Roses from Brooke’s garden to greet us in the guest house
Many of us in blogland followed Brooke and Steve Giannetti when they built their dream home in Ojai, California and moved from their previous house in Santa Monica.
They have lived there now for three years since it was finished, but in the Spring of 2014, Brooke posted photos of her gardens here, only one year after it was installed. I kept this post open on one of the tabs on my laptop for weeks afterwards.
It was easier to click once and gaze at her gardens whenever I needed to feel peaceful.
Photo by Brooke Giannetti
Then I scheduled one of my colour training workshops in Los Angeles last month so I contacted Brooke and asked if I could come by, see her place and review her book. Brooke and I started our blogs at the same time in 2008.
She immediately responded with an invitation to stay in her guest house (below). I said, Hmmm. . . let me check my schedule, haha, YES.
Guest house at Patina Farm
This was where we spent the night, it’s positioned in front of their lovely pond.
Photo by Maria
These were the very rusty and awesome upholstered outdoor chairs right outside our window in the guest house.
And here was our view from the guest house in the morning.
This was a photo of the same pond styled for their beautiful book, Patina Farm.
Here’s what makes this house so classic and timeless. There is no tile or stone anywhere except the limestone floors which transition almost seamlessly with the white oak floors.
There’s very little tile or stone out there that doesn’t eventually date.
Notice there is not a stitch of grey or charcoal anywhere (below). Installing hardwood floors with grey in them will instantly place your new build or renovation inside the grey trend.
And, I know it’s hard to find pre-made flooring WITHOUT grey in it, so a little is okay.
Here’s how you know the floor you’re considering might be too grey: If the overall read of your floors are grey, then they are most likely too grey, but if the overall read is pale yellow or medium brown first, that’s how you know you’re on the right track.
Related post: The New Timeless Hardwood Floor
Transition between the white oak floors and limestone in the guest house.
I didn’t take a picture of the shower in the guest house so here’s a picture of Brooke and Steve’s bathroom renovation in Oxnard.
Notice the absence of wall tile here in any trendy shape or form. Nothing trendy to worry about because it’s only on the floor.
So if you’re stressing about which shower tile to choose for your shower walls and you don’t have this kind of house so plaster walls aren’t going to cut it?
That’s where white or cream subway tile comes in. Simple, clean, always a classic. There is simply no reason why your bathroom needs to have all the latest tile trends combined.
Related post: Ask Maria: What’s Next After Subway Tile
This is Brooke and Steve’s view from their kitchen sink.
The Dining Room
Brooke’s office is connected to this vegetable garden where some of her chickens hang out!
Photo by Maria Killam
Brooke says every Tuesday the gardeners put the dirt back in the garden beds that the chickens kick out all day long, haha. Look there’s two of them settled into the holes they’ve dug (above).
I took this photo of Brooke’s olive tree in her living room. She said it doesn’t really like it inside but for $75, it’s easy to replace every 6 months if necessary. Adding this kind of greenery inside really adds to the ethereal look and feel of any interior.
The light on the right is coming through the hallway to the kids bedroom wing (below):
Hallway to the kids bedroom wing. Photo as styled for Patina Farm
This is how it looks the day I took the photo. I love the mushrooms! A decorator never stops decorating, things are always changing!
Years ago I had a reader contact me because she wanted me to help her add some ‘colour me happy’ to her master bedroom. Inspired by Brooke’s neutral aesthetic, she had used linen throughout. The headboard, all the bedding and a wall of windows was covered in the same (pink) beige linen fabric.
What was missing from her decor was Patina. The old and worn decor in cognac and medium brown shades that add depth and interest.
So if you have decorated your entire home in shades of grey and feel that something is missing, this is what you need to add.
And you’ll need Brooke and Steve’s book Patina Farm to help you with that, get it here. Study the pages of their interiors, get transported and inspired to add some old and vintage to your decor.
My signed copy is in the family room. With an oak leaf I brought home from their garden.
Thanks again Brooke and Steve for inviting us into your home, we loved every minute of our short stay!
I’m at the airport in Charlotte on my way home from Fall High Point Market. This is my happy face because I’m going home, hooray! Stay tuned for my 2017 trends post next.
Add Some Fall To Your Living Room Using Brown (I did)
First Rule of Design: Boring Now Equals Timeless Later
I see Leslie won for best USA Interior blog at that Amara Interior Blog awards. Congratulations! Her home and property is gorgeous. It really is a timeless look.
