Last weekend I got to attend a summer evening wine and jazz event hosted by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. The event took place at a private home with a resort like backyard of lush landscaping. There was poolside live music and nine California wineries participated in providing tastings. My friend Allan and I enjoyed an evening of food, wine tasting, and live music.


Photos by Allan Dallatorre

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The other day I came across this mid-century masterpiece of a home on California Home & Design. The house is located in Pasadena, CA and currently listed for sale at $1.695 million. It was designed by architect Arthur Swab for his own use in 1959.


The concrete block house features four bedrooms and four baths, an outdoor kitchen / pool area, with lush landscaping nestled into a hillside.


The living room and dining area with views to the backyard.


Details reminiscent of mid-century modern architecture: built-in bookshelves lining the corridor.


A modern front door.


The sprawling pool.


An outdoor bathing area.


View of the backyard with lush landscaping, oak trees and olive trees.

For a complete slide show including floor plans and landscaping details, view here.

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Loving this pool pavilion featured in Elle Decor, of a home in the Hamptons. The bright blue cabinets are custom made with a smoked mirror-paneled bar, counters are of cast glass, and floors are honed Thassos and Atlantic Blue marbles. View the full feature here.

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It seems a bit fantasy, yet an architectural delight: having a pool in the house! Not a generic indoor pool, but a dramatic scape to a living room, bedroom, or bathroom. Common it may be to have an interior courtyard pool, yet many flow right into the house and beyond…


Right in the middle of a living room! (This one is actually situated between a living room, dining room, and staircase – guess there’s never not an excuse for a dip in the pool when it’s that accessible!) Image via Coco + Kelley’s “Room of the Week Feature”


In the bathroom, like a moat to the tub…I would definitely love this set up!


The indoor/outdoor room, with the convenience of having part of the inside of the house.


An interior wading pool creates a symmetry to exterior double endless pools.


Indoor/outdoor living is a luxury in some climates, having the privacy of a courtyard pool and a living room that completely opens up to a pool is pure bliss.


This is producer Jerry Weintraub’s bedroom that was featured in Architectural Digest magazine. Doesn’t seem safe to have a pool this close to a bed, but the architectural elements are intriguing.


Still loving the concept of a pool in a bathroom, this one extends beyond to the outside.


And another…


Perhaps a tropical vacation house could not be without the indoor / outdoor pool concept.


While it’s mainly an outdoor pool, a courtyard pool that is completely open to the interiors is truly an extension of the home.


When I was in design school, one of the design studio projects was to create a 1,000 sq ft home – this is the house I designed with the concept of indoor/outdoor living as an extension of the home. I included the idea of a lap pool jutting into the side of the house, side by side with the fireplace in the living room. The idea reminds me a bit of the very first image I posted (the pool merging with the interiors of the house).

All images via Pinterest.

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Court Side

Posted By Jill-LA | May 28, 2012 | 1 Comment | Category: Design Inspiration, Home Exteriors

Warmer months ahead means more time spent outdoors, and the idea of a courtyard is especially appealing as it offers privacy as well as an extension of indoor/outdoor living.

The epitome of an outdoor living room, great for entertaining.

A courtyard with a pool.

A very European inspired courtyard, ideal for long leisurely late afternoon lunches.

Another European inspired courtyard, perhaps an entrance to a building that makes a great spot for congregating.

A courtyard garden.

A more tropically eclectic inspired courtyard, with Spanish and Mediterranean influences.

Overlooking vast greenery, a courtyard with a reflecting pool.

The graveled courtyard.

Cozy and casual and well-landscaped.

Images via Houzz and Pinterest.

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All About Exteriors

Posted By Jill-LA | Apr 14, 2012 | 6 Comments | Category: Design Inspiration, Home Exteriors

Recently, I have been working on a couple of projects where we are focusing on the exteriors…with Spring here and Summer around the corner, time to fix up the outdoors! Here’s some inspiring outdoor spaces!

Love a graveled courtyard.

How charming is this guest house!

