Up by the Sea


Tama Bell Designs adds cozy, modern layers inside a traditional Sea Ranch home

In the living room, a three-sided fireplace by Valor anchors the room, balanced by a sisal rug in pewter from DMI.
Photos by Stephanie Russo.

“Our goal is to create interior and exterior spaces that will stand the test of time, make people feel good and, of course, function well. We nurture space so that spaces nurture our clients. It’s our mission and what we are passionate about,” says designer Tama Bell about how her firm—that she helms with her daughter Lauren—approaches each project. The Bay Area native is known for her sophisticated style that effortlessly blends traditional European elements with a California coastal finish. “Growing up in a very small town in West Marin—in a rustic house built by my father—had a huge impact on how I feel about space and how it contributes to the quality of our lives.”

Pendants from Visual Comfort hang below skylights over Sereno Gold countertops. The range is by Fisher & Paykel, the Elena barstools are by Stowe. Photos by Stephanie Russo.

The Calvino chandelier from Visual Comfort hangs above the Lily dining table by Artesia. Photos by Stephanie Russo.

They applied their vision inside this 2,400-square-foot home in Sea Ranch that is known as the ‘Leeward House’, adding a new level of warmth and sophistication. “It is a traditional Sea Ranch-style home where the guest bedrooms are located downstairs on the entry level, and the living spaces and primary bedroom sit upstairs to take in the water views,” Bell notes. “The house was in need of a complete facelift and a little smart space planning to create a powder bath off the living area for guest use.  Adding the bath created better flow and fixed a major challenge with the upper level of guests having to walk through the master bedroom to use the bath.”

In the powder room, the wallpaper is by Thibaut and the chandelier is by Visual Comfort.
Photos by Stephanie Russo.
White oak, wide plank TruBalance flooring by Mirage runs throughout. Photos by Stephanie Russo.

Located in Healdsburg, the client loved their beach vacation home but wanted to strip away the 90s vibe and update the kitchen and bathrooms and completely furnish the house.

In the primary bedroom, the Alanis bed is by Bernhardt and the bedding is by Pom Pom at home. Photos by Stephanie Russo.
In the primary bathroom shower, Zellige tiles from the Villa Lagoon Tile add a rustic edge. Photos by Stephanie Russo.
Phylrich faucets and sinks by Kohler rest in a custom vanity. The lighting is by Visual Comfort. Photos by Stephanie Russo.

“I think that the main living area is the most significant feature of the home,” says Bell. The new airy kitchen that is flooded by natural light from sky lights, anchors the south end of the main spaces while the open-plan and modern fireplace anchors the north end, all filtering to the abounding ocean views from the expansive windows that sit in the center of the home. “We wanted to add a natural, organic feeling to the space with the use of white oak in both the flooring and in some cabinetry, warm tones of white throughout and lighting that felt like an ode to jelly fish.”

In a guest bedroom, the Takama poster bed is from Artesia flanked by a pair of Declan lamps by Jamie Young. Photos by Stephanie Russo.

“We believe that homes are living things, and are just waiting for a vision and grand plan to turn them into all they can be,” says Bell. “Our clients loved the end result and said we were able to completely transform their home into a beautiful, comfortable oasis.”