathing world. The ’70s wind chime sings to a bright blue peace sign; the staghorn ferns, fed banana peels by Luna through their soil, nestle around an oyster-shell mirror; and bromeliads and tillandsias hang out on driftwood shelves. Every sign of life vibrates here in these tight, desirable quarters. Even the aluminum trailers turned into portable palaces and the golf carts that whisk owners to the beach and back, have their own personalities—much like the one-of-a-kind couple in their midst. “We come here to just be who we are,” says Luna.
Paradise Cove is technically a mobile home park, though tucked between $60 million dwellings on the Malibu cliffs and inhabited by celebrities like Minnie Driver and Stevie Nicks, it’s arguably the most attractive in the country, perhaps the world. Luna, a landscape designer, and Clarke, an interior designer, call it a “bohemian trailer park country club,” and had been looking for their parking spot for more than a year when they fell in love with the trailer at No. 52. “We knew immediately that Commune had designed it,” says Luna. (He and Clarke have remodeled six of their own homes in L.A.) “It was perfect and we didn’t have to do anything to it,” he adds, smiling. “All we did was redo it.”
Though Luna says “the bones are still Commune,” he and Clarke couldn’t resist adding their inimitable stamp. That’s what they do; Luna transforms awkward spaces into secret gardens and Clarke creates beachy interiors—sand optional. Their “beach locker” here borrows from their travels to create a kind of hip and homey surfer’s haven. Handblocked fabric from Bali doubles as the bedroom wallpaper and curtains.
“Because it’s a small space, we did every surface in one giant pattern so you don’t notice the walls,” says Clarke. The rest of the “500 square feet of bliss” is covered in grass cloth and art from Hawaii and California, the two places Luna and Clarke feel most connected to. They say the trailer reminds them of a storage cabana in Costa Brava, Spain. “I love that it’s a mix of both Tim and me; where I collect California pottery, he collects surfboards,” says Luna. “We both think of them as art because that’s what they are.”
Their vision of a beach community with a relaxed vibe extends to their entertaining, which happens on the beach. Weekends are spent meditating, hosting family picnics and back-gammon matches, and throwing a Frisbee with their dogs (“Charlie really is the Frisbee champion of the world,” says Luna, referring to their mixed-breed rescue.) “We make a lobster salad and head to the beach with friends and some rosé,” he says. “What else do you need?”
By Martha McCully.
Photographed by Jessica Sample.