Palisades Pavilions


The designer and his assistant, Ainsley Hudson

Everything about the open-air rooms that Jay Griffith erected in this Pacific Palisades garden are meant to evoke the mythological magic carpet rides of the Moors, among the first champions of outdoor spaces. One terrace, its sunset views ideal for evening cocktails, juts over the pool as if it’s floating on the water. The second, outfitted with a large dining table and a hammock, appears poised to take flight over adjoining Rustic Canyon. Griffith bought the house in 2006 and now leases it out; it had been the longtime home of actor Eddie Albert. The veteran Venice-based designer first trimmed back the eucalyptus, then planted blue borders of senecio and agaves “to extend the aqueous effect of the pool,” he says. Griffith, a Valley boy who grew up on film sets where his father worked as a gaffer (there’s a photo of him with Liz Taylor when he was six), prowls garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets for his accessories. “I comb the world for my crap,” he says.

“During the Italian renaissance, noblemen would drag out Persian carpets, chandeliers, everything, into their outdoor rooms and have parties.”

Left: The yard overlooks a canyon once owned by Will Rogers Right: The hammock was found in New York and shipped to L.A.

A Front Seat to History

A designer memorializes the day of infamy


theessentials_masa_tThe Chairs in the Pacific Palisades pavilions are from Griffith’s collections of Walter Lamb originals, made from piping off battleships that were bombed at Pearl Harbor. Contemporary versions of the chairs have been reissued by Brown Jordan. $845 at Design Within Reach.


Photographs by Noah Webb 

52 Great Weekends