Holiday Home Tour
By Misty Hall
Every time I sit down to write this column, I try to find the right words to describe the Ojai Valley and the reasons that make living here so amazing. There are tons of ways to live and thrive in this valley, and it’s difficult to fit them all into any one box.
Lucky for us, Ojai’s the kind of place that encourages life outside the box.
And if you take the 22nd annual Ojai Holiday Home Tour this weekend (Nov. 10 and 11), you’ll discover four homes that offer four very different ways of living that out-of-the-box Ojai kind of life.
“One of my favorite things about the Home Tour is seeing so many different perspectives on Ojai living,” said Anna Wagner, the director of development at the Ojai Music Festival who’s helping to organize the Holiday Home Tour. “Each (home) has a different view on what Ojai living represents. They’re all architecturally unique homes. And to me, the personality of Ojai really shines through in these home tours. They are really exceptional examples of Ojai living.”
While each of these homes are distinctive on their own, organizers have enlisted the help of local floral designers, which — along with some choice holiday decor — takes this year’s Tour to a whole new level.
“It’s a great way to get ideas for the holidays,” said Wagner. “You can start off your holiday season with this home tour.”
If you’re not convinced yet, here’s another reason to take the Tour: it benefits kids. Organized by the Ojai Festival Women’s Committee, the Tour helps fund the Bravo Music Program, which offers awesome (and free!) music workshops in every elementary school in the Ojai Valley. Kids get the chance to try out several musical instruments for a day made of equal parts fun, educational, and delightfully noisy. So give their parents a little peace and quiet, and give yourself some architectural and design inspiration by exploring some amazing properties on the 22nd annual Ojai Holiday Home Tour.
Here are a few highlights from each home:
Five acres of natural beauty, enhanced by masterful design, make up this welcoming Persimmon Hill paradise. Indoor rooms flow seamlessly to the lush outside to provide a luxuriously spacious and relaxed ambiance in this gorgeous hideaway. No detail was left to chance in its meticulously crafted architecture, furnishings, and landscape. A neutral color palette highlighted by peaceful pastels extends throughout the house and lovely gardens.
All Patina Farms photos by Andrew Ingalls
Left: Lavender and vines give Patina Farm a fantastically French Country feel.
Right: Lush green gardens at Patina Farm offer a variety of textures.
Thoughtfully chosen antiques complement the natural textures of the structure, reflecting family history as well as travels. The artful blending of classical and modern influences exudes a feeling of simple elegance.
Left: Sophisticated yet unstuffy — it’s one of the things Patina Farms does best.
Right: Carefully chosen antiques blend old and new in one of Patina Farm’s bedrooms.
“It’s absolutely stunning,” said Wagner. “And they have a lot of animals they’ve rescued — donkeys, sheep, goats. Their goat house is incredible. I think they live better than many humans!”
Columns add grace to the Love Nest’s grand foyer.
Homeowner, author, and interior designer Brooke Giannetti put her spin on the fall season, accentuating her home designed with her and husband Steve’s signature “Patina Style.” The couple’s work has been seen in such publications as Sunset, Veranda, and Good Housekeeping.
Cool, muted tones and exposed beams characterize Patina Farm’s living spaces.
Serenity in the City
All Serenity in the City photos by Fred Rothenberg
Get lost in the hundreds of books in Serenity’s library.
Located conveniently close to town, but feeling like it’s tucked far away, lies a very personal gem of a home, offering a comfortable private oasis for this civic-minded couple. Nestled amid the lush native gardens that were featured in the 2017 Ojai Garden Tour, the home’s key features are chef’s dream kitchens.
Why cook and eat inside when you’ve got an outdoor kitchen like this at Serenity in the City!
Yes, that’s kitchens, plural — there’s one inside and one outside! After living on a farm in the Upper Ojai Valley, the Evenden family downsized to this sweet space that Wagner describes as “just quintessential Ojai. It’s so well-appointed. And the kitchens are to die for!”
