COTE DE TEXAS: Wow, THAT Was Quick! Ireland sells out to Reese.

Wow, THAT Was Quick! Ireland sells out to Reese.



Legally Blond Reese Witherspoon, new ranch owner?

This year two major design publications, House Beautiful and Vogue Living both did large spreads on Californian interior designer and fabric entrepreneur Kathryn M. Ireland's new country ranch.  The 6 acre + spread, a fabulous Wallace Neff designed ranch style compound in the Ojai Valley, was bought by Ireland just two years ago from comedian Harold Ramis' estranged wife.  Ramis owned the property for a considerably longer time than Ireland.  The Real Estalker is claiming that newly single, academy award winner Reese Witherspoon has purchased the Ojai ranch from Ireland at reportedly double the price Ireland paid for it.  It's touted as a very private estate, at the end of a single country lane, so the paparazzi will have a hard time stalking Reese there.  Apparently the home is not visible from the street and that is part of the appeal of the ranch for Reese.    

So, all these real estate dealings has left one wondering, did Kathryn  Ireland use the two magazine spreads in House Beautiful and Vogue Living as just a big real estate advertisement for her property?  And that's not all:  not only did Ireland allow House Beautiful to showcase the ranch she planned to sell asap, she also outfitted all the rooms with her new fabric collection - a bright assortment of suzani inspired designs and other various ethnic prints.  Was the House Beautiful spread, besides being a real estate brochure, also just an advertisement campaign for her new fabric collection?     The House Beautiful spread was always puzzling as it came so soon on the heels of the Vogue Living story of the exact same house - sans the new fabric collection.  Somehow, it all leaves a bad taste in one's mouth.  Of course magazines are all about the advertising dollar, but when the stories themselves are just advertisements and self promotions - where is the integrity?  Whatever the motive, the stories themselves were fascinating.

The Ojai ranch spread is, one must agree, a gorgeous piece of property.  I also must say, I'm just a little bit green over the idea of it being sold to the Legally Blond actress Reese.    I would be most happy to be buying it for my own family (that is, if I won the lottery.)  The property, with  its 1o outbuildings is full of the lost romance of California - it is a hacienda of a bygone era when California was once a natural heaven populated with Spanish missions.   There are now a lot of pictures of the ranch owning to the two magazine spreads and it's current status as a For Sale property.  The pictures taken from the two magazines are very different in style.   And when you view the magazine spreads alongside the real estate brochure, it's interesting to see the difference that furniture and fabric and good old styling can do to a home.    And so, here, are all three versions of the ranch that Kathryn Ireland owned for a nanosecond.    Which version of the Ojai ranch do you like best?


I.  The Vogue Living Magazine version:


The Ojai Ranch originally designed by Wallace Neff.  The property has about 10 outbuildings.  To reach the bedrooms from the living area, you have to walk outside - there isn't an inside hall  to the bedrooms!  Shown above is the central courtyard where several buildings unite.


The wonderful two storied living room with its tall ceilings and Juliet balcony.  All the iron used for the stair rails, drapery rods and doorknobs was forged on the property. 


II.  The House Beautiful article:


Arched wood doors with original iron hardware forged on the property.


Another view of the living room - styled for the House Beautiful photo shoot by Kathryn using new fabrics from her line.  The bright chair to the left is a Robert Kime chair and fabric.


A vignette from the living room - drapery fabric is from the Kathryn M. Ireland fabric collection, of course.


Western wear clothes are stored in the outdoor passageway that leads to the bedrooms.


A bedroom with a built in bed  - dressed all in Kathryn M. Ireland fabrics.


The master  bathroom updated.  Rug by Kathryn Ireland.


The master bedroom newly outfitted with Kathryn M. Ireland fabrics and seagrass rug.


Another bedroom with the new suzani inspired fabrics by Kathryn Ireland.  The long pillow is made of antique suzani fabric.


A view of the buildings from the back terrace - an outdoor hallway to the bedrooms is shown on the left.  Notice the outdoor light fixture on the right over the door.


Off the back terrace, a guest room building connects with the bedroom wing.  Note the hammock in the front yard.


Closeup view of the above pictured walkway to the bedrooms - this walkway was highly stylized for the House Beautiful shoot with rugs and lanterns and dog!


An outdoor hall made of wooden planks and stuccoed walls leads from the living room to the new media room.


