BUYER: Reese Witherspoon
LOCATION: Del Norte Road, Ojai, CA
PRICE: $6,950,000 (list)
SIZE: 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: A one of a kind Wallace Neff architectural masterpiece. Amazing equestrian compound. Perfect 6+ acre hideaway nestled in fabulous Ojai Valley, a short drive to one of LA's most sought after vacation spots. Beautifully re-designed by Kathryn Ireland. Fabulous new master suite. Incredible privacy. Fantastic opportunity.
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Oscar winning actress, major Hollywood power player, and dignified southern woman Reese Witherspoon prefers to do things on the down low. You certainly aren't going to see this ladee out at some velvet rope Hollywood hot spot flashing her baby maker as she gets out of her car, nor will she be ringing up the paps to come snap a few pictures of her as she crosses the parking lot at the Brentwood Country Mart to buy some lip gloss at Marie Mason Apothocary. Some initially called it a faux-mance, but even her year long relationship with Oscar nominated actor and well known privacy nut Jake Gyllenhaal has been conducted largely outside the blinding glare of flash bulbs and gossip glossies.
So it should come as no surprise to any of the children that just a few weeks ago, the recently dee-vorced mommy of two very quietly purchased an historic 6+ acre ranch in Ojai, a picture perfect slice of California gorgeousness just 1.5 hours outside of LaLa Land and just north of Ventura, a tawdry little town in which Your Mama happens to have spent a lot of time in our youth.
Just between us chickens and as a meandering aside, we have many fond and funny memories of our favorite foul mouthed Aunty Jennie, piling Your Mama, Sister Woman and cuzzins Lois and Toddaroohoo into her powder blue 1970 something Ford Galaxy–an automobile we all lovingly called The Blue Vomit–and heading down to the Golf and Stuff in Ventura that sits right up next to the Highway 101. As we pulled up to the front we'd each be handed five clams to last us until Aunty Jennie and Your Mama's Mama finished their mai tais down the road at The Elephant Bar. Your Mama can not tell you how many times we finagled free rides on the mini car speedway by acting penniless and pathetic. Good times. Good times.
Anyhoo, property records sort of reveal and our wickedly well informed pal Lucy Spillerguts confirms, that Miz Witherspoon purchased what is commonly called The Libbey Ranch in the Arbolada area just north and west of bustling downtown Ojai. Before Your Mama begins to bore the children with how green with envy we are over this place, let's have a bit of the history. The Spanish Colonial casa was originally designed in 1923 for glass tycoon Edmund Drummond Libbey by noted California architect Wallace Neff with later French Country style additions and out buildings by Austen Pierpont. The house has had a number of owners since 1923 including actor/director Harold Ramis and was most recently owned and fully restored by interior designer and textile goddess Kathryn M. Ireland. Before she sold the ranch to Miz Witherspoon, Miz Ireland (who is not the moe-dell Kathy Ireland by the way) allowed House Beautiful to snap some pretty pictures of all the rooms looking dee-voon, drowning in pillows and draped with a pleasing cacophony of brightly colored fabrics.
Property records show Miz Witherspoon closed on the property only a few weeks ago, but as of this morning Your Mama is unable to confirm just how much of her Legally Blond boodle she had to cough up to buy the place. Listing information shows the property carried a $6,950,000 asking price and a recent article in US magazine refers to her "new $5.8 million ranch in Ventura County." And guess what kids? They were right. According to Jim Nasium, a man who would know, Miz Witherspoon and her people drove a hard bargain and paid $5,800,000 for the historic compound.
According to listing information, the main house has a soaring beamed ceiling living room and gigantic fireplace, a large kitchen dining room, a library loft with fireplace and 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. An interesting quirk of the house, which will no doubt bug and bother some of the children, is that one must walk through an outdoor breezeway to get to the bedroom wing from the main house.
There are also two detached guest cottages, each with private bath and fireplace, a stable block for the equine inclined, a gatekeepers cottage, a four car carriage house garage, a stunning walled and private swimming pool, and a smithy, a somewhat obsolete feature where Your Mama imagines a burly, sweaty and seriously sexy man once used to forge the iron to shoe the horses and fabricate all the door handles and hardware for the property.
Your Mama can simply not say enough how covetous we are of Miz Witherspoon's new country digs. So we're just going to shut our big trap, spend the next few hours drooling over the dee-lishus photos of this California real estate dream and let the children praise and pick apart the details while all Your Mama's beloved Chicken Littles yammer on about how this place will only be worth a million in a year or two.
When not hiding out at her new ranch, Miss Witherspoon clearly prefers life behind gates where she can live her life without paps doorstepping her every move. As far as property records (and our spider web of sources) are concerned, she continues to live in the same 6,956 square foot house on Brentwood's guard gated N. Gunston Drive that she shared with ex-hubby Ryan Phillippe before they went splitsville. Property records would also indicate that in April of 2005 the $29,000,000 actress paid $760,000 to purchase another house on Moultrie Park in a gated community in the tony Belle Meade area of Nashville. As for her privacy loving boyfriend Jakie Gyllenhaal, you ask? When not camping out at Reese's place in Brentwood, he very discreetly pilots and parks his Mercedes up a long driveway on Woodrow Wilson drive in a house that is extremely well shielded from any prying eyes and long lenses that might be cruising up and down the street hoping to snap a shot of him pulling out of his driveway or wrapped in spandex and pumping his bi-cycle up and down the twisty streets of the Hollywood Hills.