Explore an Idyllic Ojai Refuge That's a West Coast Love Letter

Is it possible to look forward and backward at the same time? Judging by the unabashedly romantic, idiosyncratic home of Anne Crawford and Dudley DeZonia, the idea of reaching for the past while keeping an eye on the future is not only possible but, in this case, preferable. The couple’s historic Ojai refuge makes an eloquent case for the inspired coalescence of nostalgia and contemporary brio. “Rodman and I have always bonded around conversations about what constitutes an authentic idea of California—what it means to live in a way authentically connected to the land and history,” Crawford says, referring to her friend and longtime design collaborator Rodman Primack of the AD100 firm RP Miller. “This project was our attempt to reclaim the spirit of old California in a way that feels fresh and modern,” she adds. Primack seconds the notion: “Ojai is a truly special place, a remnant of what California felt like 40 or 50 years ago. We tried to honor the past, especially in the architectural restoration, but we didn’t want it to feel like a movie set.”

The kitchen has a Lacanche range vintage Holophane pendants from Hollywood at Home and antique Delft tiles interspersed...

The homage to the Golden State isn’t just an artificial conceptual gimmick. Crawford, a longtime Los Angeles tastemaker and former brand ambassador for fashion titans Rick Owens and Roger Vivier, is a fifth-generation Californian, as is Primack. Her husband, a retired entrepreneur, also has deep roots in the state. In fact, DeZonia grew up two doors away from Primack’s mother in the city of Whittier. In 2019, just months before COVID turned the world upside down, the couple fortuitously decamped from LA and purchased 20 acres in Ojai, where Crawford had attended summer school when she was a child. The property encompasses the main residence, built in 1910 by the scion of an early Ojai land developer and citrus farmer, along with a late-19th-century farmhouse and barn, all set among avocado and orange groves.

Crawford and DeZonia both rave about Ojai’s storied metaphysical energy, said to draw its power as a spiritual vortex from the geomagnetic force of the Topatopa Mountains. Originally settled by the Native American Chumash people, the land has long attracted seekers of sanctuary and spiritual uplift, from the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti and the American artist and potter Beatrice Wood to a current crop of Hollywood heavyweights eager to find refuge from the tumult of Tinseltown. “Life here is happily unhurried and stress-free. The energy is real,” DeZonia affirms.

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