Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  I spent Thanksgiving Day at my family’s house on Balboa Island in Newport Beach.  Despite living in Los Angeles for many years, I was born and raised in Newport Beach, so it’s still that place I call home.  Our house on Balboa Island is located on what is called “Little Balboa Island.”  Balboa Island is an island in Newport Harbor comprised of a larger island and a smaller island separated by a canal and accessible by a bridge. On Thanksgiving Day, we took a walk around the perimeter of the smaller island (Little Balboa Island) and I took some pictures that I thought I would share with you.  So join me on my walking tour!


So here’s your map (um, using my iPhone map).  Our walk begins on the smaller of the island where you see “The Grand Canal” at the very top (of the larger waterway, Beacon Bay) – we are going to walk around the perimeter on the water side above where you see Crystal Avenue (the water side street is E Bay Front) and then down to S Bay Front, across S Bay Front and back up along side The Grand Canal (all the homes featured are water front houses).  Hope that’s not too confusing!  Don’t get lost!


One of my favorite houses, this house sits on a corner lot right at the edge of The Grand Canal (but wraps around a bit with rooms facing the canal) and faces Beacon Bay.  This house probably takes up about four lots.  I don’t know a lot of details about the house but my dad said it has been written about/published quite a bit.


A typical Balboa Island home, this house has a spacious front patio and a cute walkway.


An older more original island home, decorated for the holidays.


The architecture of this home is more southern, but still retains some traditional Balboa Island aesthetics.


Another house that has a southern flair, reminds me of a house you might see in Florida.  (Part of the house both above and pictured below.)



The house sits on two lots, so it has a nice wide front water facing porch.


And it’s currently staged and on the market for $10 million.


So now we’ve come to the intersection of E Bay Front and Park Avenue.  Notice how even the lamp posts are decorated for the holidays! Let’s continue up E Bay Front…


An original 50’s era gem, love the front door!


In the spirit of the holidays, owners decorate their private docks too.


My dad loves this house, not so much me – but I do find the nautical shutters whimsical.


Now we’re at the corner of E Bay Front and S Bay Front.  This house sits on a corner lot with dynamic views (the picture below is taken right at this corner).


The house above enjoys this view…every day.


A newer Balboa home, lush with landscape.


A day at the beach:  Thanksgiving Day was 84 degrees, warm & sunny.  Next time bring your bathing suit!


Another Florida-esque style home.  This property was at one time available to rent.  Great location, situated on a corner lot.


Most all of the water facing homes come with their own docks, great if you are a boat owner.


We’re now at the corner of S Bay Front and The Grand Canal.  This house sits across the way on the larger island.


As we make our way up The Grand Canal, my dad stops to introduce us to a friend of his that he meets up with on his daily walk.


We’ve now just passed the bridge that connects the larger island to Little Balboa Island as we continue to make our way back alongside The Grand Canal.


A house on the canal side, more traditional and modest in size, decked out for the holidays.


Making our way back to where we started, this walkway leads up to our house.

Hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of Balboa Island! Come visit again soon!

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Have HUE seen it?

Posted By Jill-LA | Nov 29, 2009 | 3 Comments | Category: Books, Designers


So have any of you readers picked up a copy of Kelly Wearstler’s anticipated new book Hue? I finally ordered the book today on Amazon, feel as if I may be a bit late in running out to grab a copy but I’m patient enough to wait for mine to arrive in about a week or so.  I have yet to read many reviews but I did see a post on another blog that was a rave review.  Despite much circulation of excerpts, I pulled off these preview images via Amazon.  If you have seen the book – let me know what you think!



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Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted By Jill-LA | Nov 25, 2009 | 1 Comment | Category: Decorating, Design Inspiration, Holiday


{Images via Martha Stewart}

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Pretty Pillows

Posted By Jill-LA | Nov 25, 2009 | 1 Comment | Category: Decor Accessories, Decorating


I first saw this pillow (above) via Real Simple and thought it was darling.  I clicked the link to the site to discover more pretty pillows and that their origin is Hungarian, made in Hungary using traditional Hungarian motifs. I happen to be half Hungarian (Austrian descent on my dad’s side, Hungarian descent on my mom’s side) so immediately connected to something that displayed a bit of heritage.  Aside from heritage, these pillows are just really pretty!


This pillow is made by using hand -cut reverse felt applique.


My Hungarian grandmother used to sew a lot, this pillow reminds me of something she would have made.


The reds are pretty too!

{All pillows available online at Horne}

Now if only I could find those traditional Hungarian cookies & pastries my grandmother used to make for the holidays…

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For my Orange County readers, there is a new Jonathan Adler pop up shop located at Fashion Island in Newport Beach for the holiday season!

