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ALWAYS A COWGIRL CHRISTMAS

Western Horseman Magazine, December 2008 Issue

Story and photography by Jennifer Denison, Western Horseman
Sharon at home.
Sharon Camarillo strives to create a
warm, inviting home for family and
friends during the holidays, mixing
ribbons, lights and greenery with
Western and Victorian elements.

When you arrive at Sharon Camarillo's residence in Lockeford, California, you can't help but feel at home for the holidays. On the patio, you’re greeted by an eclectic mix of music—James Taylor, George Strait, instrumental Christmas carols—drifting from the sound system. Lighted trees twinkle through the windows, inviting you to step inside. Scents of clove, pine and piñon perfume the air, and candles cast a warm glow onto a tastefully set dinner table.

Home decorators would envy the seasonal elegance, but to Camarillo, it’s home. The four-time national finals rodeo qualifier, horsemanship clinician and
author of the Western Horseman book The A.R.T. of Barrel Racing has decorated her home around her collections and love for nature, antiques and the Western lifestyle. Her mix of town and country, vintage and Victorian, Western and wildlife, reflects her personality and penchant for holiday traditions, all year long.

“In today’s busy world, it’s easy to let the holidays go by the wayside,” she says. “I don’t believe in waiting to celebrate the meaning of Christmas on December 25, so I try to create Christmas every day. That includes modifying my decorating to create an environment people can enjoy year-round.”

Beeswax candles in Sharon's home.
Beeswax candles in an antler candelabra cast a
warm glow onto Bernadotte china in a wildlife
pattern. Rustic copper chargers, scented dried
fruit with glittery, snow-like flakes, and small
trees complete the festive table setting.

Built in the 1970s, the 2,400-square-foot, California ranch-style home was designed by Camarillo and her brother, Ken Meffan, an architect. In 1998,
Camarillo remodeled the home to reflect her contemporary Western lifestyle.

The home’s interior has rough-textured, sepia-colored stucco walls and exposed wooden beams. Saltillo tile blends into primitive wooden floors. An open floor plan creates a feeling of spaciousness. French doors open from the dining room onto a large patio that’s perfect for relaxing and entertaining.

An avid antique collector, Camarillo tastefully displays her treasures. Resembling an old-time mercantile, you can’t help but want to explore every shelf, nook and cranny to see what interesting items are displayed. Family photos and heirlooms are intertwined with flea-market or antique-store finds. All the pieces convey an inviting sense of past and present, simplicity and sophistication. Each has a special story that takes Camarillo back to a certain time and place.

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