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HGTV star Jamie Durie reveals his own L.A. garden makeover

March 4, 2011 | 11:03 am

When Jamie Durie moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to start filming HGTV's "The Outdoor Room With Jamie Durie," the U.S. version of his hit Australian garden-makeover program, he purchased a "classic midcentury" house with a pool in Laurel Canyon.

Jamie-Durie-before Busy shooting episodes for back-to-back seasons, the landscape designer simply didn't have much time to renovate his own backyard, which on the program he described as "a little bit of California Outback," pictured at right before the makeover.

But now, with the premiere of Season 3 set for 11:30 a.m. (Pacific and Eastern) Sunday on HGTV, Durie shows how he recently finished transforming a tired yard dominated by a swimming pool into a series of -- you guessed it -- outdoor rooms.

"My whole house just got flipped inside-out," he says on the half-hour episode. "Every single thing you do inside the house -- whether you're dining, lounging, cooking, bathing -- can be done outside in this garden."

As with his on-camera design clients, Durie tackled the renovation by drawing ideas from his travels. He cites inspirations that include modernist architect Albert Frey's Frey House II in Palm Springs; the green roof of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco; Corkscrew Canyon in Sedona, Ariz.; Patrick Blanc's vertical gardens in Paris; and the beaches of Miami, among other destinations.

Jamie-Durie-after-firepitWith the help of show regulars Beth Edelstein and Stephen Zimpel, Durie accomplishes the makeover by day-lighting several exterior walls of the modest, L-shaped 1954 residence. He added restaurant-style retractable glass doors to the living room and opened up a bedroom wall with twin pivoting panels covered in orchids and tropicals; each section swings outward on tracks to flood the room with garden breezes, scents and sounds.

Cushioned daybeds line the narrow space between the re-clad swimming pool and the perimeter fence, now a vertical garden. The dining pavilion was built into the hillside so its planted roof feels integrated with the terrain above Durie's property. An outdoor shower, vanity and wood-wrapped, Japanese-inspired sunken bathtub are tucked in a private corner, and a stainless steel outdoor kitchen with grill has been set up poolside. "You wouldn't have a garden without havin' a barbie," Durie points out while cooking for friends and neighbors at the end of the episode.

-- Debra Prinzing

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Photos: HGTV


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