The beauty of California’s Ojai Valley has attracted countless artists who’ve turned the area into a hub of imagination with laid-back appeal. When architect Jeffrey Weinstein and his wife, Wendy, were looking to get from Los Angeles and find a place where they could increase their own boys, Ojai came calling.
However, the city’s allure didn’t fully hold the couple until after they assembled their contemporary-meets-rural home from the bottom up, and Jeff commissioned a local artist to paint a expansive mural of Ojai in his kitchen. The adventure hooked the Weinsteins on the local arts scene, causing them to open up their home to the public and create an in-house gallery, known as Ojai Gallery 353, which showcases art made by the community.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Wendy and Jeff Weinstein, along with sons Elijah and Josh
Location: Ojai, California
Size: 2,500 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths
Price: $300 per square foot
In the living room, sleek, contemporary furniture contrasts with a rock fireplace to get a contemporary-meets-rural style that is a part of the property’s design, both inside and out.
Since portions of the house are available to the public for gallery area, tile floors provide a more durable coating, whilst wood flooring and carpeting are employed in the private locations.
Sofas: LC2 Petit Modele; java table: Mortise & Tenon; carpeting: Plummers
Large windows fill the living room with light, making it an ideal area for displaying art. The house’s gallery shows mainly classic art with a concentration on traditional landscapes.
The couch table holds informational brochures concerning the pub and greets guests as they walk from your front doorway.
The reduced level of this living room comprises a tucked-away library area, surrounded by large windows with lush views.
The library, with 20-foot ceilings, is Wendy’s preferred place in the house to catch some alone time or hang out with her loved ones. “Despite the elevation, the distance feels cozy and warm,” she states.
The Weinsteins’ decorating philosophy is simple: clean lines and very low maintenance, using durable finishes, such as the cherrywood found here on the stair rails.
The kitchen and dining room have rows of hanging track lighting.
Jeff’s favorite place in the house is the kitchen counter top seat against the division between the kitchen and the dining room. “I can see out the front and back of my house, drink and eat, spend time with my loved ones and watch TV for long periods of time,” he states.
Bar stools: Crate & Barrel
Jeff commissioned Ojai artist Ruben Franco to paint a 12- by-7 foot mural of the Ojai Valley in the kitchen. This adventure is what originally sparked Jeff’s interest in the local artists of Ojai and led to the introduction of the house gallery.
An 8-foot-tall cherrywood wall divides the kitchen and the dining room, giving more storage area to the kitchen and also a place to conceal an audio management system. The divider includes a small opening, offering a sense of connection between the two spaces.
Dining table, chairs: HD Buttercup
“The most interesting quality may be the property’s airiness, with its 15- to 20-foot-high ceilings,” Jeff says.
While the high ceilings and expansive windows create the house memorable, they were no simple task. “The high ceilings and clear expanses of glazing and clerestory windows need steel columns and beams integrated into the overall layout,” Jeff says. “It was challenging but well worth the cost.”
The large ceiling in the dining room offers additional room for hanging art to the gallery.
Jeff’s workplace is tucked between the main bedroom and the master bath. The area includes a large corner window, giving him a view of the property whilst working on his most recent endeavor: a mixed-use property in downtown Ojai which will unite retail and business area with residential live-work apartments.
“I like using colour in design,” Jeff says. “I didn’t want only white museum-style walls, so we used lots of earth-tone colors, such as rock beige, moss green, mustard yellows, clay dust, sea glass and assorted whites — bone white, luminary and gardenia.”
He chose a turquoise tile from Daltile for the fireplace surround in the main bedroom.
The fireplace punches out to an outdoor deck, in which the color also looks. “Turquoise is my favorite colour,” Jeff says.
Outside furniture: The Patio Collection
Jeff designed the family room especially to fit a Ping-Pong table.
A sliding door segments off the family room and bedrooms from the main portion of the home to allow for privacy when the home is available to the general public within an art gallery.
Jeff wanted to make spaces which gave each member of the household the ability to do their own thing without bothering one another.
The family room includes an office area, in which the boys enjoy playing computer games. In the end of the hallway the boys have their own bedrooms with a bathroom to share.
The Weinsteins have spent the past two years designing and installing the landscaping surrounding the house to match the natural surroundings. They made a driveway made from decomposed granite and stained concrete pavers, as well as a rose garden, a dry creek bed and outside lighting.
Jeff used cedar shingles, redwood siding, plaster, stone and brick to the exterior of the house, along with an asphalt shingle and standing-seam metal roof.
“The choice of building materials and landscaping all seek to keep the rural feel of the property,” Jeff says.
The design and orientation of this house are those that the household doesn’t need to turn on the air conditioning until it is 90 degrees outside.
“The colored windows were inspired by church/synagogue stained glass and ’60s psychedelia,” Jeff says.
Jeff made large wraparound decks at the front and back of the house, ideal places for dinner or breakfast while enjoying the view of the property.