Reese Witherspoon’s $6.9 Million Country House in Ojai

by hookedonhouses on April 10, 2008

Reese Witherspoon has a new $6.9 million country house in Ojai, California. According to the MLS listing, it’s a Wallace Neff architectural masterpiece that includes an equestrian compound: “The perfect 6+ acre hideaway is nestled in fabulous Ojai Valley, a short drive to one of LA’s most sought after vacation spots. Fabulous new master suite. Incredible privacy.”


The home was formerly owned by actor/director Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters). Here’s how it looked in the real estate listing:

*Update: It was later reported that Reese got the place for about $5.8 million, knocking a chunk off the asking price.

Everything looked pretty bland and colorless in the real estate photos. The pics were teeny tiny, too. I enlarged them as much as I could!


The home appeared in House Beautiful when it was owned by interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland, and the photographs are beautiful. In the article, Ireland explained:

Originally, this house was designed by Wallace Neff in the ’20s to be a barn. Then another architect, Austen Pierpoint, made changes in the ’40s so it could be a home. This is classic Spanish architecture, but with a sense of bohemian fun, comfortable and loose.I love the way this house moves from the kitchen into the living room. And then these massive iron door handles everywhere. I love to lift them. It’s downright medieval.

Here’s how the rooms looked when Ireland lived in the house, and there was a lot more color in them:

You can read more about designer Kathryn Ireland and see more of her work here. Visit House Beautiful to see the original article and all the pics taken by Victoria Pearson. Article produced by Scot Schy.

*7/12 UPDATE: We finally get to see how Reese decorated Libbey Ranch, as it’s known. Check out the pics in my new post: Reese Witherspoon’s Sweet Retreat in Ojai!

*9/12 UPDATE: See the listing pics – Reese Witherspoon Selling Libbey Ranch in Ojai.

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Marie April 10, 2008 at 7:08 am

Is it my imagination or was the landscaping about 110% better when Kathy Ireland owned the home? And wow.. it certainly WAS more colorful inside then, too! I love the picture of the bathroom… do they color the water to make it look that refreshing blue shade? I know my Georgia water certainly isn’t that pretty!

Bonnie April 10, 2008 at 8:43 am

Love that bathtub! Could make me a bath person again. Also, the lovely tile on the stair risers.

Regarding the “Did you evah?” reference: now I’m going to have to go home and listen to my Red Hot & Blue cd to hear if there is such a reference. I never noticed it before. Thanks! That is one of my favorite albums, so thanks for the prod to get it out again.

Ali April 10, 2008 at 9:09 am

Beautiful house! I love that little nook under the stairs and the twisty trees in the yard. The colors from the Ireland era really do jazz it up. Surely Reese (and Jake???) will sauce it up in her own style.

And for a little somewhat off topic rambling -

I love Reese. She’s so cute! And seems so “normal ” (that’s a relative term right?) and down-to-earth for as successul she has become, she’s never in the news partying and drunk driving, seems to be a hands-on mom.

I read in one of the tabloids while waiting in the checkout line that she also purchased a ranch. It had pics of her kids chasing and carrying around piglets. I’ll see what I can find out about that.

Did you see her on American Idol last night with the family in New Orleans?

“The Man in the Moon” – Tearjerker!! And a great movie.

My favorite movie house is from the original 1961 Parent Trap (the dad’s in Carmel, not the mom’s in Boston). Julia, can you dig up information about that one? Just please don’t tell me it was filmed on a set – my dreams will be dashed!

hookedonhouses April 10, 2008 at 9:50 am

Just got an e-mail from Ali who did the researching into the Parent Trap house for me. She found this on Wikipedia:

“The film was shot mostly in California at various locales, including millionaire Stuyvesant Fish’s 5,200 acre (21 km²) ranch in Carmel, Monterey’s Pebble Beach golf course, and the studio’s Golden Oak Ranch in Placerita Canyon, where Mitch’s ranch was built. It was the design of this set that proved the most popular, and to this day the Walt Disney Archives receives requests for plans of the home’s interior design.

