A small slice of the country life in Ojai

Here is our crazy and exciting attempt to capture a small slice of the country life just a few hours from work and not so far from the city that you can't find a home depot near by.  Ojai is about 25 miles south of Santa Barbara and about 12 miles inland from Ventura and the beach.  The population is about 8,000 and the valley is only about 12 miles from end to end.  No malls or parking meters to be found. We chose to look for real estate in an area called the Arbolada.  It is historic for the miles of winding roads, lined with native California Oak.  Most are 80 plus years old and because of strict regulations for preservation,  the trees have survived undisturbed by development.  Each lot is at least one acre with the  adjacent country side dotted with orchards of oranges, lemons and tangerines.  The Arbolada and much of the town of Ojai was envisioned by glass entrepreneur Edward Libby.  His home is still here and is a classic example of Early California architecture in the Spanish Revival style.  The Libby Stables,  designed by Wallace Neff are just up the road  and were recently sold to actress Reese Witherspoon. Prior to that the home was owned by designer Kathryn Ireland.  See the details of that house with this link www.housebeautiful/decorating/ireland
Our house was built in 1957 and is of no particular interest architecturally.  We purchased this house for the lot and setting among the spectacular oaks.  This is the rear of the house with a rather forlorn looking screened porch.
The prior owner live here for almost 30 years and most likely had some fun with a small home garden.  There is also a family orchard of citrus, about  a dozen trees in all.
Thing got a little out of control in the yard as the prior owner got more elderly.  We are now on our 5th dumpster to clear the site of the ivy, weeds and some really scary looking bushes.

And what country home would be complete without a shed!!
This is the front drive and front porch area.  Many of the windows were completely covered by bushes.

The Kitchen, in all its glory.
Master bedroom. YIKES!  And yes, we now are using the fireplace in the corner.

Living room.
This shot gives a sense of the scale of the trees.  There are about a dozen Oaks scattered throughout the property.  I see a tree swing in my future.

Here is another shot from the rear of the house early this spring.  We had the house painted white and have cleaned up most of the lot at this point.
Well, things are looking better.  Just a glimpse of the progress made to date with more posts to follow.  Best to all~*~kelley
  1. Oh I can't wait to see what you're going to do with this. Such great bones, and I love the idea of a "Country House". We're in the midst of getting a lake house - offer in, not yet accepted. It's agony!

  2. It is so amazing what you have been able to do! What vision AND follow through you have had! Just amazing! No easy feat!

  3. My husband and I are, hopefully, moving to Ojai soon. We both used to live there and love it so
    much...we'll be buying a little house and fixing it up. I'm also a designer and am hooked on the trees and natural beauty of Ojai. You're lucky to have purchased such a wonderful setting along with your country home. Hope to run into you someday! Hasta! Valerie Devereux


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