How One LA Family Used Indoor-Outdoor Design to Create an Urban Paradise

December 31, 2019
Historical Courtyard
Courtyard in the historical center of Vienna. Austria. By Tryfonov - Adobe Stock

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to spend more time in nature? For one family in Los Angeles, they do not even have to leave the house to soak in the sun after spending $1.5 million on renovating their property into an indoor-outdoor oasis. Although indoor-outdoor living is not new, this property is especially intriguing as it incorporates the outside into their home via courtyards and gardens versus focusing on panoramic views through windows. Discover more about this urban paradise and get inspired. 

At David and Jamie Thompson’s house in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles, it’s easy to lose track of where the house ends and the yard begins.

The 5,380-square-foot home, which Mr. Thompson, the founding principal of the Los Angeles-based architecture firm Assembledge, designed for his family of four, is three separate pavilions connected by glass walkways, with enormous glass doors that slide open to connect the interior rooms to a mosaic of courtyards and gardens. One pavilion contains the main living spaces, another the primary bedrooms and the last a guest suite and garage.

“We’re really using the perimeter of the property as the exterior walls,” Mr. Thompson, 50, said. With a courtyard of mature olive trees, old oaks, walkways lined with tall grasses and a pool, the property has become “this little private oasis, right smack in the middle of an incredible urban city,” he said.

Indoor-outdoor living is nothing new in Southern California, but at the Thompsons’ home, the concept is exaggerated.

Unlike many iconic Los Angeles houses that orient themselves around these panoramic city views, this house is really more about this inwardly focused experience,” Mr. Thompson said.

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