24 July 2009

Kathryn M. Ireland’s Creating A Home

 

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Two years ago,  the blogosphere went slightly crazy with glee when interior design great Kathryn Ireland bought a new vacation home in Ojai – the legendary former Libbey estate, featuring a large Spanish Revival ranch house.  After she had restored it, the ranch was featured in several  magazines – Vogue Living and House Beautiful.    Ireland decorated it in all bright colors and suzanis, many of which were new prints from her eponymous fabric line.    The ranch was romantic, a series of outbuildings, including stables, a coach house, a barn, a caretaker’s house, a gatehouse, and a main house that wrapped around a large, shaded, rock-enclosed courtyard.   A few months after the big magazine splash, the estate went up for sale, setting off a new round of blogosphere reports.   I confess I wrote one of those reports -  a long post on Ireland and the Ojai estate.   The ranch intrigued me, it included everything about design that I love – historic architecture, glorious fabrics, and an air of mystery.  Armed with the Real Estate brochure,  I spent a few days trying to figure out which picture went where – which room was in what outbuilding.   You know, just totally obsessing about the ranch and the layout of the buildings.

 

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The ultra talented interior designer Kathryn Ireland poses in the outdoor area that leads to the guest rooms.

 

Now, all my questions about the ranch will be answered this October when Ireland’s new book, Creating A Home, is released.   It chronicles the legendary Libbey estate, starting with a history of the land and the story of the Libbey family’s hiring of architect Wallace Neff.  There is also a wonderful site plan, something I wish I would have had back in April, 2008, when I wrote this story about the estate here.   It would have been much easier to have that plan to figure out what all the different buildings pictured in the real estate brochure were!  Creating A Home promises to be wonderful – it’s my absolute favorite kind of design book – the story of one house and how it came to be.  Similar books that I love which focus on one house are An Affair With A House, by Bunny Williams, Living By Design by John Stefanidis which chronicles the story of his country English estate and Villa by John Saladino, his wonderful new book about his Santa Barbara estate’s restoration.  Stefanidis also has a new book coming out – the story of his house in Greece, called An Island Sanctuary, available for pre-order here.   Kathryn Ireland’s book is in very good company – I just wish I could get my hands on it today – it would make great beach reading!

 

image The cover of the new book shows the main, two story Spanish Revival living room.  The large painting on the fireplace mantel, shown in both magazine layouts, is now gone – most likely photoshopped out to have a place for the book’s title.

 

Ireland is going on a publicity tour to coincide with the release of her new book and is scheduled to come to Houston with a book signing at Dorian Bahr, the showroom in Houston that carries her fabrics.  There will be another book signing at a yet to be announced venue.  I’m sure I’ll be there to get the book autographed and just be an all around wallflower, as usual.    Amazon has a few pictures from the book to preview – it shows rare before shots which I am anxious to examine.  To pre-order the book from Amazon, go here.

 

image The living room showing the large painting over the fireplace.

 

 

image From Creating A Home - a view of the large main living room before Kathryn redid it.    The tiles on the staircase, shown below, are original, as is the large Basque chandelier.

 

image  Close up of the original tiles on the stairs.

 

image The large stone fireplace and kitchen with tile floors – just as Ireland found it.  The kitchen is located in the former coach house.

 

image The kitchen today – all the upper cabinets were taken down and replaced with open shelving.   The tile floor remained the same. 

 

image The sitting area around the huge rock fireplace in the former Coach House, now the kitchen.

 

 

 

imageThe master bedroom – seagrass and French chairs, rock fireplace and porteries -  this picture makes me so anxious to see the rest of the book!!!!!!

 

 

imageA before shot – what Ireland faced in her massive restoration of the Ojai estate.   

 

image The book comes with this map of the estate – if only I had this last year – it would have saved me hours of study!!!

 

The book, Creating A Home, is due to arrive in stores in October – just in time for Christmas giving.   Pre-order your copy here.  And watch for more information on this blog where Ireland will be signing books in Houston.  

40 comments:

  1. Didn't I hear that Reese Witherspoon owns this now?? What a fabulous place.

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  2. Love it! The house, the upcoming book and especially that kitchen. I need to know where I can get a table like hers... that I won't have to mortgage my house for!

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  3. I loved this house, it's so beautiful. Thanks for the heads up on the book, I can't wait to look at it up close and personal.

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  4. ABSOF**KINGLUTELY drop dead gorgeous.

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  5. My comment got cut off- but YES! It is Reese's house now.

    http://hookedonhouses.net/2008/04/10/reese-witherspoon-buys-country-house-in-ojai/

    here are more pics and more info. I love the built in bed nook with that green chair. neato1

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  6. Wow, Joni you are really finding the greatest properties lately, love it!

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  7. You are the best scout for the latest scoop! I can't wait for this book to come out. Thanks for the tip!

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  8. I like Reeses more neutral take on it , but they are both stunning!

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  9. love it. exactly what a house like that should look like. i am a fan of her provvence home too. can't wait for the book.
    xoj

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  10. if you like the large painting over the mantle, it is produced by the Uttermost company, which also produces lamps and mirrors, and is suprisingly affordable. Its name is listed on their website as "Serenity."

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  11. Now we're talking! Kathryn Ireland is my -hands down- favorite designer. Her rooms and houses are similar to Rachel Ashwell's in terms of comfort and function, but her use of bright colors is what I find so joyful and -sadly today- unique. Her environments are very worldly and sophisticated, and also quite relaxed and calming. Kathryn Ireland emphasizes that homes should be able to handle such practicalities as children, dogs,and guests. Her emphasis on art (including that of her children in her own designs) and on fresh flowers is pure charm.Can't wait to get the book!

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  12. Wow, A beautiful house, I have seen a couple of other houses she has done, she is great.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Barbara

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  13. I must admit, although I read your blog, I'm not much of an interior designer...I have never bought a book on home decor, but the first picture in your post totally captured my imagination... I must have this book! Thanks for the great post!

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  14. Holy guac! I can't wait to get my hands on that book. Just the night before last I was re-reading for the thousandth time her "Classic Country" book. She is one of my very favorites. I still to this day adore her paisley print. Do you ever use her fabrics for your projects??
    Have a great weekend, Joni!

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  15. I can't wait until October!! Spanish Revival is my FAVORITE, I guess that comes with being a California native. This house is beautiful, the textiles are gorgeous.

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  16. Lingering over all the fabulous images! SOMEDAY!! I'll have my country retreat!!...or... be able to visit one on a regular basis!! hhaaahhhh!

    Have a WONDERFUL weekend, Joni! aren't you going on vacation to the beach soon???

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  17. ok, Joni,

    Can you work some magic, and get some percopies? i want this book NOW. very simialr to what I want to do with a home in mexico, especially the warm colors, and white walls. now, the room full of dirt--husband has said "no construction work"

    Is that kuba cloth on the back of the sofa, perhaps?

    gotta have this book--thanks!
    Kathy

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  18. Love this, Joni, and I particularly love that curtain fabric of the curtain draping the door (there's a name for that, but it escapes my tired brain at the moment). I'll have to check out this book when it comes out! I adore that house... love all the textural-looking architectural elements. Stone is a personal favorite of mine. Have fun on your vacation. I'll see you when I get back from my trip.

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  19. That was an impressive job. I liked the tiled stairs and the oversized fireplace.

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  20. Oh I can't wait to see more detail of this house! Thanks for sharing the news!

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  21. So gorgeous! I love Spanish / Mediterranean style.

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  22. I had the great pleasure of staying with Kathryn Ireland one week, ages ago, at her house in France. She is the most amazing hostess, hugely funny, life enhancing, fabulous in all respects. I can't wait to see this book.

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  23. the stairs with the tiles are fabulous.

    all the colors all well tied.
    great post !
    xx

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  24. Wow, that fireplace makes me drool. What a dream. I could examine her rooms forever. I love the unexpected color and patterns.

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  25. I'm not sure what I adore more, the rock fireplace or the staircase tiles. What a fabulous estate.

    I truly enjoy reading your blog!

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  26. Thanks for the heads up. I just pre-ordered mine. laurie

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  27. I can see from the map that "Archeologist-Historian Joni" had really to work hard on her previous post! Quite intricate layout. Anyway the kitchen with those old tiles and open shelves is fantastic.

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  28. I was lucky enough to hear Kathryn Ireland speak at an event here in Chicago last year at the Merchandise Mart. Not only is she an amazingly talented designer, she is warm and enormously entertaining. Afterwards, when we had a few moments of chit chat while she was signing my book, I asked her as a designer AND a mother of three boys, how she deals with the boy mess (back packs, tennis racquets, lacrosse sticks etc.) that seems to mar my thoughtfully arranged entryways. Her advice...you can't get rid of it, so arrange it artfully!

    Also Joni, thanks so much for your response to my slipcovers with distressed leather chairs comment last week. I am so tickled that you answered my question!

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  29. I was another one of those bloggers swooning over her place in Ojai. I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

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  30. Thank you for the heads up on this book, I look forward to buying it.

    I love the bones of this house and what she did to create her home, oh and I love Kathryn's pink skirt too. :)

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  31. Wow, thanks for the heads up, Joni...I definitely will put this one on my wish list! Thanks for all the awesome pics!

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  32. What I love so much about this house s that it looks so livable. Like you could plop on sofas, leave stuff around and have it still be beautiful. You wouldn't be wrecking the design. Looks kid, dog and teenager friendly, too.

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  33. Have you heard that the Libbey Chauffeurs Cottage (in essentially it's original condition) is for sale? The property is direclty across from the one Kathryn restored- and very similar. On 2.12 acres of Oak Studded property in the Ojai Foothills- ready to be restored to it's original beauty! Ojai History- a true "ruin". 1001 Palomar Road, OJai ca.- google it!

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  34. Oakdene Landscapes Ltd is owned and run by Stephen Conway in Delgany, Co Wicklow. Oakdene has over 20 years experience in the construction of quality gardens in Ireland.
    Garden Design Ireland

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