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Kathryn Swears (and She's Sorry)

Kathryn shares why she didn't move to Ojai (it involves Reese Witherspoon) and apologizes for her language.

By Kathryn Ireland

A lot has happened since Season 1. Oscar graduated and landed his first job as a production assistant working on Lincoln, the recently released and extraordinary Spielberg movie. Otis just started Loyola Marymount University, and Louis is at University of Arizona -- party college! Jacqueline continues to irritate me with her cleaning skills -- or lack of.

What better way to kick off Season 2, but with us ladies going on a wine tasting trip to San Ynez? I am working on a fantastic project in Ojai for an English client of mine. The property has an iconic house designed by the legendary architect Wallace Neff. I was drawn to Ojai some years ago when I bought and restored the Libby Ranch, but with my boys not wanting to leave Santa Monica I sold it on to Reese Witherspoon. This area is close to my heart.

There is something magical about the valley that is surrounded by the Topi Topi Mountains. With Jacqueline in tow, on our way to a long, overdue retreat we stop off to see how the project is progressing. My brother Robert is project managing the work and being his older sister I am constantly having to crack the whip. We are some months in, but with only six weeks left before my client arrives. The heat is on!

My client chose me as the interior designer because of the book I authored, Creating A Home, which documented the restoration of the Libby Ranch. Bought the book, then wanted to buy the house. At that point it wasn't for sale and it was by chance that she found this house. The bones were there, but in the '70s much of the original detailing had been removed and ghastly glass chandeliers installed. Not at all in keeping with the 1920s structure.

My favorite challenge in my profession is to restore life and soul to ailing buildings. My client was a dream to work with. Once she had approved the remodeling and design boards, she left my team and me alone. And being in England, she did leave us alone. The biggest part of the work was remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms. Updating plumbing can be challenging.

Jacqueline was not at all interested in seeing what I get up to during the day. She was desperate to get to the wineries. We tour a bunch of them. And wherever we go, Jacqueline finds attractive men. It was my first visit to Bacara, the extraordinary resort north of Santa Barbara over looking the ocean. I could have done with a few more days there, but as always my extremely busy life keeps me on the go: the fabric business -- we are now hand printing in-house, clients --  a bunch of new jobs on the horizon, and of course my boys!

Here's to a great long awaited Season 2. There's much drama and much decorating, but we all need a big smack on the bottom -- way too much swearing!!!

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