Outdoor furniture and pillows in Kathryn M. Ireland fabrics.


Wine in the courtyard with guest of honor Mary Emmerling on the right, front.  Kathryn Ireland is holding up the fabric on the left.


III.  Real Estate Brochure Used to Sell Ireland's Ranch. 

Notice how different the ranch looks in these pictures without all the styling and bright accessories and colorful fabrics by Kathryn M. Ireland.


Closeup of  the courtyard with the fountain in the middle, the turret, and the living room to the right.


More outbuildings.


And even more.


The stables.  No ranch is complete without horses!


Another view of the guest house off the bedrooms' wing.


The walled swimming pool which Ireland had installed during her brief stay at the ranch.


Another view of the big wood doors looking out towards the courtyard.


A picture from the Real Estate brochure - without the styling - as the ranch truly looks.   Up these stairs to the left is a sort of mistral's gallery.  This living room space was the original hayloft.


Same view, with styling, taken from the House Beautiful shoot - Fortuny pillows.


The Real Estate brochure - without the styling - as the ranch really is.  This room is the former carriage house that now houses the family area and the kitchen.


   The same space, highly stylized by House Beautiful.  Fabrics and pillows from Kathryn M. Ireland fabrics.


The courtyard - contrast this all white picture with the two colorful pictures of the courtyard above.


The kitchen as it truly is without the colorful styling.


From House Beautiful - kitchen and breakfast room - all bright and colorful for the magazine.


The view of the above carriage house/kitchen and family room from the outside. The large stone fireplace is encased in crawling ivy.


Three views of the living room - above, as it really is, no styling - for the real estate brochure.


The living room as it was styled for Vogue Living magazine.


The living room - highly styled for the House Beautiful shoot.  Which view of the living room do you prefer?


So, I am sure you are worried what is Kathryn Ireland going do to now that she's selling her California ranch?   Not to worry.  She still owns her country estate in France, all 50 acres of it.  Pictures below.     Kathryn spends each summer at her French estate, which is probably why she sold the Ojai Ranch -- when did she have the time to go there anyway?  Not that the estimated cool $3 million she stands to make on the Ojai Ranch sale made a difference.


Kathryn's house in the French countryside.


A close up of the front porch styled with fabrics from Ireland's line.  And yes, that does appear to be the same dog pictured at the California ranch.


Inside the wonderful French country estate.  Furniture is dressed in neutral linen slipcovers.


The farmhouse kitchen in France.


A bedroom in France.  The bed wears Ireland's famous "Quilt" fabric that was the inspiration for her starting her own fabric company.  Dogs, styled by Kathryn.


A guest room at the French estate.    Bedrooms all have wall to wall seagrass floor covering.  I love the way the mosquito netting is finished off on the top.


A romantic cave like porch on the french estate set for dinner.   The tablecloth is made out of Ireland's checked fabric that is a mainstay of her fabric line.


With all the property that Kathryn Ireland owns, her Santa Monica home remains one of my favorites.    An older home, with stucco walls, arched windows and doorways - the house is filled with southern California romance while retaining an air of English charm - charm that the English born and bred Ireland infuses in all her interiors.  Here are a few pictures of her  Santa Monica house - at different points in time, of course!


The living room - plump sofas piled high with pillows.  Kathryn's easy English decorating is her trademark.  Nothing is too pristine to be hands off.  With three sons, her house has to be accessible and comfortable.


The same area, photographed from across the room.


A more recent picture of the same space.  The mirror has moved to above the sofa.  The sofa now wears stripes.  The chairs wear a bold suzani patterned fabric.  New lamps sit besides the sofa on the left.  The black coffee table remains the same.  The draperies appear to be the same, but on close inspection, they are fuller and creamier than in the previous picture.

The family room at her Santa Monica home.

Ireland recently remodeled her kitchen.  She torn out the Mexican pavers and replaced them with limestone floors.  The dogs, remain the same though.


The breakfast room, newly remodeled.


The breakfast room, as it was before - with the Mexican pavers.


The masterpiece of the house - Kathryn's bedroom.  What a bed!  All fabrics by Kathryn M. Ireland.  Gorgeous!


The woman behind all the houses, the decor,  the fabrics, the three sons, and the two dogs:  Kathryn Ireland.   The sofa wears a different fabric here than above, but  - if you owned your own fabric company - wouldn't you reupholster all the time too?

