Keith & Fran's Arty Geodesic Dome Home

House Tour

Name: Keith & Fran Puccinelli (artists, collectors, retired entrepreneurs)
Location: Ventura County, California
Size: 2500 square foot geodesic dome on 10 acres
Years lived in: 14 years

Keith and Fran's home is undoubtedly special. It is filled with personal goodies from the "keep out" door constructed with matchsticks to Fran's felted pillows in the master bedroom. Even the clock in the kitchen is unique; it adjusts itself for daylight savings. They are obviously dedicated art collectors and fell in love with their geodesic dome.

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The dome is such a cool home that I had to know the story behind moving into this great property. Take it away Keith...

We were living in a rented classic board-and-batten beach cottage overlooking the Channel Islands near Carpinteria, California. We were totally obsessive-compulsive collectors of folk art, outsider art, prison art, tramp art, paint-by-number paintings (over 1,000), bad thrift store paintings, religious art, and stuff only we called art. It hung from every wall, from the ceilings and filled every horizontal space such as tables and even some of the floor. The first question a visitor always asked was, "who dusts?" Not having a bonafide answer, we would usually mumble something about opening the front doors and letting the ocean breeze blow through. The beach cottage had a wonderful great room with huge beams and a giant fireplace.

One day Fran took me to look at what has become our new home, the dome. I asked, "We're moving?-- we have cheap rent, and live on the beach--whaaa?" Well, it was our time, and we've never looked back for one minute. (We sold a lot of our stuff before the move, and a few years ago we got rid of a lot more. What's left as you see in the photographs represents our "Zen Period.")

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Our style may be described as having "Puccinality" (poo-chin-ality), a free-wheeling yet tasteful stew of modern (the geodesic dome/IKEA kitchen) meets contemporary (we have a lot of contemporary art) meets folk (that hand-made thing is big on our list). Juxtaposition and surprise are okay with us.

Inspiration: Bucky - Buckminster Fuller's dome design - our own creative spirits as artists-ranchers-collectors, and our design-on-a-budget sensibility.

Favorite Element: Our seemly isolation in a rural location yet our relative closeness to Ojai, Carpinteria and Santa Barbara is ideal; the best of both worlds. It's great to be surrounded by nature when it's friendly. Also, in the dome, we have a great Great Room.

Biggest Challenge: For a couple of city-folk, it's taken us a bit of time to adjust to the occasional challenge of country-living... we say it builds character! Also, the curved dome walls are a challenge for hanging art, but we always seem to have room for just one more (we are former gallery owners who know how to make these things work).

What Friends Say: "I'd never leave here." (We think, "well how would you get groceries or maybe sushi?!")

Biggest Embarrassment: The access road serves a number of neighbor properties as well and it's a bit bumpy and sometimes dusty or muddy.

Biggest Indulgence: Our art collection, our interior update, revitalized gardens and avocado orchard (300 trees) are indulgent and demanding

Best Advice: "Lawns take take take, they never give give give": F.P.

Dream Sources: We are examples of living with art. We collect what we like. We install it in our home. It is in every room, everywhere we look. And we wouldn't have it any other way; we are living our dream (ok, sometimes we think of getting rid of everything and living in a furnished condo near the beach, but for now, this place is too cool!)

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Resources of Note:

APPLIANCES

  • Toto toilets
  • Maytag stove, washer, dryer
  • Magic Chef oven
  • Miti tub: bathroom furnished by Steve's Plumbing in Ventura, CA

FURNITURE

  • Inherited vintage, flea market

PAINT

  • Gray

FLOORING

  • Sub-flooring, sanded and varnished

RUGS & CARPETS

  • Rugs felted or hooked by Fran + vintage/ethnic

TILES & STONE

  • Italian ceramic in kitchen and great room

WINDOW TREATMENTS

  • Great views, watch the Hawks hatch their chicks

BED
We've got 'em

ARTWORK
The Keith & Frances Puccinelli Contemporary and Folk Art Collection

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Thanks, Keith & Fran!

(Images: Nancy Neil)

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