Remaking of the Main House
at Knowlton Farms & Vineyard
The setting is bucolic and really a darn near perfect six acres set just outside of Sebastopol. On arrival the gate swings open and invites you down a charming gravel road, between rows of vineyards, leading to what can only be described as a quintessential wine country farmhouse. The vintage home had been renovated to add amenities but retain its' vintage charm.
An unusual project for me, I was called in to completely furnish the two story, 2200 square foot main residence. That in and of itself is not really unusual for us, but usually it occurs with a full renovation and over the course of a year or sometimes two. This needed to be done quickly and by quickly, I mean four weeks.
Luckily for me, as we have grown and gotten increasingly more busy, we have been able to add team members like Lori in the office and my daughter, Lauren, out in the field. So, we were able to hit the ground running.
The house itself was also an easy fit, being that it was a traditional country farmhouse. That right there will always work for Tama Bell Design!
We started with a floor plan to determine furniture pieces for what would amount to 17 separate areas, including a covered outdoor patio. With an idea of general furniture type and placement we set out to find product that was immediately available or with a quick order and delivery turnaround. We did this without giving up the aesthetic that seemed to speak to the house and the grounds. That, is really important to us as a team. We want it to be right.
Proposed First & Second Floor Plans
The main ordering process was done in the first 7-10 days. Once the first layer or large upholstery and case goods was finalized we moved on to window coverings and smaller furnishings and a round of what we call "the hunt" which is a couple of days scouring our local vintage sources for one-of-a-kind pieces that are really special to add to the newly ordered. The goal is for each space to feel like it has been gently curated over time and not to feel like it was all purchased in one round of shopping. It's what can be the most stressful and also the most fun. A design project has a life of its own and even though, at some moments, it feels like it's not going to come together, it always does!
Then we started thinking about art and what we were going to fill the walls with. In the space planning phase we highlighted the walls we thought should be filled, so we would have place markers. We did not want to fill all the walls, because some blank space is necessary to create a feeling of quiet and comfort. We wanted a combination of pieces such as bold paintings, prints in color and monochromatic schemes, mirrors, decorate plates (a Tama Bell favorite) and interesting found elements. It should be varied and yet marry with the space.
Next, we took a day trip to pick out the soft goods, like bedding, decorative pillows, throws and the like. The goodies that add the layers of color and texture to the space. We look for pieces that work with each other but are not matching sets.
We had a container brought on site for storing the items until our scheduled installation week. We only ordered one sixteen foot container, which filled up much faster than we anticipated. We made it work and the short start to finish timing proved helpful in this regard.
The installation day crowd consisted of the three of us in the office, myself, Lauren and Lori, and two men, Jake and Mike, who did all the heavy lifting, assembly and hanging of items. Those two have the patience of saints, what with all the “move it a snitch” this way or that! It is really nice to see the team grow and see what we can accomplish together.
Lauren and I hung all the new window coverings first and Lori set to steaming them to perfection. We then hung the major pieces of art, based on our initial plan. Then we loaded rugs, large upholstered pieces, case goods and any large decorative items first. We set and made each bed and did a final fluff with accessories on the entire house. Then we took a deep breath and took a good look around.
Before & After Photos
Living Room | Dining Room | Master Bedroom
I amazed myself that we were able to complete this project in four weeks. We provided the client with a beautiful end result, fitting of the lovely quality of the home. I could not have done it by myself.
Thank you Team Tama Bell Design!
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