Tucked in behind a tree-lined lawn in Old Town Nipomo sits a 130-year-old blue and white Victorian house with stained glass windows, a house that looks unlike any other on Dana Street.
The aptly named Kaleidoscope Inn and Gardens has served as a bed and breakfast for more than 40 years, but in its early days, it housed members of the Dana family and subsequently an antique store. The inn's current owner, Kevin Beauchamp, said he purchased the property in 2001 from a family with children who lived in the home while operating the bed and breakfast.
"They ran the house like a house, so when I bought it, I was like, 'Well that's going to go,'" he said. "I turned it into an experience. I've spent a lot of time in Europe, so I knew what a European B&B experience was where they run it like a business."
After purchasing the inn, Kevin put in a lot of work expanding its gardens and converting an all-stone small bedroom in the backyard that was being used for storage into a place where guests could sleep. He also converted the inn's garage into a large suite with its own bathroom to create the inn's sixth bedroom.
In addition to these infrastructure changes, Kevin really leaned into operating the inn as a special event and wedding venue. He said the previous owner held about six or seven weddings the year before they sold the property. In his first year, he booked 18.
About five years ago, Kevin's daughter, Beki Beauchamp, moved onto the property to run the inn. Now Kevin takes care of the more logistical, background work, while Beki checks in guests and books weddings and other events.
Beki said they continue to have a steady demand of people wanting to rent the space for weddings, partly because of the mix the venue offers of an outdoor garden and an old home.
"A lot of the places around here, there are some gardens, but they're barns or they're vineyards, so [the garden] is something that a lot of people are drawn to," Beki said. "A lot of couples like the vintage thing as well, so they're drawn to the Victorian house and the vibe attached with that."
She books up to 30 weddings a year, but no more than that. To make each couple feel at home and welcome, they only host one wedding each weekend.
"We refuse to do two weddings in one weekend, and that's for the sake of the couples," Beki said. "We want it to be, 'It's our wedding day, it's our weekend, it's all about us.'"
- Photos Courtesy Of Kaleidoscope Inn
- TAKING IN THE GREENERY The Kaleidoscope Inn features a spacious lawn surrounded by trees.
Beki said October is generally their busiest month, with every weekend booked over the last few years. But she's also booked weddings in December and January. So far this year, the inn has 22 weddings booked from March through November, averaging around 125 guests per event.
The venue can accommodate weddings with up to 250 guests, but Beki said they only book two weddings a year with that many people to prevent the lawn and gardens from becoming damaged.
"We want [the gardens] to be beautiful and nice for all of our couples," Beki said.
Along with hosting the weddings, Beki helps plan and coordinate the events. She sets up meetings with couples who come visit the property for a tour and shows them photos of what it looks like on a wedding day. If they're interested, the couples sign a contract and put down a deposit for one of two wedding packages.
Beki said their standard package starts at $2,000 with an additional $8 per person. So for a 100-person wedding, the total would be $2,800. They also offer a premium package that starts at $7,800. Through this option, couples pay Beki and Kevin to take care of all the food—including the cake—as well as flower arrangements, and a DJ, which they do through local vendors.
Couples who book weddings at the inn include Central Coast locals, people who've stayed at the B&B in the past and loved the charming house, or folks living in Los Angeles or San Francisco who are looking for a less expensive venue than those in bigger cities, Beki said.
Whether it's a wedding for locals, or people from out of town, all six rooms at the inn are usually booked for each wedding, Beki said. This gives people a single location where they can have their rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception.
"Most people rent out the place because then it opens up their end time, and they can do a cozy after party with friends and family," Beki said.
- Photos Courtesy Of Kaleidoscope Inn
- LOTS OF SPACE The inn can accommodate weddings with up to 250 people.
Having a single location for all wedding-related events, also provides for more flexibility, which is something both Kevin and Beki try to emphasize. Kevin said they try to accommodate whatever couples have in mind, such as having one of their family members bring over a barbecue pit to cook dinner with, so the couple can save money on catering.
This flexibility also comes through with their approach to themed weddings, which Beki said she is totally on board with. They've hosted Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and 1920s themed weddings.
"It's a family thing and we're a family venue, so we really try to give that [flexibility] to people and be warm about it," Kevin said. Δ
Sun Staff Writer Zac Ezzone is all about a Lord of the Rings themed after-party. Get a hold of him at firstname.lastname@example.org.