Editor’s Note: Living the Dream


Dreams deferred, when finally realized, are often the sweetest.

Or so Sylvana Guidotti and Kevin Wells discovered.

The house they owned in Ventura’s Skyline neighborhood had a lovely hillside location, but its architecture was much less inspiring than its views. The couple shared a love for craftsman design, and added a lot of personal touches to their boxy tract home to make it more their style. Sadly, all that hard work went up in flames in December 2017, when the Thomas Fire ravaged Clearpoint, Skyline and Ondulando neighborhoods. There’s a happy ending here, however: When Guidotti and Wells rebuilt, they were able to create the craftsman they had always dreamed of…with some added features that made the most of the location and enhanced their lifestyles.

You can read all about Guidotti and Wells’ journey in our Nesting feature. But there’s even more in store for this particularly dreamy Spring Home and Garden issue.

Graphic designer and photographer Matt Titone is living his own dream, running his Los Angeles-based ITAL/C design studio as well as Indoek Gallery on Ventura’s Westside while raising his family in Oxnard, just steps from the beach. An avid surfer, he incorporates the coast into a lot of his art, and has been tremendously inspired by the creative people he has met in the surf community. He talked to Ventana Monthly about his wildly popular “Surf Shacks” book series, documenting the amazing homes surfers have made for themselves, in Conversation.

April showers bring May flowers, but Central Coast blooms have already started going wild. No place is this more true than at the Ventura Botanical Gardens, 100+ acres of pure plant paradise. Those winter rains are paying big dividends, and VBG staff invited local artists in for a weekend-long “plein air paint out.” Thirteen painters set up around the gardens, where they found inspiration in the blossoms and views…and where garden visitors got to observe them while they worked. We spotlight this unique event in About Town.

That’s not all! Be sure to check out our special features on the upcoming Mother’s Day Mariachi Festival in Culture — get your tickets to this sell-out event now! — and the meerkats of the Kalahari Desert in Travel. Those rascally critters will definitely put a smile on your face.

Spring is in the air, for sure. Here’s to a new season, full of sunshine and blooming with wonderful things.

– Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer