Holiday Home Tour: Annual tradition benefits Ojai Music Festival

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Four Ojai residences, each with a distinctive architectural style, will be open to the public during the 23rd annual Ojai Holiday Home Tour and Marketplace next weekend.

Included will be the contemporary home of architect Scott Johnson, known as the Wall House; the recently renovated 1925 French Normandy-style residence, named Foothill Farm; Tuscan Ranch, a Tuscan-inspired home with stunning tile work and hand-painted murals; and El Sombrero, the modern rustic “shack” property of architect Ross Anderson.

Also taking place the same weekend is the Holiday Marketplace in its new location at Libbey Park across from the Ojai Downtown Arcade. Featured will be a collection of curated lifestyle and fashion items from vendors.

Both events benefit the Ojai Music Festival and its BRAVO education and community program, which offers free music workshops to Ojai Valley public schools and the community, according to Gina Gutierrez, CEO of the Ojai Music Festival.

“The Wall House, an award-winning home designed by Mr. Johnson for his own family, is a contemporary masterpiece with a spacious open interior featuring a raised platform for the concert grand piano — the daughter is an opera singer and her husband is a symphony conductor — a sunken conversation area around the fireplace,” said Ms. Gutierrez.

“An outdoor kitchen includes a fireplace, wood-burning grill and a pizza oven. The 12-acre meadow property, bounded by streams on both sides, borders on Los Padres National Forest. It features apricot and peach orchards, as well as organic produce, herb and flower gardens.”

Foothill Farm was purchased in 2015 by a couple from Los Angeles who were fastidious about maintaining the impeccable craftsmanship of the well-built historic home, keeping the original design elements so it is impossible to discern old lines and finishes from new, according to Ms. Gutierrez.

“The owners have a unique knack for integrating eclectic art from pre-Colombian to modern, from folk art to famous masters, having it look perfectly suited to the grand old home,” she said.

Gorgeous frescoes, painted by the original owner, adorn the walls, and some ceilings, in nearly every room at Tuscan Ranch, which includes a small family vineyard of merlot and cabernet grapes on the lush two-acre estate.

“The stalls in the former horse stables have been paved and converted into a garage, man cave, wine cellar and delightful entertaining area, complete with a chandelier,” said Ms. Gutierrez.

El Sombero, which began life as a simple 1,150-square-foot wooden cottage with tiny rooms and low ceilings, was transformed by architect Ross Anderson as his own home that he shares with his wife, Patricia, and their Labradors, Belle and Rufus.

“This unpresumptuous shack is affectionately known as El Sombrero by the owners because of the way the animated and bent roof form creates shade and shelter like a large-brimmed hat,” said Ms. Gutierrez. “The addition of a deep wrap-around veranda offers shelter for the entry and also serves to extend the living area with an outdoor room.”

Shades of grays on the board-and-batten siding and pewter metal roof blend with cedar decking outside, and flat neutral colors inside fit in comfortably with the valley’s rustic landscape.

“Tickets for the Ojai Holiday Home Tour, a treasured annual tradition presented by the Ojai Festival Women’s Committee, are $40 in advance and $45 at the event. Admission to the marketplace is free,” said Ms. Gutierrez. “No cameras are allowed on the tour nor are children under 12 years old.”

Email: mcmahon@newspress.com

IF YOU GO

The 23rd annual Ojai Holiday Home Tour, which is self-guided, takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 16 and 17 and Marketplace hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 16 and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 17.

A free shuttle at Monica Ros School will be available for the El Sombrero property.

Tickets, which are $40 in advance and $45 at the event, are available by calling 805-646-2053 or online at www.ojaifestival.org. They can also be purchased in Ojai at Attitude Adjustment, Flora Gardens, Rains Department Store and in Ventura at Fox Fine Jewelers.

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