Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Brooke Giannetti, a California-based decorator and shop owner of Giannetti Home, as well as the blogger behind Velvet & Linen. I’ve admired the beautiful work that she and her architect husband, Steve Giannetti of Giannetti Architects create together. Their collaborations are nothing short of magical, blending classic architecture in various styles with thoughtful, timeless interiors. I have followed along as they made their dream home, Patina Farm in Ojai come to fruition.
I am thrilled that today, their book of the same name, Patina Farm is officially being released! The book takes us along on the journey as Brooke and Steve decide to leave Los Angeles and set out to build a new home in Ojai, California, inspired by the farmhouses of Belgium and France. It is fascinating to see the process of their sketches coming to life. Patina Farm is truly beautiful and the kind of house just about anyone would dream of calling home. It is classic, timeless, beautiful, and is the embodiment of what is special and meaningful to the Giannetti family. I invite you to enjoy our conversation in this installment of the Style Files and encourage you to get a copy of Patina Farm which is full of inspiring details. Who knows– by the end of the day, you may be hatching a plan to leave your own city behind for life on a farm. Who wouldn’t enjoy such a beautiful, magical setting to call home?
Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?
Steve & Brooke Giannetti: Our style has evolved over the years. We’ve always loved antiques but recently we’ve found our favorite moments are when beautiful Swedish antiques with a muted color palettetas well as vintage leather chairs are paired with simple, clean lined new furnishings, like our upholstery pieces. We are also more drawn towards architecture that is a mix of classic and modern. It’s a balance of masculine and feminine detailing. It’s Patina Style.
PC: Has living in Ojai influenced the way you decorate? How does the design sensibility differ there from when you lived in Brentwood?
Steve& Brooke: Absolutely! When we decided to build a home in Ojai there was never even a question as to what style it would be in. The house belongs in Ojai. It’s not necessarily a tangible difference, its more of that indescribable Ojai feeling of serenity and simplicity. We always draw our inspiration from the location of a project, but we do try to infuse this feeling of calm into all of our projects.
PC: What does your home say about you?
Steve & Brooke: We always want people to walk by our home and say “A happy family must live here!”. Our home says that family and togetherness are important to us. During the design process, we always kept our family in mind. When we designed the spaces where we would be together, we wanted to make sure that they would feel comfortable for everyone. The living room, for example, is where we spend most of our time as a family, so we made it the focal point of the house. We’ve noticed that our children are more likely to hang out there than in their rooms, which was our goal. We also used materials that are kid and pet friendly.
PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?
Steve & Brooke: Inspiration truly exists everywhere… in a visit to beautiful garden, an antique show, or even the local farmer’s market. We also find inspiration during our travels… seeing the works of Raymond Rombouts in Belgium or Carlo Scarpa in Italy, for example. Their ability to create timeless design is truly inspiring.
PC: Who are your personal style icons?
Brooke: Audrey Hepburn and Ali Macgraw
Steve: Paul Newman
PC: What is your guilty pleasure?
Steve & Brooke: Our goats and donkeys. Taking time off every day to care for them is definitely our guilty pleasure. Our animals remind us to live in the moment. They are much better at this than we are!
PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?
Steve & Brooke: Complete trust in their chosen designer or architect! It’s the attribute we are most attracted to when talking to potential clients, because it is the trait that lets us do our best work.
PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?
Steve: Working in my family’s ornamental plaster studio as a child had a tremendous influence on me. The shop was a mix of classical plaster ornament in an industrial setting. The entire shop was covered in a thin layer of chalky white plaster that continues to influence of our aesthetic.
Brooke: Living in California, with its relaxed aesthetic combined with living with a classically trained architect are my two biggest influences.
PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?
Steve & Brooke: Living here in the Ojai Valley. We love the fact that Ojai really provides everything we need whether it be natural beauty or cultural events.
PC: What can we look forward to next from you?
Steve & Brooke: We’re working on several new homes in Los Angeles, Ojai, and Montecito that are the result of building our new home and will definitely have a Patina Farm influence. We are also in the middle of an exciting renovation of a Connecticut farmhouse, and we just completed the redecoration of a chateau in Bordeaux, France. In Tennessee, Steve is working on a 150 acre estate with designer Adam Hunter. We are also excited to share a project in Maine that will be featured in Milieu Magazine next fall. In addition, we are currently remodeling and relaunching our flagship store in Brentwood, CA which will be completed in May. We’re designing a clothing line and expanding our furniture line as well. Our son, Charlie recently started working with us and is bringing his own style to our world. It’s exciting to see his vision and aesthetic take shape.
We are also so excited about our Patina Farm book that was officially released today. We hope that it inspires everyone to design a life that they love. We have several book signings planned in the spring, including one in Houston on March 31st and another in Atlanta on April 27th. I will be sharing details about all book events on our blog, Velvet and Linen.
Style Mantra: Stick with the classics
Scent: Le Labo Santal 33
Piece of Jewelry: Diamond stud earrings and my delicate turquoise bead necklace that I bought from a street vendor in Venice.
Color We Never Tire Of: Chalky blues and greens.
Flower: David Austin Roses and peonies
Indispensable Design Element: Swedish antiques and vintage leather chairs
Era for Design: We love design that feels timeless.
Fabric/Textile: Matemi sheers from Rogers and Goffigon. They make a room glow…
Hostess Gift: Le Labo Santal 26 Candle
Meal: The grilled veggie salad at Ivy by the Shore. We’ve been going there for over 30 years and it’s still delicious.
Drink: Brooke–Vodka martini with a splash of cranberry | Steve– Grand Cru from Chateau Fonplegade
Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Visiting the goats and donkeys
3 Things We Love About Ojai: The Sunrise, Sunset, and everything in between
Weekend Destination: San Francisco
Hotel: Four Seasons San Francisco
City: Venice, Italy… anywhere in Italy really…
Museum: Steve– Fortuny Museum in Venice | Brooke– Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris
Artist: Steve– John Singer Sergeant | Brooke– local Ojai artist, Jennifer Moses
Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Steve– All at Sea by Jamie Callum | Brooke– Strawberry Letter 23 by Brothers Johnson
Prized Possession: Our dogs “the Shih Tzu Sisters” Sophie and Sera
Risk Worth Taking: Leaving LA for life on a farm
Greatest Extravagance: 4 Donkeys, 3 goats, 12 chickens, 4 dogs, and a house rabbit
Go-To Color Palette: Neutral with colors inspired by the landscape
Rule to Break: All of them
Movie Set Design: Dante Ferretti
We can never have too many… Animals. We still want more.
Houston friends, mark your calendars! Steve and Brooke will be in town on Thursday, March 31st for a special presentation and book signing at Chateau Domingue!