Landscape designer Kim Ainsworth of Green Goddess Gardens was not in the market for a new home, until she saw the house today called Red Tail Ranch. “My realtor literally flagged me down Ojai Avenue, boasting a part of land new to the market,” she states.
When Ainsworth bought the former citrus farm in 2000, ideas for her new home began to brew. Before acting on any layout ideas, she spent several months living in one of the yurts on the 8-acre slice of land. “Spending some time on the property before construction makes a big difference,” Ainsworth says. By learning details like how the sun sets and where the wind blows, she gained fame for exactly what she wanted to build.
This was the very first time Ainsworth had designed something from scratch, and she felt a load of responsibility to build something suitable to the value of their property, without being overly grandiose or high maintenance. Bearing this in mind, she designed an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient home with a ranch-inspired aesthetic. “My home is my lab,” says Ainsworth. “It is my education; it is my school. It teaches me so much.”
at a Glance
Who lives here: Kim Ainsworth, a few with 3 kids, and assorted farmers and friends in yurts on the property
Location: Ojai, California
Size: 2,900-square-foot house divided in two; each half has 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom
That’s interesting: Part of the house is a documented archaeological website.
Contractor Andrew Stasse, a newcomer to green layout, was initially skeptical about the idea of producing a cost-efficient green home. But after much research and devotion, the team made Ainsworth’s vision materialize. The awnings built over the kitchen windows displayed here are designed to let winter sun in and keep summer sun out. In the winter, the awnings create glowing heat in the home by directing sunlight to the interior’s concrete floors.
With the current economy in your mind, Ainsworth designed the house for extended family usage. The property can be a single-family home or as two indistinguishable single-family units. Both are financially viable options based on the needs of Ainsworth and her loved ones. She currently rents another side of their house to a couple and their three kids.
Ainsworth wanted to build a classic California home that steered away from typical white. She states,”White is overly formal, which is not a formal home. It’s a ranch, after all.” She picked a sandy tone to the home’s exterior.
The hallway separating the two units gives an enchanting view of one of their house’s yurts.
By law, a single-family home is allowed to have only one main kitchen. Finding it much easier to rent out the unit with a true kitchen, Ainsworth moved to the side with what she calls a”here today, gone tomorrow” kitchen, including only the absolutely necessary elements.
Stove: The Antique Stove Shop, Ventura, California; sink: classic found on roadside
Functionality is crucial when it comes to Ainsworth’s design philosophy. She states,”I like decorations to be functional, such as picture frames, flower vases and candleholders. I really don’t like tchotchkes.” The home was designed with a high-use yet low-maintenance mindset and contains beautiful, user-friendly elements. The concrete floors found throughout the home are an ideal example: They’re extremely low maintenance without compromising attractiveness.
Kitchen dining table and chairs: Down Home Furnishings, Ojai
One of Ainsworth’s favourite furniture pieces is this cabinet given to her by her sister. The cabinet is painted with a BioShield blot to give it a rustic, ranch-inspired texture.
Kitchen cupboard: Santa Fe Imports (now closed)
Ainsworth says her favourite place in her home is the exterior. “That’s really where I spend most of my time. However, a close second would be the great area,” she states. “This chamber has everything. It is where I cook; it has music; it has television and it is where I amuse.”
Ainsworth wanted to remain as ecofriendly as possible, so instead of using potentially toxic paints, she blended color directly into the plaster of the walls. Her inspiration to the back accent wall in her living area came from her love of terra-cotta pots. She states,”You can put any kind of plant in a terra-cotta pot, and it looks beautiful. It is a very neutral color that goes with everything” For the adjoining living space and kitchen walls, she utilized the first plaster mixed with coffee grounds for a hint of color and texture.
The living area palette ties in beautifully with her classic wool rug and couch from Homemakers Furniture (now closed).
Sofa cushions and leather ottoman: Pottery Barn
Not only does this wall serve as a vibrant and distinctive decorative accent, but it also holds an extremely functional function. Made up of solid concrete blocks, the wall is designed to keep heat by capturing the sun’s rays coming in through surrounding windows and skylights.
Seat: Homemakers Furniture (now closed)
Recycled timber from old bleachers at Matilija Junior High School in Oja lines the hallway’s doorways and ceilings. “My husband had to scrape all the gum off of these,” Ainsworth says, laughing.
Short time, Ainsworth was made to hurry the experimentation procedure with plaster colours, resulting in a slightly darker turquoise than she’d hoped for in the restroom. Later on, she intends to tone it down to some more subtle mint hue.
The bathroom feels wide open, with expansive doors along with a double-sided mirror door linking the two sections of the space.
Ainsworth’s bedroom features a charming country feel. Sunlight brightens the space, softened by lace window treatments. The wool and cotton bedding is environmentally friendly; the natural latex mattresses are from Savvy Rush in Charlottesville, Virginia. The bed frame itself is a recycled family room, repainted using a white nontoxic BioShield blot.
The mint color mixed with the white plaster gives the bedroom an airy texture.
Nightstand: Pottery Barn; chairgift from a friend
An armoire in the bedroom brings amazing yet rustic color into the space.
Armoire: Santa Fe Imports (now closed); blue blot on armoire: BioShield Paints
External, Ainsworth’s authentic yurt, currently inhabited by a family friend, is an ideal combination of ranch-style living and whimsy.
Sofas: Gloria Jean Design, Ojai; bed framework and nightstands: Pottery Barn; chest: classic from Alexandria, Virginia
Knowing this property is unique, Ainsworth designed it to be shared with others — an”accidental community,” as she calls it. The ranch includes a certified organic farm as well as Grounded By Nature, a life and nature skills program for kids.
This wooden outhouse was built for the kids participating in Grounded By Nature.
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