Designer Spotlight: Anne Michaelsen Design


Anne Michaelson

Anne Michaelsen has an eye for entertaining in style; Blue-toned Sunbrella performance fabrics complete this built-in outdoor dining space.

Meet Anne Michaelsen, founder of Anne Michaelsen Design, Inc. and a 30-year veteran of residential interior design. Based in Newport Beach, California, Anne has an expansive portfolio, flaunting projects from a sleek and modern condo in San Francisco to a cozy but playful yacht renovation.

With an extensive background in art and history, she draws inspiration from her education and worldly experiences, incorporating these themes into her clients’ projects. Possessing a style that parallels her personality, Anne has perfected a bright and polished look, while still allowing glimpses of contemporary influence to shine through. We recently had the pleasure of discovering Anne’s modern approach to beach house charm in two of her Corona Del Mar projects in SoCal.

white house behind trees

Contemporary with a Classical Bias

Anne describes her signature style as “contemporary living, classically inspired”. Having studied Renaissance Art in Florence, Italy and with the English Country House program in London, she feels the weight and significance of interior design history when approaching projects. She finds her education to be a valuable compass, guiding her throughout her career.

blue and red dot pillow with Sunbrella fabric

Sunbrella performance throw pillows in a fun dot print add a pop of color to this outdoor courtyard.

Staying true to her design roots, Anne highlights the contemporary basics of line, shape, and form, to keep spaces feeling classic and timeless. We see this in the styling of outdoor entertaining spaces, where symmetry meets colors and patterns to give interest to a scene.

outdoor seating area with teal and white pillows

Contemporary basics meet Pacific coastal with this symmetrical outdoor living space, styled by Anne Michaelsen with Sunbrella performance fabrics in bright and coastal blues.

A Modern Take on Coastal Living

courtyard behind white house

This gorgeous coastal courtyard features true comfort with soft gray Sunbrella upholstered chairs and ottoman.

chair with neutral fabrics

Anne Michaelsen styles this seaside rooftop with a nautical theme, playing with Sunbrella neutral and striped patterns in the space.

As a California-native, Anne knows the challenges of her environment all too well. Year-round sun and unpredictable humidity emphasize the importance of outdoor furniture selection, and more importantly, its upholstery. Having sworn by Sunbrella performance fabrics her entire career, Anne boasts of the fade-resistant qualities, a must-have in her region. “Weather plays a really big factor in California, so I look for a fabric that is both beautiful and durable.”

With her ability to maximize the function of outdoor spaces, no matter the size, we watched as Anne transformed a small courtyard into the perfect area to entertain guests for an afternoon meal. Using warm neutrals to naturally complement the property’s inherent nautical charm, Anne assembles the perfect amount of texture, comfort and pattern to keep her designs on trend, without being “trendy”.

Entertaining with Style


Anne Michaelsen at outdoor dining table

Anne enjoys beautiful ocean views on this rooftop while styling for a summer dinner party using neutral gray Sunbrella pillows.

Outdoor dining table close up

[Anne Michaelsen’s fun and beachy tablescape with starfish, seashells, and Sunbrella throw pillows.

Anne describes entertaining outdoors as a special challenge, but one she seems to have mastered effortlessly. “When designing an outdoor space for entertaining I always start with the interior of the home and make sure the two spaces flow seamlessly back and forth,” she notes. This can make a small outdoor spaces feel bigger, too, as it feels like a continuation of a space. Using performance fabrics as her anchor, she selects colors and patterns that will seamlessly blend the indoor and outdoor aesthetics.

Backyard pool

Poolside leisure is made complete with comfortable and fade-resistant Sunbrella performance fabrics in colorful Confetti Red.

Anne has an innate desire to design spaces that bring people together, one that she shares with her daughter, Abby. The mother-daughter duo even has an Instagram account dedicated to the sole purpose of sharing their musings on how to style for entertaining. They offer inspiration and tips for table settings, seasonal décor, and all the makings for throwing a fantastic party.

To see more of Anne’s portfolio visit or follow her on Instagram, @annemichaelsendesign. To see more inspired design content, follow @sunbrella on social channels!

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