The Ranch Reimagined

In the Fall of 2018, we were contacted by new clients to refresh and update the main house of a family ranch set on 40 acres of some of the most beautiful land I have ever seen in Sonoma County. The clients wanted to address architectural styling of the entry, light space planning, material specifications and furnishings, for a thorough overhaul of the main house that was last updated in the late 90’s. We would be replacing old tile flooring, updating the paint colors inside and out, as well as renovating both bathrooms, and addressing how the living space was used through furniture placement.

The bones were there, they just needed to be shined up a bit. We started with the exterior, determining that the entry needed to feel a bit more welcoming and proper for this house. The house has a multitude of french doors with two pairs flanking the brick fireplace at the main entry. We wanted to remove a portion of the deck railing and the heavy foliage, to open-up and give the front a more inviting feel. The challenge became adding stairs with a substantial grade change from one side to the other.

(3) Exterior Construction.jpg

The contractor mocked
up our end cap…

…laid out the stairs and the continuation of the right-side landing to make sure it was all going to work and look seamless.


Next, we addressed the great room that had a large fireplace which lacked a bit of finishing detail that diminished its true beauty. The solution was to plank the fireplace wall, add a new larger wood mantle, relocate and reselect better scale sconces and paint the entire room a bright, classic white. We flipped the furniture layout in the great room, that housed both the living and dining spaces, to better suit the traffic pattern.

We often run into homes that have vaulted , wood ceilings that are beautiful but don’t give us the opportunity to add can lighting to provide good, general room light. We are left with using some type of track lighting, which is surface mounted. To address the lack of lighting in the space, we stuck with a simple track light and camouflaged it behind some of the beams to add lighting in the dining room and kitchen.

The fireplace before and mid-construction with the planking in place, relocated lighting and the new mantle installed.


(7) Paint Colors.jpg

The kitchen was updated
with a fresh coat of paint
on all the wood cabinetry.

We updated the great room with a lighter and brighter paint color on all the walls.

We used a pale palette inside with off-white, cream and pale taupe. On the exterior we went bold with Benjamin Moore’s Dragon’s Breath and Black Tar on doors and windows to add a bit of sophistication to the house. We updated the bathrooms with a dark charcoal porcelain tile, clipped Carrara on the shower pans and added new, custom white oak vanities topped with the most gorgeous soapstone. Overall, a pretty major fluff of the house which resulted in a refresh that curated a current yet timeless look.


Here is a medley of before and after images…


Tama Bell Design is an interior design firm with projects in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Petaluma and throughout Sonoma County and the Bay Area.