Inside Lisa Ling’s Environmentally Efficient Santa Monica Oasis
Lisa Ling's Environmentally Friendly Home
"We wanted to build an environmentally friendly home," CNN's Lisa Ling tells PEOPLE of the Santa Monica retreat she shares with her husband, oncologist Paul Song. "We wanted to achieve the highest level of environmental efficiency possible."
It took the couple three years to build, but the final result was well worth the wait: a four-bedroom, five-bathroom, mid-century modern home, created with the help of designer Marco DiMaccio.
The family's first floor features an open floor plan. "This is where we congregate the most," says the This Is Life with Lisa Ling host and executive producer.
In the Stacks
The TV journalist has "a lot of novels and autobiographies" while her husband "has a lot of geeky science books," says Ling, 43. The shelves are rounded out with collectibles, family photos and of course Ling's Emmy.
Dining in Style
The minimal dining room can host a crowd thanks to a suite of Eames molded plywood chairs. "We have a big family that is over every night," says Ling.
An All-Purpose Backyard
The family takes advantage of Southern California's sunny weather in their colorful, shaded outdoor space. "We take naps, we read, and we eat dinner out here every night," says Ling (with daughters Ray, 4 months, and Jett, 3).
Taking a Dip
Since the family's fiberglass saltwater pool is one piece, it was installed after the house was built. "We literally had to have a crane and lift the pool over the house and plant it into the ground," explains Ling. "It was quite an effort."
Faux Hanging Out
This design feature "is the best babysitter you can ever imagine," admits Ling, of her sunken seating and play area, which is surfaced in fake turf.
The mom-of-two has collected Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan action figures over the years. "Everyone who comes into the house always says, 'Paul! You have such a cool collection.' I'm like, 'That's mine!'" Ling says with a laugh
Bobbleheads of State
"Paul is quite political and buys toys he thinks are funny," says Ling of this unique collection of leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. and Hillary and Bill Clinton.
The house has several water features along with concrete floors and "a lot of stairs," explains Ling. "We weren't certain that we were going to have kids, so it's not the most baby-friendly house."
The family's home has "Asian-fusion accents, vases and lots of books," says Ling, along with personal touches like their pictures on throw pillows.