European Flair

Multiple courtyards connect indoor and outdoor spaces in this Tuscan-style home in Southern California. The only way to enjoy the cooler weather is to be outside," homeowner Julie Hancock says. She and her husband, Mark, should know. Every summer, they flee the searing heat of Arizona for their second home in Southern California. Shady courtyards reminiscent of those in homes dotting Italian hill towns offer cool places to relax and entertain. "We designed our house to make that easy," Julie says. "It flows from the inside out."

Read more: Beautiful Homes | Jul. 2008



Family First

There's no question that the basketball court, pool, and home theater get plenty of use, but it's simple things like drawing with chalk on the back patio, running through the sprinklers, and eating dinner around the kitchen table that matter most at the Majerle home, where family comes first.

Read more: Phoenix Home & Garden



Beauty and the Beach

Borrowing cottage charm from its neighbors, this new beach retreat has a kitchen and a supporting cast of adjoining rooms - designed to work hard while the family plays. Named Seahaven the home is shaped much like a boat with an angled bow and is "pointed" toward the ocean. Standing on the steps of the front porch are Susan's son Jim and his wife Katie.

Read more: Kitchen & Bath Ideas