There will also be an exclusive designer event on Wednesday, December 2nd for local designers in the area.

Here’s the info that was sent to me:

We are thrilled to announce the opening our new Jonathan Adler store at Fashion Island Shopping Center  in Newport Beach.

We are a pop-up store here for the holidays and would love to share our “happy chic” vibe with you.  We invite you to participate in our exclusive Designer Event to be held the evening of Wednesday, December 2, 2009 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm.

–          Feel, see, and smell all of Jonathan Adler’s fabulous products

–          Learn about our 10% discount offered exclusively to designers

–          Champagne & chocolate for a treat

–          Meet fellow designers  in the area

–          Receive  a complimentary gift from Jonathan Adler.

You can find us in the middle of the mall across from the Koi Pond.  We hope to see you on Wednesday, December 2nd from 5-7.  Give us a call to let us know you will be attending.

Have a “happy chic” day!

Jonathan Adler Fashion Island

235 Newport Center Drive

Newport Beach, California 92660

Phone: 949-759-0017 Fax: 949-759-0016

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Thanks Casa Sugar!

Posted By Jill-LA | Nov 17, 2009 | 2 Comments | Category: Decorating, Design Bloggers, Designers, Walls


Just thought I’d say thanks to CasaSugar for including a picture I featured in a blog titled “Wall of Mirrors” (linking back to MG as source) on a post they did called “10 Ways to Create A Wall of Mirrors.” Check it out for even more amazing pictures of decorating with mirrors.  I especially love slide no 9.

And to leave you with another image, here’s Kelly Wearstler’s octagon mirror of walls for the high roller suite at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas!


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Branching Out

Posted By Jill-LA | Nov 17, 2009 | 6 Comments | Category: Decor Accessories, Decorating, Holiday


With Fall and Thanksgiving in season, filling your home with some earthly acquisitions really branches out from the usual decor…


Chandelier from Pottery Barn


Twig mirror from Spiegel


Jewelry Tree from Pottery Barn


Branch Side Table from West Elm


Floor Lamp from Oly Studio


Table from Jayson Home


Branch Shelf from West Elm

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Rocket Man

Posted By Jill-LA | Nov 11, 2009 | 4 Comments | Category: Celebs, Color, Designers, Magazines


What do you get when you mix Sir Elton John, his partner David Furnish, and interior designer extraordinaire Martyn Lawrence-Bullard? A very chic LA pad! Check out these photos featured in the December issue of Architectural Digest.

Both Elton John & his partner wanted a place that was very LA, something very ’70’s and reminiscent of the building’s architecture, and as quoted “Boogie Nights.”  Sir Elton wanted a period vibe as a backdrop for his art & color photographs and aside from that – color.  That says the man – who is himself very colorful!  And as Elton’s partner states; “Martyn takes your taste and gives the most gorgeous, sexiest version of it,” says Furnish. “Not having a template style, he’s a true collaborator.” I think that’s a great quote and couldn’t agree more – this space really reflects who the clients are.


The living room with sweeping views of the city.


Love the Kelly green painted wall and dark floors.


The 1960’s chandelier is from the Grand Hotel in Milan.


Elton’s colorful office space (and so happy to see he is a Mac user)!  Definitely a chair for the one and only “Rocket Man!”

[To see the full spread pick up a copy of the December 2009 issue of Architectural Digest which also includes the homes of: Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Magic Johnson, Donna Karan, Ralph Pucci, James Burrows, Carole King, Elie Saab, and more!]

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Pretty rooms infused with nature…












And if all else fails, bring the tree inside!

{Images collected over time & saved from Domino, Elle Decor, Lowell Hotel NYC, House Beautiful, Kelly Wearstler, Traditional Home.}

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Never Ever Neverland

Posted By Jill-LA | Nov 07, 2009 | 13 Comments | Category: Celebs


As a resident of Bel Air, I like to follow the Bel Air Association Blog to keep up with such neighborhood news as: recent bobcat sightings, the latest home invasions, street construction, & of course, highlights of properties on the market in the neighborhood.  Take, for instance, this property that apparently Michael Jackson was in negotiations to purchase just prior to his death.  The estate is 20,000 square feet, has 15 bedrooms, 16.5 bathrooms and includes a two story guest house, swimming pool, spa, fitness center, tennis courts, and…I must be leaving something out?  Oh, the asking price: $37,995,000.

Here’s a little peak of what MJ would have gotten for his money:














And, of course, Michael Jackson touring the property:




I’ll refrain from commenting about the interior decor and leave that to you, dear readers…

{Images via TMZ}

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