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East End Contemporary

The renowned architect Fred Fisher designed this contemporary, minimalist home for his close friend, artist Elyn Zimmerman. It is organized like Zimmerman’s SOHO loft, with a guestroom and a concrete-floored studio downstairs and the living-dining space, galley kitchen, and master bathroom and bedroom upstairs. A West-facing cantilevered deck runs the length of the living room, with double-height glass doors that fold into themselves. A metal balcony runs along the master bath and bedroom on the home's east-facing side. The decks provide for seamless indoor/outdoor living and access to beautiful, expansive views of the Ojai Valley and surrounding mountains.

The interior of the living-dining area is spare and sophisticated, with bamboo floors, 20-foot ceilings and floor to ceiling windows. The galley kitchen could have been transported from Zimmerman's Soho loft, and serves all the needs of a modern cook. The bathroom includes a walk-in glass shower, and a graceful, sculptural tub. The wall of sliding glass and screen doors in the bathroom and bedroom open completely, inviting the outdoors in. The feeling is like being in a tree-house, but with seating via Frank Gehry cubes instead of branches.

Throughout the landscaping, rocks and live oaks abound. Over five years unhealthy native plants were removed and those remaining pruned as hedges and rock plantings. Other native plants and low-water maintenance plantings were added, as were numerous fruit trees. Architecturally, Zimmerman built a minimalist, low-maintenance, fire-resistant silvery-metal house that contrasts with, yet fits perfectly into, its rock-filled terrain.

The home reflects the curatorial hand of its artist-owner: spare, sophisticated, poetic, with lightness and openness prevailing inside and out.

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