How gracious of Leslie to open her home to you.
I have family in Tampa & Sarasota, and my favorite thing to do when I visit is go to one of the orange groves in the area and have some orange soft-serve ice cream made with fresh squeezed orange juice – EPIC! Also, the beach at Siesta Key is rated as one of the top in the world – totally worth the drive south!
Lovely….but…..I cannot understand why you need a pond to look at (and maintain) when you have a mountain behind it???? So few people have a mountain view. Should have left that as the only focal point 🙂
The house seems so peaceful. I’m sure they don’t worry about what color is trending.
I’m in love with the idea of plaster walls in the shower. Not just because it’s stunning but to never have to scrub grout again would be a dream-come-true.
I also noticed the lack of baseboards. Another item that requires cleaning. Can you tell I’m tired of cleaning?
Thanks for sharing this beautiful home.
Thank you so much for this beautiful post, Maria! It was such a treat to have you here. I hope your next visit will be a little longer 🙂
I love this home! I tire of colors fairly quickly, so this is perfect to me. Makes me want to rip the classic black and white tiles out of my bathrooms and find someone that still knows how to plaster. And the “no baseboards” Mary mentioned is a wonderful idea. Yes, I’m tired of cleaning, too! But more than that – I just love the look of simplicity and calmness about this house. Awesome.
Oh my! What a great place to relax and just breath! Love the open spaces around the property. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing Maria.OX
Would the flooring in the guesthouse and the shower and flooring in the Oxnard renovation look good in most any style of house? Or mainly one like
Brooke and Steve’s?
Beautiful home and the floors look great and perfect in this home, but do you think that light color would look trendy (and soon dated) in most homes?
Looks like Carol and I were wondering the same thing!
Also when I look at the bathroom, the plaster color looks like the wrong undertone for that floor. Maybe it’s just the photo, where not seeing the entire space. What pulls it all together?
Maria & Brooke…. I’ve been waiting for this post. What a stunning place to come home to, and to enjoy emerging from that guest house, in the morning, in front of that spectacular view – love the pond and how it was styled for the book (which I have). Texture and ‘patina is illustrated to perfection here.
I would still love to see ‘Patina Farm’ featured in House and Home magazine.. maybe I’ll give it another try?
Linda (Ontario, Canada)
You stayed there?!?!?!?! lucky girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ok, I might be jealous now!!! haha.
Maria, first of all LOVED the post…and so jealous of you getting to stay in this beautiful place. Secondly, would love to encourage anyone just “thinking” about your course to TAKE the plunge. I had thought and thought and thought about it, bought your boards, stalked you, bought your on line books…but have to say the class was invaluable in how i have grown my business and my confidence. For me, -it’s was the “fringe benefits” of the class that have been invaluable…of course the color training was a given!
gorgeous but the poor olive trees slowly dying
Ugh. I had the same thought. Love, love trees and could not take pitching them for the sake of decor.
I buy Cypress topiarys from the Nursery and they should also be outside but I adore the fresh green and they last for about 6 months if I remember to water them so they don’t dry out. I also buy maidenhair ferns which are also finicky and they last about 2-3 months if they don’t dry out. And what about cut flowers? We could say the same for them, they last only a week!!
Given all the suffering of animals in the world (I’m a vegetarian), I can handle sacrificing a couple of plants or shrubs for the sake of beauty 🙂
Thanks for your comment! My opinion is not right, it’s just my opinion.
Their home is so beautiful! And the landscaping . . gorgeous!
I also started blogging in 2008 and Brooke was immediately on my list and of course you, Maria, and I followed all these years your ventures. Amazing ladies with creativity, style, determination. I have learned a lot from both of you along the way…
I am so incredibly jealous that you had the chance to not only see, but stay as a guest at Pstina Farm. I have the book and scour the pages and love reading anything I can about their style and other projects.
Brooke & Steve are quite the power couple and they make magic together!
Her house is so magical because it’s a beautiful extension of the outdoors! You’d never know which year it was decorated. Forever timeless.
I find that white oak has a grey cast. I’m looking for flooring right now. Her floor looks very white and not grey, but I’ve heard that white oak gets darker as it ages. A natural white oak board is darker than what she has–or what’s the secret. Perhaps it has some whitewash on it.
I love everything about this beautiful place.
Absolutely beautiful and idyllic! Wonderful style, so simple and elegant.