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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Celebrity Pools

Posted By Jill-LA | Jul 17, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Celebs, Home Exteriors, Magazines

Well, it’s officially summer in LA and this past week has been hot, hot, hot! My 1940′s bungalow in Bel Air has neither AC…nor a pool. Seeing these celebrity pools featured on the Elle Decor website has me a tad envious about now.  Fellow Bel Air neighbor Monique Lhullier has yet to invite me to come over to lounge by her pool (I house sit, FYI). Little does anyone know I’ve been sticking my head in the freezer to cool off!

So here’s where these celebs spend their hot summer days…

Fashion designer Monique Lhullier‘s pool, original to her manor-style home located in Bel Air.

The Hampton’s pool of artist Chuck Close and his wife, landscape historian Leslie Rose Close.

The Long Island weekend house of fashion designer Dennis Basso.

The infinity pool at fashion designer Elie Saab’s weekend home near Beirut, Lebanon.

Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer’s East Hampton, New York home.

Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo’s Mediterranean-style setting at her  home in the Hollywood Hills.

The infinity pool at the Malibu home of Cindy Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

The Hollywood Hills home of actors Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor has a bi-level pool deck with an exotic vibe.

After creating a book called Pools (Rizzoli), fashion muse Kelly Klein knew a thing or two about how to create one for herself. She designed a black-bottom pool with soapstone coping and sleek steel railings at her Florida home.

At beach retreat belonging Coach president and creative director Reed Krakoff and his wife in Southampton, New York.

Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley‘s pool in the backyard of her Manhattan townhouse.

All images from the “Celebrity Pools” feature on the Elle Decor website.

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All American Style

Posted By Jill-LA | Jul 04, 2010 | 5 Comments | Category: Decorating, Holiday, Home Exteriors

In the spirit of the 4th of July, here are some images that embody the American way of life – year round.

The American flag creates a focal point in this bedroom and the red, white, and blue interiors reflect an all American style.

An outdoor deck feels festive.

A picture of a garden I took on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, CA.  Most all homes have a flag in the front of their house, year round.

And we always keep a flag on the back of our boat, seen here in Newport Harbor.

…and in Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island.

Most boat docks are lined with the flag at the end of the landing, as seen in this picture taken on Balboa Island in Newport Beach – last winter.  The spirit is year round here.

More “all American” style homes on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, where the flag is a staple in front of most everyone’s homes.  (I’ve stayed here in the midst of winter, when the winds pick up, and hear the flags blowing through the howling wind at night.)

A patriotic children’s room – so cute!

A very sophisticated bedroom decorated with a touch of patriotism.

{Photos from Houzz, House Beautiful, and me)

Happy 4th of July!

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Just because we can’t always see the interiors of beautiful homes decorated for the holidays doesn’t mean we can’t judge by the exterior – it’s always so neat to see a festive front door!  Here’s a few holiday doors for inspiration…


A colorful wreath featured on a detailed door in a JCrew ad.


This white wreath is simple and sophisticated, adds contrast to the dark door (formerly featured in Blueprint magazine).


Pretty blue door with a trio of wreaths via Martha Stewart.


Traditional greenery makes for a classic holiday door (image via Martha Stewart).

How is your front door decorated for the holidays?

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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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Posted By Jill-LA | Oct 19, 2009 | 7 Comments | Category: Design Inspiration, Home Exteriors








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Wall of…frames?

Posted By Jill-LA | Aug 30, 2009 | 6 Comments | Category: Home Exteriors, Walls, Windows


I recently wrote a post about a wall of mirrors…well, how about a wall of frames?  Gilded window frames, that is!  An architect in Sweden is building a housing project with windows of gilded window frames.  This project consists of 2 houses, both 6 stories wide, with 14 apartments (9 of them duplex apartments), glossy white enameled facade panels, with cast aluminium window frames that are gold leaf painted.  This reminds me a lot of something Philippe Starck would have done – mixing modern with rococo, neo-classicism, etc.


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Pretty Pool Houses

Posted By Jill-LA | Aug 23, 2009 | 8 Comments | Category: Design Inspiration, Home Exteriors


Summer may be winding down but that doesn’t mean these pool houses can’t inspire to use them year round!  Here are some images of both pretty and architecturally inspiring pool houses!














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