Habitat: Pat O’Connell

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Pat O’Connell’s house is modeled like his personality–stylish and warm. A vibe hangs in the air that oozes joy. His house is situated in the valley of beautiful Laguna Beach, California. Descending the steep drive, you’re greeted by tall eucalyptus trees, a house to the left and right, and then Pat’s–a two-story house nestled into the side of the hill.

“It’s so great here,” explains Pat. “I can lie in my bed and look out the window and see eucalyptus trees, and I feel like I’m in Australia.” As you walk to the door, you pass a pond occupied by a broken pump, a large mansion-type staircase, and a wooden deck capable of hosting the grandest of sunsets. “That pond is so cool, it’s a shame the pump is broken, because in the afternoons I would turn it on and it would sound like a beautiful little stream running through the garden.”

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Pat’s lived in the house for over four years now and has added the O’Connell touch by making “little zones” everywhere. “We’re redoing the back at the moment, and I’m so stoked. It’s like I’ve got all these little zones out here. I’m going to put in a few tables, and it’s going to be the hang zone. When we first moved in here, there was this veranda, and um, Pat starts laughing it didn’t even go around the whole house. That’s so funny, can you believe that? We added in the missing parts, and now it’s cool. I’ve got so many little places that are beautiful on this deck throughout the day. I love it.”

As Pat talks openly about his plans on redoing the backyard and fixing his garden, his roommate Jack roams freely throughout the home, expressing a kind of carefree attitude. Jack is a big ol’ golden retriever, and he’s obviously lived with Pat his whole life, because he walks around with a smile ear to ear–a lot like Pat. “In the summertime Jack and I can just run straight down the beach, it’s so cool. In the afternoon I love to walk through and see all the houses. There’s a house up there that has a roll-back roof Pat laughs again. People can just lay in the bed nude and get tanned. That’s so cool, huh?”

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So with Pat’s eucalyptus trees swaying in the breeze, and his neighbors on the hill tanning in bed, we say our goodbyes: “I hope next time you come by I have the pump fixed. That would be so cool.” I can hear Pat’s famous giggle as we drive out the street, and I see a sign that reads, “Thank You For Visiting Pat’s World.”–Tommy Herschell