With such amazing kitchens, it’s not surprising to discover that the hostess has authored two cookbooks. A homey atmosphere is created by works of many local artists, Edward Curtis photos, as well as Native American baskets and art collected during the owners’ extensive travels. A plunge pool and bocce ball court, as well as several relaxing garden niches, complete the ambiance of this lovely abode.
Serenity’s bedrooms offer a wrought-iron bed and a cozy, well-loved feel.
Carolyn Bennett of cdb gardens and the Ojai Valley Garden Club will lend her design expertise with fall floral arrangements and decorations.
Saddle Mountain Sanctuary
Saddle Mountain Sanctuary definitely lives up to its name. Beautiful oaks surround this Spanish-style home that features an appreciation for all music genres and a passion for exceptional art.
All Saddle Mountain Sanctuary photos provided by Ojai Music Festival
Carefully chosen artwork provides thoughtful accents to both the interior and exterior living spaces at Saddle Mountain Sanctuary.
Be sure to allow plenty of time to experience this amazing private “gallery.” Keep your eyes open for Calder, Picasso, and Zúñiga; you’ll also spot a host of other exquisite pieces of art and sculptures. Gorgeous hand-crafted mosaic tile tables were custom designed to brighten and complement indoor themes and outdoor settings. Imported rugs add warmth to the terra cotta and wooden floors. Then there’s the incredible personal library for fireside reading, a spacious central courtyard surrounded by giant agave plants, a zen patio with a custom fountain created by Ojai artist Martha Moran, and the strobe-lighted mirrored disco ball ready for the upcoming holiday parties. This secret sanctuary will be decked out by interior designer Laurel Crary and the Ojai Blooms duo Adonda McGrath Brennan and Jennifer Wing. This powerhouse team will decorate the recently remodeled home with a Christmas holiday theme. Flora Gardens will also add their landscape creativity to the exterior areas of the large, open property.
Saddle Mountain Sanctuary perfectly juxtaposes art from around the world and across the decades.
All Love Nest photos provided by Fred Rothenberg
Left: The Love Nest’s incredible — yet cozy — front patio.
Right: Lush trees and mountain views — talk about the perfect poolside experience!
Stepping into the lofty foyer of this home transports you from a delightful neighborhood in front to a haven of nature in back. Lush trees and majestic mountain views make the Love Nest among the loveliest homes in the peaceful Rancho Matilija gated community.
The Love Nest blends Hollywood with small-town charm (check out that cute swing!).
The character of the home’s owners is revealed inside, where Hollywood memorabilia abounds — including a real Oscar and Golden Globe they’ve won, as well the Stratocaster from Wayne’s World. It all mingles with rustic Early California design to create a comfortable retreat that reflects the vibrant personalities of this talented and generous couple. The home truly feels like a warm and inviting nest to enjoy.
A pair of amazing chandeliers and large French doors offer lots of light in the Love Nest’s living room.
“It’s really a cool house!” Wagner said. “They’ve totally remodeled it — it’s so beautiful. And they have an infrared yoga room!” Irma Murillo of Angela’s Flowers, who was recently voted Best Florist (Ojai Valley News), will be paired with architect-designer Bruce Abbott. Together they will decorate with the theme of Thanksgiving Bounty. Perhaps the best part of all these properties is that “they’re livable homes. They’re not pretentious,” Wagner said.
The Love Nest’s kitchen ingeniously blends the warmth of wood with the modernity of metal.
The Ojai Holiday Home Tour runs Nov. 10 and 11, from 10 am to 4 pm. Also taking place at the same time is the Holiday Marketplace, to be held at Thomas Aquinas Church Hall (185 St. Thomas Drive). More than 40 vendors will offer a wide range of holiday gifts as well as lifestyle and fashion items. Don’t forget to pop over to the food trucks — there will be several on-hand both days! Advance Holiday Home Tour tickets are $40 per person or $45 day of the event, which can be purchased at the Holiday Marketplace. (There is no cost to attend the Holiday Marketplace alone.) Tickets are available online at OjaiFestival.org, by phone at (805) 646-2053, or at Attitude Adjustment, Flora Gardens, and Rains in Ojai. Fox Fine Jewelers in Ventura are also selling presale tickets. For more, see ojaifestival.org.