Note:   Kathryn M. Ireland has a wonderful web site filled with all the press articles (and there are many) of her work.   You can also see pictures of her fabric line.  AND, Ireland now has a blog (yes!) - at the Huffington Post.  She doesn't appear to write for it very often, but it gives a fascinating glimpse into her hectic, but fulfilling life.  Read it here.


  1. Wow. I just love visiting here and having my senses filled to the brim!
    Oh do I love her homes and designs. Oh yes, and her little dogs too. : )
    And I thought our Kipper was spoiled!
    I must say that last bedroom would be a huge favorite with me. The French home is spectacular but it the one in Santa Monica that calls to me.
    The Ojai one is gorgeous beyond words
    and maybe Ms. W will fill those grounds with her children's laughter. It was made for lots of that.

    Oh what fun it is to come here.

    Love it all.


  2. Gorgeous house. Must admit, I do prefer it sans Ireland. It was verging on the twee. This house needs a stronger hand and a more severe eye.
    Some Spanish colonial pieces, a restricted palette, sophisticated fabrics, and a few really good modern pieces. Fabulous.

  3. Haha until I saw the picture of Kathryn I thought you were refering to Kathy Ireland the model turned entrepreneur *blush*. I wasn't familiar with Kathryn M Irelands work, thank you for the introduction :)

    That Californian ranch would have to be one of the most stunning properties I've ever seen! Lucky, Lucky Reese.

    Ms Irelands French farmhouse is heavenly also. My dream come true.

    Thank you again Joni for another educational, inspiring and absolutely pleasurable post.

    Anna :)

  4. Didn't Ireland 's book "Classic Country" also showcase this house? She sure got a lot of milage out of that property.LOL

  5. I've never seen a shelter-mag article that WASN'T about some designer selling something, implicitly or explicitly.

  6. I love the comparison photos!! I think that what this shows is how smart this woman is. For all we know she bought the California ranch just as a foil to shoot her collection. I t looks like there is not a single personal item in it. She has also just released her first book (through my publisher Gibbs Smith) and I am sure there must be photos of the ranch inside. I haven't seen it yet.
    She must be a marketing genius!!

  7. Really interesting to see the differences between the articles! One of my fave houses. I am glad she is getting away from the patch-worky pillows. I love her new fabrics. It's funny, whenever I hear her name I always think of her (of course) but also Kathy Ireland springs to mind as well. WHAT a difference between these two!(Haha)

  8. Thanks, Joni!

    I visit The Real Estalker now and then. I missed this one!

    I love the way you show the comparison photos, for a different look at the rooms.


  9. I love visiting your blog. Thanks for inspiring, entertaining and informing me every time I visit.

  10. Holy cow! I would move into that Ojai estate in a hot second! Lucky girl that Reese. (Well, not so lucky cause she's involved in a divorce)

  11. I love the comparison photos... hmmmm I think I need one of those stylists to come and visit margaritas... but I what I REALLY don't understand why Ms. Ireland had to sell to Reese... I would have been more than happy to house sit her Ojai Ranch while she spent her summer in France... I wouldn't even charge her... oh well... I guess its too late ... Reeese beat me...dang

    Another great one Joni !

  12. Joni

    Not sure about her motivations - but I think your post is a classic illustration of the way real estate agents think about selling real estate - even at the "top end" of the market - they want you to strip out anything personal, quirky and interesting to present the potential buyer with a "blank slate" so that they can project their own taste, furnishings etc. into the space. Can't say I agree with the philosophy though as the unstyled shots are so less inspiring than the beautifully styled ones.


  13. Thanks for all the great comments. No - her new book does not have any pictures of the ranch in there. I wish it did!

  14. joni-Ireland clearly has a publicist and that publicist probably pitched both magazines. Vogue living and HB don't really have the same audience, so I have a feeling their editors didn't care that the other was doing the same feature (also, Vogue Living's photos are tiny--if I were HB's editor I wouldn't mind at all). bUt there's also a chance the editors were tricked or unaware.

    I don't doubt this was all intentional on Ireland's part. The house is spectacular. Ojai is an amazing community. It's not a party town. It's all about horses and the country and going to bed early. Kind of like SAnta Barbara, but without the beach. I'm sure Reese (who is not a party girl, rather a newly single mom) will take good care of the estate.

