EllwoodCraig Ellwood wasn’t always Craig Ellwood, but the Clarendon, Texas, native became renown under that moniker as he made a name as a premiere modernist architect. His homes, often considered works of art (and rightly so), are perfect blends of spare, midcentury German Bauhaus architecture and the more informal California sensibilities of the state he called home longer than the Lone Star State.

Born John Burke in 1922, his family left Texas and found themselves in Los Angeles by the mid-1930s. After joining the Army Air Corps in the forties, he, his brother, and two friends set up shop as contractors under the name Craig Ellwood. Not long after, Burke changed his name to Craig Ellwood, and began night classes in structural engineering.

He opened his own firm, and began to make a name for himself. Despite never having a license as an architect, he was a sought-after guest lecturer and continued to create residential and commercial masterpieces until he closed his shop in 1977 and moved to Italy. He died in 1992.

One of those masterpieces is The Smith House in Los Angeles. Built in 1958, it was restored this year under American Institute of Architects fellow (and former Ellwood associate) Jim Tyler’s guidance. It is now on the market. (more…)

Perhaps you, like me, continue to be intrigued by the “tiny house” trend.  For one exclusive area of Malibu, California, the tiny house thing has been more than a trend for more than 50 years.  Welcome to Paradise Cove, one of the most photographed and filmed parts of the greater Los Angeles area.  Paradise Cove is unique, not only in Malibu, but for all of the beach communities along the Pacific Coast Highway. Paradise Cove is, in simple terms a trailer park — a very fancy trailer park.

Fans of Grease, The Rockford Files, and pop culture junkies, stick around. We’re going to dish all the dirt on Paradise Cove.

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Leona ValleyA California midcentury modern with views for days, tucked into an 11-acre property studded with pine, in the heart of a newly-designated AVA (American Viticultural area) designated area sounds like an amazing second shelter — especially when you see all the room it has for entertaining. (more…)

basic instinctOne of the stars of Basic Instinct is for sale.

The California home where parts of the 1990s thriller were filmed got a lot of attention as one of the more stunning sets in movie history. It is on the market – and the buyer will have not only a piece of cinematic history but a home with gorgeous, jaw-dropping views of the ocean and Point Lobos. (more…)

Cabin-80-12

Thirty miles from the grind of Los Angeles, in the middle of the dense woods of Santa Anita Canyon, sits a tiny cabin. Like where this is going?

Built in 1918, the cabin was home to Mike Pauro — a musician known as ‘Ajax Moon’ — a poet and fiddler for whom the spot is now named. Fiddler’s Crossing. Reminds us of something out of a folk story. And if rustic is your thing, you could buy a place in that story for a mere $50,000.

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Pebble Beach Golf Links. Photo by Bart Keagy

7th Hole, Pebble Beach Golf Links. (Photo Credit: Bart Keagy)

Trade representatives from Monterey County, Calif., hosted a media dinner I attended recently, making an excellent case for the coastal area two hours or so south of San Francisco, plying us with agricultural products from the region.  It was a knockout meal, not surprisingly, as the area is home to the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Salinas Valley (nicknamed the “Salad Bowl of the World”),  and numerous California-caliber restaurants and wineries.

Eating local here is as good as it gets.  (Full disclosure: the dinner included fabulous abalone, lamb, artisanal cheese, glorious produce, fine wine — and, yes, it was comped.)

Today’s post features one of the premier residential communities in Monterey County: Pebble Beach.  It’s a bucket list golf destination for many, with more than half-a-dozen golf courses, including  Pebble Beach Resort’s famed Spy Glass Hill, The Links at Spanish Bay, and Pebble Beach Golf Links,  rated the No.1 public course in the U.S. by Golf Digest Magazine,  and a frequent setting for the U.S. Open.

Much of Pebble Beach is gated, open to the public willing to pay the $10 toll to drive the renowned 17 mile scenic route that winds along its shoreline. Homeowners and resort visitors on this road enjoy some of the most spectacular oceanfront views in the country. Housing prices in the area reflect the stunning beauty.

Soak it up, viewing housing options in a range of prices:

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rancho mirage real estate

Photo: Leaskou Partners

In the winter months, the resort city of Rancho Mirage, California, becomes a popular destination in large part because it boasts one of the warmest winters in the United States. The combination of bright sunshine and snow-capped mountains in the distance create a perfect backdrop for golf, and snowbird recreation. It began to flower in the 1940s and 1950s when Hollywood stars and monied Angelenos sought a warm retreat for the winter months.  Golf, martinis, and afternoons by the pool were the order of the day (and not out of fashion yet). There are nine country clubs in the area including Thunderbird and Tamarisk, the country club designed in 1952, that today’s home is located in.

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