For many years now, Steve and I have started our day taking a walk together. It has been a wonderful way to connect before we begin our hectic daily routines.
During the past year, our walks have been consumed with our plans for our new future adventure in Ojai and the building of our new home, Patina Farm. We decided that we would move in a couple of years, when Nick graduates high school and Leila starts 9th grade. We thought this would be the best time for the smoothest transition.
That all changed during a recent visit to Ojai. We took Leila to see the school options for her future, and she fell in love with one of them. She begged to start next year! For the next week, Steve and I spent our walks talking about the options.
During family dinner one night, we asked Nick if he would be interested in looking at schools in Ojai. To our surprise he was open to the idea. So, off we went, and he too fell in love. Boy, did our morning walks get interesting now! What should we do? Are we crazy? Ultimately we decided to push the fast forward button and move to Ojai sooner than expected.
That decision became very real on Friday, when I walked out our front door and saw this:
I am filled with mixed emotions about selling our house. Steve and I spent months designing every detail so every inch of our house would support our happy family.
We created a big open space where we could all be together, even when we were doing our own things.
The open kitchen meant that Leila and I could make chocolate chip cookies and still watch movies with the guys.
We created a beautiful, cozy dining room for family dinners...
and an enclosed porch with a farmhouse table in the back of the house where the kids could eat with as many friends as they could fit!
The living room was filled with music, as Charlie, Nick and Leila experimented with piano, saxophone, and trumpet lessons.
The backyard became the happening place for impromptu pool parties and barbeques.
As our family grew up, our house changed with us...
Last year, Leila spread her design wings and created her own bedroom...
Nick and Charlie turned their room into a teen "hang out". The loft above, became the "Giannetti Lounge" where all of the neighborhood kids played video games. Music from Guitar Hero, mixed with squeals and laughter, filled the house.
As Charlie began thinking of college, Nick began high school and Leila made the transition to middle school, what was once their "playroom" now became their "study".
Through it all, Steve and I maintained our own retreat for some quiet time.
Our house really is the 6th member of our family. Similar to the generous tree in Shel Silverstein's classic book The Giving Tree, our home has unselfishly given of itself so that we could fullfil our dreams...
When I decided I wanted to grow my own fruits and vegetables, I dug up our front lawn and created a potager. In my head, I imagined our house was happy.
When I decided that I needed chickens, we turned our sideyard in the "Chicken Garden". Again, I believe our house was happy.
It was a great one!
Of course we will still have our connection to Los Angeles... the shop, our offices and many of our projects will still be here!
With other projects spreading to Malibu, Ojai, Atherton and beyond, and the internet connecting us to any location, this seems like the perfect time to try a new adventure!
If you would like help creating the home of your dreams, email me about our design services. You can also purchase many items found here on Velvet and Linen as well as "to the trade" furnishings through Giannetti Home. Email Kelly about the details.
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