“Of course, there never was such a house; the set was simply various rooms built on a sound stage. The careful use of double-exposure and split-screen shots, as well as a double for Hayley Mills, provided the illusion of the twins.”

So apparently the house was as fake as the “twins.” Thanks, Ali! -Julia

JLB April 10, 2008 at 10:36 am

I love the “Parent Trap’ Houses. Both the original and the re-make.

JLB April 10, 2008 at 10:37 am

I am sure Reese will make this house perfect again. I really like her “down-to-earth” nature and don’t get me started about Jake. I will go on and on for hours. HaHaHa

irishsof April 10, 2008 at 10:53 am

Too bad the house doesn’t come with Ryan Phillipe.

Aubrey April 10, 2008 at 10:58 am

I love this house and I’m not even a huge fan of arches or Spanish-style architecture. I love all the “chunkiness” and simplicity. Kathy Ireland must have been really modern in her decorating because I think those rooms would still look so good today–or maybe the styles just revolved back to that era, like clothes do.

Amy April 10, 2008 at 11:13 am

Absolutely beautiful! I agree that it looked better decorated with color. It makes the whole place very warm and gives it character.

Lynn April 10, 2008 at 11:48 am

Oh, honey I’d buy this house. I love Reese.

I do like the bright colors of the original owner, but I like a clean, neat, no cluttered look it has now. Yes, I’m boring, but it’s much easier to keep clean this way.

Keep it up, you have me enjoying your site so much. I just found a friend a house yesterday. I can usually look at a house a decide if it fits that person. Well this one did. When her husband came home, he said “That’s the house.” Keep in mind The house is in North Pole, Alaska, they are in Texas. I just know the likes and dislikes of those people. I bet you can choose a house for someone as well, can’t you?

Have a great day!
Lynn
John 15

Lynn April 10, 2008 at 11:55 am

I just realized after looking at the photos again, It’s the same furniture as the other owner. I bet the first look is what it looked like on sale. Notice the bench under the stairs , and what looks like a Bible on the coffee table. So the look isn’t Reese’s. I bet hers is nice, being the Southern Bell that she is.

Stephanie April 10, 2008 at 12:24 pm

This house isn’t really my style, but I liked it much better when you showed the pictures from the photo shoot!

melissa lewis - off the wall April 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Oh my, I do have to say that I think that house is now my dream home. I love the decor of the house especially when Kathy Ireland owned it. Love the bight colors through out balanced so well with the natural walls and other natural elements. Perfect!

Courtney @ nestinginstincts April 10, 2008 at 4:08 pm

I actually remember this house from when it belonged to Kathy Ireland and was in House Beautiful! I remember being fascinated with Ireland’s use of color…it was never too much because she stuck with crisp white walls throughout. It’s the perfect blend of restraint and all-out color. It’s a bit too rustic for me, but I would have fun playing off the rustic elements with more traditional and unexpected ones too. I think it would be pretty with a neutral color palette too because the architecture is so strong and interesting. Okay now I’m just rambling…and dreaming…

Tori April 10, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Wow, wouldn’t that be a beautiful house to spend a weekend in.
I would love to know how it feels to be living in pottery barn
catalog.

Kirstin April 15, 2008 at 10:02 am

WOW, I love LOVE that home!!! I would love to live in Ojai again! I lived there when I was a kid with my Grandma and it is the most peaceful, relaxed little country town you will ever experience!…orange groves eberywhere and mountains surrounding, Ojai is gorgeous! My dream would be to convince my husband to move there! He isn;t that into the idea and thinks it’s too remote, but…one can dream…. ;)

Julie April 30, 2008 at 12:32 pm

I have this magazine, and I lusted after that house so bad! I turned down the pages so I could show my sister my “dream house”….sigh…

jelena May 19, 2008 at 8:47 am

damn it! i want this house soooo bad :( ahaha if it had some stables for my horses it would be my all time dream home.

