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How You Can Tour the County Estate “Patina Farm”

If you’ve never been to the charming town of Ojai, located in Ventura County 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles, then I highly suggest you plan a trip this upcoming weekend. It may be last minute, but wouldn’t life be dull without a little bit of spontaneity once in a while? A trip to Ojai any time of the year is wonderful but this weekend is particularly special – especially for all you design enthusiasts out there. To kick off the holiday season, the annual Ojai Holiday Home Tour & Marketplace will take place November 10 & 11.

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The official website describes the event as follows:

“Each year the Ojai Holiday Home Tour welcomes designers and florists, each of whom are assigned a home and tasked with bringing their own vision of décor and the holidays to life. This year (November 10-11), we have lined up the following designers Bruce Abbott, Angela’s Flowers, Carolyn Bennett of cdb gardens, Laurel Crary, Brooke Giannetti of Giannetti Home, and Ojai Blooms.”

What particularly caught my attention is that the home of Brooke and Steve Giannetti is included in the home tour this year. Inspired by the country homes of Europe, the talented architect and designer/husband and wife duo Brooke and Steve Giannetti designed and built a country house in the Ojai Valley of California. It took them 6 months of planning and  18 months of construction to develop the five-acre site that is now their home and farm. Brooke is also the author of a website that I’ve followed for many years, Velvet & Linen, where she chronicled the project that ultimately led to the publication of a beautiful book that I am happy to have on my bookshelf. I’ll also be preordering their latest book, Patina Living, that provides insight on what they’ve learned while living on the farm. Patina Living is due out in April 2019 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

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Patina Farm via Reviving Charm

The Ojai Holiday Home Tour is a wonderful opportunity to step inside some of the most beautiful properties in the valley, including Patina Farm. Tickets to the event can be purchased on-site or in advance here, with proceeds benefiting the Ojai Music Festival. I have other commitments this weekend and am very disappointed that I won’t be able to attend to tour Patina Farm. However, I do hope that one day I might be invited as a guest. In the meantime, I will sit back and enjoy Brooke and Steve’s lovely book. You can purchase your own copy here. 

If you happen to attend please send me a note to let me know…I’d love to hear all about it…

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Revisiting Turkey Hill

I’ve had gardens and landscaping on my mind for the past week. Last weekend I attended a garden show, this weekend I visited a few homes on a local garden tour, and earlier this week I received an email regarding a garden tour taking place in June. The email was sent to announce a garden tour sponsored by Positive Directions, a provider of behavioral health treatment and prevention programs. However, this is no ordinary garden tour. What caught my attention was the fact that the event will be held at 48 Turkey Hill Road South, Westport, Connecticut. Does that address sound familiar? It is the address of the property known as Turkey Hill, the Connecticut property Martha Stewart once called home for over 40 years. It also served as the backdrop for her original television show and magazine. One could say it was the house that helped launch an empire. The event will feature self-guided tours of the garden, garden talks with Martha Stewart and a chance to tour the home and have refreshments on the terrace with Martha. I won’t be attending the event but I am using this as a wonderful excuse to take a look back at some of my favorite images of Turkey Hill and see how the property has evolved. If you’re a fan of Martha you may have seen many of these pictures. They are oldies, but they are goodies. And with any enduring style, they continue to inspire. And that’s “a good thing”.

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In 2007, the property was sold to Chuck and Casey Berg. The new owners began to make changes of their own. The couple called upon architect John Fifield of Fifield Piaker Elman to help the couple redesign the home in a manner that was “part restoration, renovation, and addition”. In 2009, the homeowners were presented with a Preservation Award by the Westport Historic District Commission “for enlarging this outstanding Greek Revival house in a sensitive and appropriate manner…The unobtrusive addition, which is at the rear of the house, does not detract from the original historic structure.” The Commission further stated that “This is an example of how an antique house can be successfully rehabilitated to accommodate the needs of a 21st-century family.” Here’s a look at the home after it was purchased by the Bergs, including the changes made both inside and out. martha stewart turkey hillwestport-Home-Tour-Designer-Berg-Front-Door Reviving Charmturkey hill reviving charm 2Turkey-Hill-family-room-from-kitchen Reviving Charmturkey hill reviving charm 3turkey hill reviving charm 4turkey hill via reviving charmTurkey-Hill-kitchenturkey hill reviving charm 5Turkey-Hill-sunroom Reviving Charmturkey hill reviving charm 6Turkey-Hill-dressing-room reviving charmTurkey-Hill-master-bath reviving charmturkey hill reviving charm 7In 2014, the grounds of the home were featured in Cottages and Gardens Magazine (photos below). The head gardener, Levy Froes, stayed with the Bergs after working with Martha for over 20 years. It’s his legacy, he explained. This was a good move on the Bergs part as he has been the one constant working on the land, other than Martha herself. But when the property was purchased by the Bergs, the landscape was very agricultural. They hired Chris Kusske, of Kolkowitz/Kusske Architects, to help them clean up and edit the property. The site is lovely. And given that it is Martha’s first home that helped launch a career, I would venture to say that visiting Turkey Hill is bittersweet.

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If you want your own personal tour of Turkey Hill and a chance to meet Martha Stewart in the flesh, you can get more information here. 

Images via Martha Stewart, marthamoments.comFifield Piaker Elman, Cottages and Gardens Magazine