A PHOTOGRAPHER’S SERENE OJAI HOME IS READY FOR ITS CLOSE UP
BY KATRIN WANBERG
PHOTOGRAPHED BY VICTORIA PEARSON
Victoria Pearson was once a regular at fast-paced photo shoots in Los Angeles. These days, though, she’s more likely focusing her lens on inviting interiors and appetizing eats, working out of her home studio. She made the 1940s Ojai Valley farmhouse, which she shares with her husband, chiropractor Brett Laymance, and her 18-year-old stepson, Marshall (stepson Trevor, 22, recently flew the nest), her full-time residence 10 years ago. “My recent work is more aligned with my personality,” she says of projects for glossy shelter magazines. “I’m lucky I found my niche.”
Pearson’s proclivity for domesticity is also evident in her own home, where walls are washed with a white paint she customized by adding a dash of ochre for warmth. The palette is offset by rich textures: woven baskets, sisal rugs and dark wood accents. “I love, love, love color,” she says, “but I use neutrals because it gives me a sense of peace. And it’s full of possibility!”
While wall art is sparse, the pieces that make the cut are those that call to Pearson, such as local artist Katie Van Horne’s large painting of an eagle; a vibrant landscape nestled in the living room’s floor-to-ceiling bookcase; and enlarged images of lemons and avocados that she snapped herself. Mounted elk antlers in the living room and master bedroom are a nod to Laymance’s fondness for hunting and the outdoors, while the Asian accents reflect Pearson’s extensive treks abroad. “I drag things home from my travels,” she explains.
Of all the rooms in the abode, “the kitchen is where we really live,” she says of the welcoming hub, outfitted with a cozy fireplace, a white oak dining table from Crate & Barrel and cabinets brimming with a sizeable collection of white English ironstone dishes.
Her studio and guest house is “comfy for family and friends but practical for shooting,” Pearson says of its sliding barn doors that, when open, usher in light from a quiet, pea-graveled courtyard. Pearson collaborated with local landscape designer Paul Hendershot to create her garden—mainly green, sculptural plants intermixed with white roses.
Pearson says she’s continually moving things around. “I’m always looking for harmony, balance and functionality,” she says. The result is fresh and inviting—and a constant work in progress. •
[C November 2011]