Isabelle Johns May 22, 2008 at 12:19 pm

I love Reese! She is so good!!! This is like love at first view!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is the best I just cant stop loving her mua Reese

Love, Isabelle

limily May 22, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Hey rock!!!!!
That house is awesome so gorgeous
Ill kill for it
wow
my house
It is my house i just borowed it to reese
shell give me it back next month
Its a joke

Sue C. Barber June 10, 2008 at 10:13 am

To me, the house is to black and white, no color. Is she afraid of color? Can she not afford a professional decorator? Doesn’t look like a celebrity home to me.

trendoffice June 23, 2008 at 1:09 am

What an inspiration! It is so good to be able to see these photos – thanks for all the sources.

vicki A., int. designer July 5, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Wasn’t this house listed in arch. dig. a couple of years ago? I could swear it was….even inquired about it while passing thru ojai. I recgnized the view down from the top of the staircase into the living room. If there are any similar ones available with a few acres, please let me know. I, too fell in love with the irregularity of it!

kerri d September 5, 2008 at 1:05 am

Late to the party but for my two cents, the home looks much better in the MLS pics than it did with Ireland’s decor in HB. I remember wanting to love it, because the house seemed so cool (“bohemian spanish” right?) but I just felt like it went way tooo ethnic with the ikat fabric, Spanish painting and other very psychedelic-Catholic objects. And that weird wicker furniture under that gorgeous tree? Just punctuated a negative.
Anyway, so I am so thankful to have seen the place with a clean slate… now I’m just trying to figure how you keep little kids from going into that big open fireplace…

shahbeen September 10, 2008 at 2:38 pm

the design of the house is absolutely beautiful,…the landscape even better,…………loved everything but the furniture,….hate the tapestry,…..hate the hotch potch colours,…………i mean i just dont know why anyone would like all tht……….ok so i love classic and carved and guilded stuff,….but this was not very impressive,…….

Scott September 12, 2008 at 7:54 pm

I restored all of the windows, doors, tons of wood problems &plaster and painted this house over a year and a half span of time, just before Ireland bought the house. She never lived in it for a single day–the mexican laborers who redid the plumbing, landscape and remodeled one side of the main house camped in it until it was done. Ireland lied to but it for a low price, saying it was for her and her boys to live in. She flipped it and raised the price almost 3 million dollars. She was not the owner for long. The real owner (name withheld) was an amazing artist and wonderful client. I know the character of the estate before Ireland “glitzed it up” –and it was sadly watered down and cosmo’ed.
I imagine Reese is very happy though, and will never miss the old world charm that Ireland bulldozed away in her quest to make a ton of $, and glorify herself further as a designer.

Joy January 4, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Ryan Phillipe was a dope….Jake? waaay better. Beautiful home…whom ever it belongs to.

le February 10, 2009 at 4:21 am

Love Reese = she deserves the success :) le

house ain’t bad either …

le’s last blog post..The Love Hate Relationship that is Stay at Home Parenting

ida February 27, 2009 at 9:17 pm

i think the pics in the irland time were taken in the middle of the day with all the lights on. thats why it looks so bright in there. i like both styles. but, kathys is a little colorful. i’ve seen this barn/type home on another show that had nothing to do with houses. i would beleive that they didnt even say where the home was except out in california. i think it was a ghost show. i might be wrong who knows. but the homeowner did NOT want to be identified.

Dawn September 24, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Gorgeous home! Love this!!!!! (Both the original and “recent” pics.)

I also love Reese. She’s so talented and pretty, it’s almost sickening. And I love how she’s with Jake, who is also very good and cute. Lucky pair!

allyson martin April 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm

that is a cute house

Marilee Vickers April 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I worked for a builder in Rancho Santa Fe, Ca. for 13 years building custom high end estates and Wallace Neff is the architect that everyone wants to duplicate his look. I believe that he also did alot in Florida. We as a builder, copy his designs about 80% of the time.

Makennah May 11, 2010 at 10:46 am

I love her home!!!!!!! I do have to say that the bright colors are more appealing. So the home was built in the 40′s if I understood correctly? It looks ancient. I love it!

