Farnam Mosaic HouseLouise and Aziz Farnam




Santa Monica, CA, 90401, United States

Visiting Information

Louise and Aziz Farnam enjoy showing their work to visitors, and welcome them. Much of the work is viewable from the street if they are not at home.

About the Artist/Site

Louise and Aziz Farnam, Iranian Jews, fled to Los Angeles after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Moving into a standard 1930s-vintage Southern California-style bungalow of 2500 square feet, with five bedrooms and three bathrooms, they raised their six children. When son Ariel’s school suggested that parents take classes in mosaic work so they could use their products as a fundraiser, Louise went to the school to learn the basic techniques.

She was immediately enthralled by the process and, after doing some early work adorning low tables with elaborate designs—some of which took up to six months to complete—she began to ornament the exterior façade of the Farnam’s house. Landscapes, seascapes, and even a portrait of the family macaw have been immortalized on the walls. They show “all of nature,” Louise comments proudly: representational images of apple trees, grapes, rivers, mountains, sky, birds, fish, and more. Her enthusiasm for this medium became contagious, and soon her husband Aziz joined her in ornamenting the façades.

The mosaic work continues around the side of the house, ornamenting the retaining wall that surrounds the property and even adorning the back side of the garage, which faces an alleyway not easily viewable from the street. Found objects are added to wall tiles, floor tiles, and ceramic plates to sheathe all exterior surfaces; Louise estimates 15 million pieces of tile have been used.

In contrast, the interior walls are not themselves ornamented with mosaic but, nevertheless, there is no lack of visual interest within the house. The focal point of the living room is the mirrored fireplace, comprised of hundreds—if not thousands—of individually cut forms arranged floor to ceiling. Mosaic-covered table and floor lamps, tables, vases, and picture frames, along with numerous Persian rugs laid end to end, all join into a colorful, almost vibrational display.

The couple continues to ornament the house while also maintaining their import-export, mosaic art, and natural cosmetic businesses and, of course, continuing to parent their children. Most of the neighbors are positively inclined towards the ornamentation, and the Farnam’s enhancements have not been challenged by the municipality. Louise and Aziz Farnam enjoy showing their work to visitors, and welcome them. Much of the work is viewable from the street if they are not at home.

~Jo Farb Hernández, 2013


Map & Site Information

Santa Monica, CA, 90401 us
Latitude/Longitude: 34.0126379 / -118.495155

Nearby Environments

The Garden of Oz

Los Angeles, California

George Ehling's Mosaic House

Los Angeles, California

Old Trapper’s Lodge

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Randyland L.A.

Los Angeles, California

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