Marrying Clean and Casual with the California Coast with Designer Tama Bell

We talked with designer Tama Bell about her style, design techniques and relationship with Monark.

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California homes that have the touch of Tama Bell are anything but plain. These luxurious homesteads are a reflection of Bell’s chameleon-like ability to blend old and new, rough and smooth together to create the perfect living space for her clients. Frequently working with Monark, Bell is confident in the abilities of Monark sales associates and the quality of the products they offer.

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Blueprint Beginnings

The decision to become a designer was a natural choice for Bell. Both her parents were heavily involved in creative construction. Her mother went to fashion design school and her father was a builder.

“My earliest memories are eating oatmeal with blueprints on the table.”

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Bell also enjoyed rearranging furniture and finding different lines and angles to play with.

Since starting her business in 1998 and running it out of her home, Bell has been able to develop what was a part-time position into a full-time adventure. She now caters to a wide variety of clients and spaces and works out of a design studio in Sebastopol, California.

Architectural Inspiration

While designs and furnishings are catered to the clients’ personal interests and requests, Bell’s style is clean, casual elegance married with the California coast. She uses classical and traditional elements that still manage to keep the design bright and light.

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Her inspiration stems from her experience with architecture. Her designs take into account the lines of pieces and the lines of the house. Bell enjoys working in opposites and complements – mixing smooth and rough textures, bright colors with dark accents and playing with scale.

Never One To Match Pieces

To create unique, welcoming spaces, Bell has a few signature design tricks. She mixes a table with chairs and benches from different sources. Her standby is hanging drapery as high and as wide as possible.

“I’m a fan of plate displays – trying to put that into a space, to create art, using it to display traditional and nontraditional plates.”

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Her love for playing with scale plays a big role in how she furnishes a space. Bell layers smaller rugs on top of larger ones and uses overscale to her advantage, which she says can be difficult but also fun to do.

Trusted Excellence

As Bell designs the client’s space, she’s usually in charge of selecting the appliances, but in the event that the client has something in mind, she provides guidance and advice. Clients often need help choosing a luxury brand and understanding their budget. Bell relies on Monark and sales associate Sam to provide the highest quality appliances for competitive prices.

“I trust Sam, so I trust Monark. We have that relationship. I can call him up and ask about appliances for the room, give him the price range, and he’ll give me some options.”

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Monark thrives on building relationships like the one we have with Tama Bell. Our goal is to help clients turn their visions into reality, and our work with Bell is no exception.

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