Friday, December 24, 2010

Tiki Homes - Clairemont, California

While the Polynesian Tiki theme was actually frequently used in multi-family residential design (i.e., apartment complexes), the same is not true for its use in personal residences. That said, tiki style homes, while not common, do exist and I've shared some here on the blog in previous posts, like Anaheim, CA and Las Vegas, NV.

Next time you find yourself driving around in San Diego, CA, maybe attending Tiki Oasis, take a slight detour over to the neighborhood of Clairemont Mesa(near the 805 Freeway and Balboa Avenue). Centered around the intersection of Charger Blvd. and Barnhurst Drive you can find an occasional tiki designed house spread around the neighborhood. Most of the tiki style homes are in need of a little tlc, but the structure is there and these places could be very unique if cleaned up, painted and landscaped.

5554 Chandler Drive (built 1965)

This house has three of these great beam ornamental details, one on each side of the house and this one over the garage.

But the extension of the roof line down to this planter box is what really draws attention to this house. Note that the support beams are designed to look like bamboo poles (beautiful detail).

4560 Berwick Drive (built 1964)

The owners have removed the planter box in the front yard and cut off the roof extensions.

6846 Boxford Drive (built 1965)

Roof detail

This large dark pink bougainvillea bush, when in full bloom must be really impressive, but overall detracts from the unique roof line.


  1. Having spent my whole life in Orange County, California, I guess I've never thought of tiki-themed tract housing as being particularly rare. (Of course, I still enjoy seeing all the variations.) In this day and age, it's only rare to find one that hasn't been heavily de-tikified.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. I love 'em. I would love to see what the inside of one of these pads looks like. As for the "de-tikified" ones... I would restore them to their natural and totally swanky glory. The people who de-tikified them should be properly burned at the stake by headhunters.

    Jeannie Wahini
    Little Rock, AR

  3. Hey CJ, I agree there in Southern California (ground zero for the Polynesian Pop Culture Movement) 'exotic' residential architecture can be found everywhere. However, a lot of the styles I find simply include a peaked roof (which looks exotic but that's all the developer did to the house). SoCal also seems to have the highest concentration of 'Storybook Style' residential architecture that I have ever found. Storubook, while not easily mistaken for Polynesian, is very unique and grabs your attention driving down the street.

    On my last trip to SoCal, I took a detour along sidestreets after leaving Oceanic Arts in Whittier while heading back down towards Disneyland. Along that route, in La Mirada, I found some the best preserved and well maintained examples of classic Storybook architecture I've seen, they were great!

  4. Hey CJ! It must be fun living in a “de-tikified” neighborhood, huh? And Zulu, it’s actually the peak of the roof that makes it more “de-tikified”. I wonder what story is behind that roof style. Does it mean something?

    Anyway, there was this Grand Lake, Oklahoma Homes for sale that Mom wanted buy and design with tiki style. Is it hard to find decorations and furniture that’ would complement the theme, especially the large stone sculpture? Can I find those in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Houses for sale in the village are all qualified for Mom’s tiki renovation. But sadly we can just afford one house and we only need one house to live in.

  5. 1965 -67 where built my american housing guild aHg lot of young areospace enginers lived in these tracs there are some mid century modern in there 1960-1963 the models where on mt abernathy san diego 92117