On this beautiful morning I'm taking you to a likewise beautiful Mediterranean-style stucco villa in Ojai, California. Carolina and Jack Bunce knew it was their dream home when they saw the views: jagged mountain peaks rising high above a valley at the back, and from a second-story loggia on the front facade a view reminiscent of Tuscany or Provence with a sweeping valley of fields of avocado trees, olive farms, and orange groves.
The house's stucco matches the colour of sandstone rock on the property.
On weekends The Bunces have breakfast around a weathered painted-iron table with a glass top. This area behind the house is covered in pea gravel and leads to a dining terrace.
Agba, one of the family dogs, relaxes on a slipcovered sofa in the living room; the room has five sets of French doors that open onto the loggia, lending a bright, outdoors feeling. The fabric on a 1920s chair (far left) looks like patchwork but is actually needlepoint.
A shiplike Empire daybed right in front of the fireplace. The hearth, baseboard, and floor are tiled with matching Mexican terra-cotta.
In the kitchen an 1880s table topped with Caesar stone which, according to Carolina is "lemon-proof, red wine-proof, and Sharpie pen-proof." A well-worn rug covers the polished wood floor.
A credenza designed by Carolina stores 19th-century yellowware.
An antique Balinese teak daybed is grouped with a bamboo coffee table and chairs.
An arrangement of hydrangeas brings out the colors in a piece of French ticking that covers a table on the loggia. The floor is tiled with the same terra-cotta used indoors.
The couple's collection of dark still lifes contrasts with light walls.
Stunning views from the back loggia.
A crystal chandelier hangs above a free-standing tub. A worn silk rug and an antique painted tray table completes the picture.
A pair of Louis XVI-style chairs flank painted panels rescued from a Hollywood house that Carolina decorated. The client did not want them, she says, and the contractor was about to throw them away.
Carolina draped the back posts of the guest room's Shaker-style bed with a lush 1920s printed linen. "I didn't do anything with curtain rings because someday I may have another use for the fabric," she notes. A European trestle table partners with a Baltimore painted fancy chair.