The Santa Barbara home of designer Jodi Goldberg and her husband, Johnny, is infused with a sense of calm and peace that belies the story behind it. The couple lost their longtime family home, a colorful Balinese-style retreat with lush gardens that was a labor of love for Jodi, in the Montecito debris flows in January. Jodi, who is the owner of interior and landscape design firm Jodi G Designs, says of their current rented home, “I feel grateful that I had a project for our family as a way to heal from the loss of everything we had and knew. I wanted to create an organic, open, light-filled sanctuary with very neutral colors. Right now we need a clean and simple space with lots of life so we can heal and stay in the positive and the moving forward.”
Clean and Serene
The light, airy and uncluttered design is a study in serenity, with a palette of whites, creams and greys, punctuated with natural textures and materials. The spacious living room incorporates thoughtfully curated pieces including African art and textiles, along with a large driftwood-framed mirror by Santa Barbara’s Madera del Mar and custom-made feather art by San Francisco artist Trudy Elliott. An adjoining open dining area is anchored by a live-edge suar wood table from Bali. On a teak root console table by the front door are a Buddha statue and Tibetan bell that were the only treasures found in the debris flow rubble.
Though she and her husband were the clients in this project, Jodi, who began her career by styling for editorials at the age of 16, followed her tried-and-true philosophy. “When I design for my clients, the first step is to get to know how they want to live in their spaces. I want to make each room functional, with a specific intention in mind, and create the magic to bring their vision to life for them.” For example, she says that for this project, “I wanted to make sure that the living room was a place where we could put up our feet and relax, and also have groups gather together.”
Making It Work
Since both husband and wife work from home, Jodi made it a priority to design inviting spaces where they could let their creative juices flow. Her beautifully minimalist office incorporates a large raw wood table and painting by local artist Todd Mossman with the words “let go, let in,” the couple’s mantra after losing their home. Johnny, who is known professionally as Johnny G, invented fitness programs Spinning, Kranking and In-Trinity. A lower-level workout room includes his new innovation, Spirit bikes, and the adjoining den provides a hang-out space for playing guitar with their son.
Another design goal was for the inside to flow seamlessly with the outdoors. “I love connecting the in and the out,” says Jodi. An outdoor deck that overlooks the sparkling pool and ocean beyond is a favorite spot for dining and entertaining, along with seating areas around the pool and garden. Overall, the home embodies Jodi’s signature design approach of infusing interiors with soul and character by mixing furniture, unique artwork and one-of-a-kind objects, and blending in unexpected and distinctive elements.
“This is a Zen retreat for us,” Jodi says. She points out gifts given by friends and clients after the family lost their home, including large crystals on the kitchen island and stones etched with the words “love & light,” “strength” and “gratitude.” “Words cannot explain how the community came together to be supportive, with so much love,” she says. “This is a process and every day people are taking steps to stay positive, move forward and help one another.”
This story was originally published in the fall 2018 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.