Modernism in 'Shangri-La'

Renewed home on architect's former family compound beckons celebrities, MCM fans
Fridays on the Homefront
Designed by mid-century architect Randolph Chalfant Head in a family compound his firm built in Ojai, his beautiful example of mid-century modern is up for sale. Located in a small, beautifully isolated valley, the residence, designed in 1960, was home to a "fairly well-known director and an actor," but no one's saying who. It was recently restored "back to its original splendor." Photos courtesy Sharon MaHarry

An idyllic hamlet well insulated from the hubbub of Tinseltown on the edge of Los Padres National Forest, Ojai has attracted creative types seeking refuge from Los Angeles for nearly a century.

One such resident was noted mid-century modern architect Randolph Chalfant Head, who often worked under just his middle and last names.

Now, a fully restored home in the family compound his firm built in Ojai is up for sale by two other auteurs who remain unidentified. A sparkling, compact home at 1320 Carne Road, in a small, beautifully isolated valley, the three-bed, two-bath beauty built in 1960 was listed recently for $2,882,000.

Fridays on the Homefront
Beyond the modest, simply entryway lies an amazing home.

"My clients purchased it in 2014," says Sharon MaHarry, listing agent for the house with partner Stacy Candenasso. MaHarry said the owners are a fairly well-known director and an actor, but declined to say more.

"It had been rented for a number of years and had fallen into disrepair," related the realtor, noting that the compound was subdivided years ago. Of her clients she added, "They restored it back to its original splendor."

Based on the list of restoration projects undertaken, the property must have been in frightfully sad shape indeed. Virtually every system was replaced or upgraded: plumbing, electrical, heating and air; a new septic tank; new flooring, roofing, and a metal chimney; and a new water filtration system.

Fridays on the Homefront
The great room: "it's best feature, with the redwood walls and the high ceiling."

The kitchen and all baths were remodeled, including two in the 1,600-square-foot main house and one in the studio guesthouse. Both structures were repainted inside. A granite hearth was installed in the fireplace, and rock walls were added outside along with artistic gates.

The backyard pool and spa were renovated and augmented by redwood decks, a concrete patio with storage cabinets, and a Lynx barbecue. Other assets of the yard include a waterfall and pond.

"They did an amazing job bringing it back," marvels MaHarry. "It's impeccable."