Santa Paula Times

Pictured (clockwise from left) the Wilson Trulli house, Snow's classic Californian ranch home, the Billig home on Glade Drive, and the Johns' Regent Court "entertainer's delight," all featured in this Sunday's Homes & Art of Santa Paula Tour.

Four magnificent homes featured in Sunday’s Santa Clara Valley Hospice Home Tour!

April 18, 2007
Santa Paula News
Lovers of fine domiciles and top-notch art know what’s really special about the season: Sunday’s Santa Clara Valley Hospice/Home Support Group Annual Spring Homes & Art of Santa Paula Tour, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All proceeds of the April 22 tour benefit the nonprofit Santa Clara Valley Hospice/Home Support Group and its array of always-free services.Wilson Trulli House, 999 Cliff Drive: It will seem like another world when you enter the tucked away property of Yvonne and Chris Wilson and their young family living in Famille Wilson Casa Trulli, a circular stone house much like those that dot the Apulia region nestled in the heel of Italy’s boot.This ancient cone design fascinated Chris’ late grandfather Roy Wilson Sr. who never forgot the Trulli houses he saw on a long ago trip to Italy.Although Roy Sr. brought home a scale model of a Trulli house it wasn’t until 1973 that he started to work on creating three small structures of 320 square feet, expanded over the years, circle after circle, on the Oaks’ Wilson Ranch.Some theorize that the Trulli houses of Italy could be 5,000 years old...Wilson’s dream garnered more modern exposure when featured in Los Angeles Times magazine in 1974.The exterior of the Wilson’s Trulli house is earth tones of soft gray, whites with touches of black and a rich, more contemporary green.The roof finials are unusual but do not resemble the angel food cake pans Roy Sr. used as a mold.Inside, above the cork floored entry are plastered walls lined with works by famous artists and family friends...etchings by Cornelis Botke, oils by Douglas Shively and the works of others’ hug the curves of the home.There is the gentle arch of a vine-inspired banister leading to the second story, the creation of Chris, a metal artist.True to the Trulli tradition circles rule the house, including elaborate ceilings, one of wood that resembles a highly polished maze and the second in the kitchen that looks much like a stone beehive.The entire sunny kitchen - light streams in from numerous windows that offer a view of the rustic property and an innovative angled skylight set in the stone beehive ceiling - sits serenely below an elaborate folk art chandelier of tubing bent by Roy Jr., Chris’ father.The generous ranch property - which requires comfortable shoes to explore - also holds a unique entertainment area, a separate Trulli building filled with a massive aluminum Wolf barbecue and two restrooms.Snow’s Classic Californian Ranch Home, 915 Cliff Drive: The sweet scent of lavender welcomes visitors to the classic California Ranch home with Colonial touches, symmetrical windows on each side of the gleaming wood entry door with the flowery etched glass insert offering glimpses inside, where Joni and Dr. Philip Snow combined two households of cherished heirlooms - from antique furniture to vintage accessories - when they married.Inside the residence a gorgeous oriental rug dominates the Snow’s foyer with a Chinese pattern utilizing traditional reds, yellows and greens favored by Joni.The rustic but elegant dining room features several well-weathered prizes, including a massive sideboard delicately holding a unique assortment of sectioned gold-colored Carnival glass plates, just a portion of Joni’s collection.Found in a 400-year old home where Joni once lived, an antique rake - leaning casually in a corner as if unaware of its new status as a collectible - was discovered in the attic.The entire first floor - the upper quarters will not be open for the Tour - gleams with subtle melt in your mouth butter-colored paint that offers variegated highlights dependent on the light.Folk art paintings add more warmth and a sit-and-stay-awhile atmosphere...other art includes oils by noted artist Jay Sheldon displayed prominently in the foyer and living room.An antique lacquered Chinese chest serves as the sofa table in the living room where a cozy fireplace and bookcases display the Snow’s many interests, rich wood the perfect backdrop for everything from favorite tomes to an antique Chinese egg basket in red lacquer.In the Snow’s favorite room the kitchen island is seemingly as large as a continent, holding built-in appliances and enameled red doors and drawers...the ample range sports red knobs that pop against its coppery finish and work-of-art vent.Earth-toned granite counters, an apron front farm sink and framed citrus labels reflect not only the practicalities of the kitchen but also its chic farm ambiance.Out back a flagstone walkway leads to the entertaining area and water features, impressive river rock adding bold natural accents, each stone excavated during the construction of the lap pool and spa.Johns’ Hillside Entertainer’s Delight, 723 Regent Court: The lushly bricked and paved front courtyard features a statue of Diana, the goddess