A lush garden.

Love these steps!

Such a cozy, intimate space.

How fun is this!

Amazingly elegant!


All images from here and here on Pinterest.

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Guess I can’t get enough of looking at cool, interesting, pretty, or stunning doors (both interior and exterior) – I continually come across more visually enticing doors (and have previously blogged about them here and here).

Which ones would you enjoy knocking on?

Images via Houzz and Pinterest

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On the Terrace

Posted By Jill-LA | Apr 16, 2011 | 5 Comments | Category: Design Inspiration, Home Exteriors

This weekend in Los Angeles we have been experiencing a bit of summer like heat, with temps nearing the 90’s in mid-city LA.  The warm up is a nice change and people are out and about enjoying the summer like weather.  For city dwellers, even a balcony or terrace becomes a great place to enjoy a nice day.  I think these small spaces have great potential – here’s some inpiration!

Images from Elle Decor, & Fresh Home.

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Let’s Play House!

Posted By Jill-LA | Apr 10, 2011 | 7 Comments | Category: Home Exteriors, Kids

As a kid, I had a life-size playhouse in our backyard.  It was pretty basic: a box, with a pitched roof, one exterior window, a dutch door.  It was painted blue with white trim.  Completely unfinished on the inside with no electricity or running water (joke).  At certain times of the year it was cold and damp inside with a musty smell.  But regardless, it was my little retreat and I played in there for hours with friends.  Or rather, I played for hours, friends stayed for brief visits.  I couldn’t even manage to keep Scamp, our Cocker Spaniel in there for very long, he always wanted out for some reason.  It moved with us about three times and then I finally outgrew it prior to our next move. So my parent’s put it “on the market” and surprisingly it *sold* rather quickly.

Well, the “playhouse real estate” market has changed quite a bit back from the time I had one! I came across these architectural gems of a playhouse from a company called Smart Playhouse.  If you are in the market for a modern and chic life-size playhouse – they sell ones for both indoor and outdoor.

The Illinois offers great views and a front porch.

The Hobikken is still contemporary, but has a more rustic warm cottage feel.

The Kyoto (mini) is much more futuristic looking.

The Kyoto (maxi) offers a second story and is inspired by Japanese avant-garde architecture.

The Casaforum is made of wood and steel, with a textured facade.

For indoor playhouses, there are two options:

The Hobikken

The Kyoto

Happy House Hunting!

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Harbor Cruise

Posted By Jill-LA | Aug 27, 2010 | 1 Comment | Category: Home Exteriors

I thought I would share a tour of the waterfront homes of Newport Harbor, in Newport Beach by way of a “harbor cruise” – photos I took while cruising around Newport Harbor.  Last year, I wrote a blog post on “Houses Of Balboa Island” – homes on the Newport Harbor waterfront located on Little Balboa Island in Newport Beach. This time, I thought I would actually get in the water and take pictures from the bay!

Our trip begins where the purple pin is as we cruise past Linda Island, Harbor Island, thru Beacon Bay and around Balboa Island and out to the Peninsula.

Directly across from where we keep our boat is Linda Island.  This house dominates the view and at night is beautifully lit up with the reflection of lights twinkling in the water.

Boat slips line the homes off Linda Isle.

A tradtional style Linda Island waterfront home.

Most homes on Linda Island were built in the 1970’s but many have since been remodeled.

Cruising on over to Harbor Island…

A tradtional home on a corner lot between Harbor Island and Balboa Island.

Another Harbor Island home.

The Balboa Island bridge leading to Balboa Island, we cruised right under to the other side…

Right under the bridge on the Beacon Bay side, these homes sit on the beach.

The beach front homes of Balboa Island, many of these homes are the original homes of the island.

Balboa Island with it’s beaches and private docks.

And more of the original style Balboa Island homes.

Homes on the Peninsula side.

The last of the Peninsula side of homes, the home on the far left dominates the entrance to Newport Harbor just beyond the jetty.

{All photos by Jill Seidner}

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