Kirra May 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I really do love this house, it makes a perfect living space!!!! It actually looks lived in unlike per say Gweneth Paltro’s house it is way to plain!!! What do you think??

merann June 10, 2010 at 8:34 am

i cant choose which house i like best m.j. fox’s charming house or reese’s country home.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com July 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I adore the reading cubbie under the stairs.
.-= Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com´s last blog ..Contest- Superhero Needed =-.

Kate {DomestiKatedLife} August 23, 2010 at 9:47 am

While I’m a HUGE Reese fan — I really like Kathy Ireland’s decor much better, those colors are so cheery and warm, without being in your face loud.
.-= Kate {DomestiKatedLife}´s last blog ..Back to School with 6th Street Design School =-.

Joe Maikell December 6, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Looks like the economy is alove and well in Hollywood..Glad to see she is doing her part in Stimulatin git with all that cash…

Holly March 24, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I absolutely love this house and how Kathryn styled it. She was in Sydney doing a seminar about it at the Sydney Trade fair 2010, I bought her book “Creating a Home”. It is the best interiors book I have ever purchased, she really gives you a new appreciation for colour and comfort. I recommend any home lover to buy it!

H x

Shannon March 28, 2011 at 2:20 pm

This house is not my style at all but omg I love it!! I love that little nook under the stairs, and the big old twisty tree! It is beautiful and I can picture Reese there!

Vicki @ In The Sandbox Comic Strip April 1, 2011 at 10:10 am

What a gorgeous house! I feel relaxed just looking at the pictures. I definitely like the color Ireland added!

Nita April 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I just adore this house and would buy it from her with lottery money if I could. So beautiful.

Dawn April 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Beautiful! I could live here!

Just sayin’ …

carol April 2, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I love Ojai and the beautiful homes. It is just a 15 minute drive from the beach in Ventura where I live. When we are fogged in we drive (or ride our bikes) to Ojai for sun, art and great food. The Ojai artists tour in October is a fantastic weekend. You can tour amazing homes and studios and see wonderful art.

I also love Reese Witherspoon. My son taught her daughter Ava in a summer program about 6 years ago and he said that the first time he met Reese he just stood there and sputtered because she was so darn cute.

MOMN8R April 5, 2011 at 12:32 am

Look closely. The photos show many of the same furnishings with a few changes in accessories. It’s not a difference in either owners’ color/tastes but rather in either the film used, lighting or camera setting. A lot of times flash or no flash makes a huge difference in how a picture depicts a subject. Notice the listing photos are hued green/blue and the Kathy Ireland photos are sharper and hued more true to color. Either way, it’s a home that Reese would choose…laid back, away from prying eyes and a place where she can raise her kids as normal as possible.

Ulana April 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Look closely the picture of the fireplace the 2nd picture has more stones in it than the first photo…

Carly May 8, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I live a few blocks away from her. And my mom and I went to the open house when Kathryn Ireland was selling it. It is so beautiful! I loved all the different guest houses. They each have really cute bedrooms and a bathroom and a kitchen! I wanted to move there so bad *haha* Even the garage is incredibly cute. There’s a little stairway at the side wall that leads to an adorable little attic. I’m so jealous of Reese Witherspoon. ^^

Barbara August 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I have just discovered this website through reading about the house in Rodanthe–of interest to me due to the fact I live in NC and love our coast. Re: this home in Ojai: I love the old world charm somewhat hidden in this estate, but still evident. Would love to see photos of the original house before Ireland mucked it up. Hate it when people essentially bulldoze a beautiful, artisan-built home because they don’t have the sense to appreciate and preserve it. Of course, that is their prerogative, but nevertheless, I do not agree with it. Why buy it if it isn’t your taste?? And I’m not talking about cosmetic things like color and furnishings or enlarging something. I have seen lovely old, beautifully built homes torn down too many times to make way for monstrosities to have any tolerance for people who can’t appreciate and celebrate the original craftsmanship. Kudos to those craftsmen (and restorers) who helped make and keep this house beautiful. I have every confidence that Ms. Witherspoon will appreciate the house and truly make it a home for her family.

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