Today's house hunter envisions how she wants to live before she begins her search for that new or first home. This vision can be influenced by a number of things including the opinions and experiences of family/friends, features in popular magazines, newspapers or television programs. Location, type or style of house, and interior features are all important elements but the salient factor in the final decision is intangible—how will she feel living in the home. The house and its environment represent the buyer’s personal values, aesthetic philosophy and life plan. (7 Steps To Take Before You Buy A Home. www.hgtv.com) A wish-list of granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and open floor plans are only the material symbols of the lifestyle.The 1960s buyer's wish-list is not so different from today's house hunter, and the Paul R. Williams’ designed homes in SeaView (Palos Verdes, California) fulfills the dreams of both. The subdivision built by the Linde Construction Company was described in scores of Los Angeles Times articles as prestigious, striking, opulent, an extraordinary offering “… in the way of living comfort, élan, and those delightful luxuries which make the difference between ‘a place to live’ and a residence you enjoy to the full and want others to see.” (October 23, 1960) Built on 10,000 square-foot terraced lots, situated for the best view and with “… clean-washed air and the most equitable temperature in the Los Angeles area,” the development was marketed to veterans qualified for government backed loans and “second (and third) home buyers looking for more quality.”
All the homes in SeaView, a 190-unit tract, were based on eight floor plans with flexible exterior stylings. Williams’ designs and finishes gave each buyer the sense that his home was unique and custom-built. The interior details include decorative shoji screens dividing various living spaces, an "all purpose" family room with a floor to ceiling stone fireplace and exposed beam ceilings, extensive use of new materials—aluminum, Formica, laminates, and rubber tile flooring. These design and finish options were the concrete realization of the suburban life buyers sought. Acknowledging that “women actually are decisive in selecting a new home,” the kitchen was commodious, roomy and filled with the latest gadgets and conveniences “so easy to overlook in ‘house hunting,’ so much appreciated in the actual process of day-to-day living.” Priced from $34,000 and $43,700 the SeaView homes met the aspirations of the target audience. Within 6 months the development registered $500,000 in sales with veterans accounting for 95% of the purchases. (Los Angeles Times, March 20, 1960)
"If I ever win the California lottery, my dream is to buy a home in SeaView." (Comment submitted to the Paul R. William's Project website, 2009)
SeaView holds the same charm and attraction for new owners as it did for the original residents. Looking for “livable, visually stimulating and modern interiors,” buyers value their home’s classic mid-century modern lines, ideal physical location and the neighborhood’s richness of architectural details.
“We were so happy when we moved into our Paul Williams' SeaView home…it reminds me of vacationing in Palm Springs as a child in the 60s and 70s.” (Personal communication, Mark Morgan, 2010)