  15. To anon: I don't know, it just seems so caculated - two spreads in one year and with so few decor mags out there now- Vogue Living and HB probably do share the same audience. And then - all the new fabrics from her new line and then it's sold, poof! Just doesn't sit right with me for some reason. I would rather HB say - so, you're selling it - why? Maybe it's wasn't even on the market then, who knows. It just was a big surprise to see it sold. and yeah - Reese got a deal. this ranch is so romantic, so beautiful, so atmospheric - I would love to own something like this. What a dream. thanks for the comment.

  16. Love your blog!!! Keep giving us beautiful updates!

  17. I have always loved Kathryn's emphasis on comfort, charm, color, and "softness"...Her rooms look naturally evolved instead of designed to the last inch...say, if a pillow is moved around or something is pushed to the side, the room is still going to look just as good!AND, she transitions indoor and outdoor spaces well, obviously including beloved children and dogs into everyday living.Regardless of her motives, her homes show us an artistic, relaxed way to live.

  18. Another thought provoking and fun post full of great insights from you, Joni! I feel like I come to school when I visit (in a good way!) and learn a ton! I need to really linger though, so much info and visual eye candy to absorb! Hey, I should be your publicist...

    Happy day,

  19. An excellent posting -- and so true! Many articles in decor mags exist simply to showcase (or sell) a designer or their wares. Or -- in this case -- their home! I'm sure that happens all the time at that High-and-Lofty sales level! I hope we will see how the ranch will be re-styled for Reese and her family in an upcoming article for a magazine! Many mags MUST write these "adver-torials" (that fine blend of advertising and journalism) to satisfy their advertisers and top management (who then turn around and get a "deal" from the designers on their OWN remodels and re-designs)

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage who just LOVES to read your postings -- insightful, thoughtful and wickedy beautiful!

  20. Answer me this all you smart ladies. Why do they fill the bath tub with water for photo shoots?

    Lovely article Joni! I'll take the Ojai house thankyouverymuch!

  21. I am a rabid reader of design mags - and I've become quite jaded when seeing a celebrity spread since that usually means they are about to put it on the market, actually by the time the mag is on the newstands the celeb has probably already moved on!

    p.s. Love your blog - it's a new favorite.

  22. Hi Joni!

    As someone who grew up with a father in real-estate, I'm always intrigued by property gossip, especially involving celebrities. I have the HB mentioned, and if Ireland did it to help her chanes at getting a good price I actually think that's pretty smart! Sometimes celebrities do that with the entertainment shows, as well. I share your love the the Real Estalker. I get I kick out of the fact that the blog-runner calls himself/herself as Yo Mama. What's not to love?!

  23. I like the rooms as styled for HB the best, to answer your question.

    Good post, as usual.

  24. So fun to check out the comparison pictures! Possibly my favorite post of yours yet. Now off to read it again.

  25. Joni-
    Very interesting.... and beautiful pictures as always!!!
    I have no idea why tubs are always filled for photo shoots?!?!?!? Good question since God forbid they should ever show a toilet!! LOL

  26. Thanks for the great messages to all. Welcome new Anon!
    And to teacats == thanks for the comments - since I don't have your email, I have to say it here, but thanks for all your support!


  27. Kathryn Ireland is obviously a name interior designer but how recently have you seen a new client's house? Not in a long time. Most of her published work is of her own homes. I think these days she makes her money from her fabric line and less from actual interior design. The Ojai house was definitely a "flip". Her French farmhouse and her Santa Monica house she's owned for ages. I do love her style and I'd happily live in any of her homes.

    *Similar to Schuyler Samperton - I've never seen a client's home she's done published in a mag, but I've seen her apartment published many times.

  28. The book that Kathryn published this year had lots and lots of client's houses - you probably would enjoy her book if you like her style. I know what you mean about Samperton - but have you seen her web site - is there a portfolio on there? I probably should go check, but whatever! thanks for the comment.

  29. I just blogged about Reese's new ranch too but I was so confused because I had seen the House Beautiful where it said Kathryn owned it. Thanks for such a detailed post- it answered all the questions I had about it! :) It's such a gorgeous place- Reese is very lucky!

    Emily @ Material Girls

  30. god, i saw this spread. what a gorgeous space.