of the hunt balanced delicately on a large stone, her bow still pointing at the sky pierced by her arrow.But if that mythical arrow were to descend it would more closely resemble Cupid’s arrow of love hitting square in the heart of the home of Michele and Rod Johns, whose hillside residence is where Diana proudly stands guard.The Johns are the original owners of this 3,000 square foot entertainer’s delight, a Spanish Mediterranean tri-level that offers views of the Santa Clara River Valley to the ocean.Unique sculptures by Mark Hilley and other artists - many crafted from rich metals - are displayed throughout the home that features creamy white walls perfect for a formidable array of diverse art.The sunken family room’s marble fireplace is nestled between a wall of windows and dominated by a happy scene - the work of artist Linnea Pergola, famous for her works depicting urban whimsy - that portrays a lively seaside amusement park.
The sea is much in evidence in the family room from the cool blue sofa and overstuffed chairs to the glass-topped driftwood table...even the mantle is home to various glass sea creatures thoughtfully placed where they can see gaze at the nearby wet bar.Last year saw the addition of a second deck that offers a 180-degree view of the river valley to the ocean, offering more room for entertaining overlooking the area where the couple plan a butterfly garden.Visitors to the butterfly garden will most likely closely resemble those that flutter under Plexiglas above the brass bed covered with a flowery spread in the master bedroom.The artwork was created in Puerto Rico where the beauties are harvested after a natural death for a new life of appreciation for their beauty.Downstairs, the guest and wine room - both the Johns are connoisseurs - features flowers, fauna and a bright parrot pillow and a closet that has been converted into a wine cellar.In the long hall is a complete set of prints of the noted Murals of Santa Paula, reflecting the city’s rich history and culture.The large lower viewing deck sports a granite-topped big-enough-to-cook-for-a-huge-crowd aluminum barbecue and brick spa, the latter converted to salt water by Rod.Billig’s Home Offers Serenity, 590 Glade Drive:Past the festive tuffs of red fescue grass, hidden behind an East-facing door is a rounded courtyard with a calming fountain, inlaid with a unique swirling pattern of pavers ranging from gray to tan to an unusual subtle purple.The captivating courtyard offers a hint of what is behind the modern, glass front door with just a hint of the mysterious Orient in the patterned wood cutouts, opening to the home of Yoshie and John Billig.The Billig’s hillside home reflects the alignment and balance that are at the core of feng shui, how a person’s state of mind and energy affects - and is affected by - the environment.The entryway - dominated by a marble Japanese dragon - has the gentle curves that are a hallmark of the home.Several steps lead to the beige-on-white living room with a bold fireplace atop granite and soothing but dramatic accessories...beyond are breathtaking views of the Santa Clara River Valley and South Mountain.The living room overlooks the dining room - which offers views to the ocean - and its light-bouncing glass topped table and elaborate, vintage Japanese screens, a gift from Yoshie’s mother.Other prized possessions are Yoshie’s Blenko glass and the traditional Japanese dolls handcrafted by her mother.The soft white kitchen with Corian countertops do not detract from the rich marble floor that flows and becomes the deep oak flooring of the den dominated by a wide-screen television for entertainment and enlightenment.A discreet door leads to a small viewing deck overlooking Fagan Canyon where decorative pots hold a variety of herbs - including flowering rosemary - close enough for a pinch by John, a talented amateur chef.The guest bath shows imaginative handiwork in taking an irregular shaped space and highlighting it with a curved mirror and Corian-toped cabinet, both designed by John.John also designed the custom front door as well as the matching garage door...of course, first the existing garage had to be converted into an office, relaxation and work out room in soothing shades of sage.Upstairs the master bedroom’s fireplace adds panache and comfort but the built-in television poised above the doorway also catches the eye.The master bath holds an unusual glass shower with decorative tile and glass blocks that further light the room and show off the cozy spa.Also on Tour Day, refreshing ice cream treats, Silent Auction, Spring Plant Sale and an Art Walk in the Oaks - the latter including works by members of Santa Paula Society of the Arts and others - will be located just outside the rustic garden of Lucinda and Dion Anderson, 1016 Holly Road.Tickets for this very special Tour are available for $20 each, on Tour Day $25 at the door.Tickets can be purchased in Santa Paula at the Chamber of Commerce (200 N. 10th St.), Pamela’s (861 E. Main St.), Santa Paula Times (944 E. Main St.) and John Nichols Gallery (916 E. Main St.).For more information or to arrange for “will call” reserved Tour Day tickets call Hospice at (805) 525-1333.