Secluded in the Hollywood Hills

A patio provides the songwriter and TV personality with a shady spot for al fresco dining. (Everett Fenton Gidley)

Prolific songwriter and " American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi's Spanish-style home in the Hollywood Hills is on the market at $1,649,000.

The gated house, built in 1964, has city and canyon views, wood-beamed ceilings, an open floor plan, extensive decks and a spa. Three bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms sit in 3,400 square feet. She added an outdoor cedar sauna to give the secluded property a spa-like feel. The guest unit has its own entrance, living room, kitchen and bathroom.

DioGuardi, 39, who joined the panel of the Fox singing competition in 2009, brings a wealth of experience to the role. She has written hundreds of songs, including more than 165 on multiplatinum albums, and worked with Celine Dion, Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Pink and "Idol" winner Kris Allen, among others. A record producer and singer too, she owns Arthouse Entertainment, a publishing company.

She has used the house as a frequent site for her songwriting. Public records show DioGuardi bought the two-story house in 2004 for $1,199,000. Last year she married Maine home builder Mike McCuddy.

Ginger Glass of Coldwell Banker's Beverly Hills North office has the listing.

He takes a gamble on beach rental

Professional poker player Joe Sebok, host of "Poker2Nite" on Fox Sports, and designer Kristan Cunningham of "Design on a Dime" fame have teamed up to outfit his new apartment on the Strand in Hermosa Beach.

Sebok recently signed a year lease on the two-bedroom, one-bathroom ocean-view unit at $3,150 a month. For the card player, who spends much of his time traveling and staying in hotels, it's his first place of his own.

But in typical Sebok social networking fashion, this is no ordinary client-decorator working relationship.

"The coolest part is we basically decided to do the whole thing on Twitter and Facebook," said Sebok, who has a large following on Twitter.

Sebok and Cunningham use social media as a communication and decision-making tool and as a way to allow others to track their back and forth. "It just made sense instead of having meetings," Cunningham said.

She will take videos of thrift store and flea market finds, for example, and put them online for Sebok and Facebook fans to see and comment on. Or she'll compile a collage of potential items for one of his rooms. The pair also go over costs online to show people how a look could be accomplished differently.

With tournaments, a TV show and a website, Sebok needs a primary residence that can serve as the nerve center for his businesses and a place to entertain friends. He envisions an environment that's "young, casual, hip — a cross between modern and a beach residence."

With no previous decorating experience, Sebok turned to Cunningham, whom he met through an acquaintance.

"What I do best is help people figure out how to do things on a budget," Cunningham said. "He started with nothing but a mattress. We'll stay under $15,000 with sheets, art and accessories."

To keep costs down, many of the furnishings are being purchased from big-box stores. "Everything we buy can't be the ultimate lifetime piece, although there are some quality pieces that can go along with him to other places," Cunningham said.

One of the challenges of designing the space has been working within 750 square feet.

"Both bedrooms are barely big enough to hold a bed," Cunningham said. "We decided to take his bedroom and make it about the bed, just a bedroom. The second bedroom is going to be a men's dressing room/closet with a large bench that could also be a guest bed."

She thought it would give the unit a more luxurious feel to devote the square footage to something so indulgent. "The space only needs to work for him."