  31. Beautiful layout and great commentary - thanks, Joni. Magazine as real estate listing bugs me, too. Less so in this case, as the house is lovely. There was a horrid house in AD (my nemisis) in Sag Harbor a few months ago. On the market post haste. Ick.

  32. What a gorgeous gorgeous post! Loved looking at all of the photos and especiall the last photo of her and her kids and dog. They look so happy and cozy!


  33. What a great post! I loved kathryn's home, and its so good to see some of the 'before' pictures of the home!

  34. Joni, there is something hauntingly familiar about that narrow corridor balcony (cut out for the stairs) on the gallery. I'm getting a real deja vu about this whole property. This place looks very similar to the ranch in the Original Parent Trap movie. I'd don't own the movie, but I'm going to check it out.

  35. Nope. I checked. it was constucted on a sound stage. Still if you ever watch the's of the same style.

  36. louis vuitton uk are diversified in various kinds, handbags, backpacks, portable bags, purses, wallets and pouches. All kinds are popular among the whole word people.louis vuitton Store Online Handbags can also bring great accuracy as well as practical applicability and fashionable.Have you ever dreamed of being as charming as Madonna? Have you ever thought of becoming an envy of all your friends? If so, come to louis vuitton outlet.

  37. At the coach outlet online you have the largest selection of the day. If you touch the item and like it, keep it in your possession until you make your final decision.The coach factory outlet has been in business for many years. You can log in to find more information about its products and services.You know, Coach items are so perfect and fascinating. Now I grow up, and find coach outlet on the Internet offering affordable products with reliable quality.

  38. There certainly are a amount of methods to acquire affordable coach products at coach factory outlet,it could possibly the most effective options.the most vital cause may be the reality that you simply can purchase genuine coach products at there.All people give the good comments for the coach factory online, and now the Coach outlet store provides many discount goods online.Coach bags enjoy high popularity throughout the world. I would like to share the coach factory outlet online with you. What are you waiting for? Just come to visit.

  39. There certainly are a amount of methods to acquire affordable coach products at coach factory outlet,it could possibly the most effective options.the most vital cause may be the reality that you simply can purchase genuine coach products at there.It is believed that you will like the products on the coach factory online. There are spacious sizes and different colors, styles and so the market you definitely can find various colorways that are designed in as well as the high quality that applied in. For most of you would like to come. So just come to our coach factory outlet online store to choose one.

  40. The coach bags are utilized for formal event in company area that will display your excellent taste.Not only does a briefcase make is easier to carry outlet store online with fashion style and top quality succeed. In any occasions they are very suitable and appropriate for its precise and rich design.Coach Poppy Signature Carryall Handbag purchased from the coach outlet store is an ideal bag for every occasion. It's a lovely hot pink bag with a comfortable double strap that can be handheld.

  41. coach outlet has always been simple,durable style features to win consumers.The products are more flexible,with easy bleaching,wear characteristics,and simply use a damp cloth.Where there are women, there are bags. Where there are bags, there are coach outlet store online. Coach products are the direction indicator of the latest fashion and trend.At the coach outlet online you have the largest selection of the day. If you touch the item and like it, keep it in your possession until you make your final decision.

  42. The Coach bag is from the latest release of Coach Bags. Its crisp, scribble material, leather handle, perfectly complements the relaxed shape of this stylish pouch. All the items of coach outlet online Store fit all of your essentials and more.Bright colors, exquisite workmanship, durable material and up-to-date style all lead to the great fame of the goods in coach outlet.As a fashion and modern lady, you can never have too many bags but Coach, Coach is a great leather handbags brand. coach outlet store online have different look according to different designer concept.

  43. What is wrong with being a property developer? What is wrong with buying a house, decorating it and selling it on for a profit? We are not in communist Russia, get over yourself. What do you expecthere to do? Have her home photographed in prestigious magazines filled with someone else's fabric? What would you have done? You are obviously just jealous of her Californian lifestyle, while you are stuck being a depressed housewife in Texas, you obviously have dreams above your station.

  44. Joni! thank you for this! I am so curious . . . who is the artist of the lovely painting in Kathryn Ireland's original living room? The portrait is perfect for the space and I love it! Love love your blog! Read every single post!

  45. Thank you for your excellent profile of this charming Ojai, CA house. I have the House Beautiful feature issue here in front of me and I was just about to recreate it in my Sims 2 game. I googled for more pictures and your blog has provided me with all I need and then some! Thanks again!