Farnam House – Santa Monica, California - Atlas Obscura
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Santa Monica, California

Farnam House

On a quiet suburban street stands a peculiarly decorated house covered in mosaics. 

There are a lot of reasons to have a weird house. Unquenchable creativity, immutable personal style, or a penchant for exhibitionism – for the Farnam House, all three of these traits combined to make for a literally shining work of outsider art.

Aziz and Louise Farnam spent 14 years decking their house from roof to foundation, both inside and out, with intricate and eye-catching mosaic tiles. Mirrored and glossy surfaces glitter brightly in the sunlight.  Secrets and easter eggs hide all over the house, from a chaotic Hollywood sign in the alley, to a chicken on the roof, to a fishy corner, to Aziz’s signature, tiled quietly on a sidewall. Some neighbors call it an eyesore, while others consider it a fantastic work of public art, and one of most unusual spots in Santa Monica

Whichever side of the debate you come down on, there is no denying that the house is successful as both a distinctive landmark and an advertisement for the Farnam’s decorative tile and mosaic business.

The house has been featured in national newspapers and television broadcasts, and won a TLC contest for interesting California houses in 2013.

Know Before You Go

The Farnam encourage passersby to photograph and examine the mosaics.