Kirsten and Jeff Ingham came to Lido Isle on a whim. Little did they know that three houses later they would be living in what Jeff calls “the place we want to be for a long time.”
The couple – who have been together for almost 30 years since meeting in high school in the San Gabriel Valley – were planning to buy a home in Pasadena in 2004. Kirsten especially felt an affinity to that venerable California city.
“Growing up in the Midwest, I wanted to live in Pasadena because it reminded me of the Midwest. And I thought, ‘I will never live in Orange County; there’s no culture, there’s no this, there’s no that,’” she says with a laugh.
“Then we came down to Newport Beach for a weekend,” Jeff recalls, “and we ended up buying a house here instead, on the peninsula.”
That’s the place the couple started their family, which consists of “one dog, a gecko, a guinea pig and then three children. Not necessarily in that order! We have a 14-year-old boy, an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl,” Kirsten chuckles, then bends down to pet Lola, the dog, who avidly accompanies this home tour.
Their first home on Lido came after the birth of their elder son. Says Kirsten: “On the peninsula, the neighborhood we lived in wasn’t as family-friendly. We wanted a place that had other kids and room for them to play, and we found Lido. At the time, we moved into what was perfect for us. It was a small house; we had one child. It was an original Lido house built in 1931, the same year the bridge was built.”
That house was where they began working with interior designer Keely Kay, a Balboa Peninsula resident herself. Kay worked on that first Lido home as the Ingham family grew to two boys.
“Keely came in, and she’s an organizational expert, and she would say, ‘OK, you can max out this space by buying a piece of furniture that will fit in perfectly.’ So she helped us max out our space in that house, we were…