fter 20 years in Connecticut, interior designer Tammy Randall Wood was ready to come home. Home in her case being the Los Angeles area where she was born and raised, though she spent part of her childhood on movie sets around the world with her father, an action director and stuntman. “Traveling to exotic places on location with my dad exposed me to history, people, culture, cuisine, and architecture that was very different,” Wood says. “Hiking around ancient Roman ruins on the coast of Tunisia or shopping in the marketplaces around Benghazi, Libya, helped me understand the importance of authentic materials. They’re the foundation of how a place makes you feel.” Keeping those experiences in mind, Wood and her husband, David, looked for a dwelling that would meet both their personal needs and be the right fit for Wood’s design business.
The Spanish-style Agoura Hills abode the couple found was a far cry from what it would one day become. “It was dripping with decoration,” Wood says. For example, corbels carved in high-relief were in every arch, tile was inlaid on almost every wall, floors were stained black, and walls were painted colors from chartreuse to eggplant. Despite the ornamentation, the interior designer saw the potential, since the home was also blessed with eight-inch-thick walls, live-oak floorboards and authentic Spanish terra cotta. “The architecture was gorgeous, and the house was so well built,” she says. “I wanted the authentic materials to shine.”
Wood enlisted general contractor Tamir Zipori to assist with the intense renovation. To begin, they sanded down and refinished floors, repainted the entire home, and replastered walls in a rich, neutral shade. “We played with the plaster’s texture and ended up doing three different layers,” Zipori says. The entryway floor, set with tiny mosaic tiles, was jackhammered out and replaced with antique French limestone, while the stair risers’ multicolored, high-gloss, three-by-three tiles were traded for understated antique French terra-cotta ones. In the kitchen, the massive island, once topped with bright red concrete, received a makeover thanks to a limestone epoxy product applied to its surface, and the pumpkin-orange striÃ©d cabinets were refinished.
The biggest transformation, however, happened in the master suite. Notably, in the reimagined bath, the team pulled out the existing platform tub and added an arched opening to frame the new tub, bestowing architectural presence on the space. “That arch matches the outline of the tile behind the tub,” Zipori says. “There are a lot of details like that, which contribute to the whole project.” And while Wood desired a clean, white marble bathroom that felt modern and feminine, she kept in mind the home’s rugged ambience. “I used an oak cabinet that would feel comfortable in a Spanish home and juxtaposed that with white marble and clean hardware and lighting,” she says. The overall effect is fresh and modern.
With much of the home an open-concept plan, “it was a fine line to keep the interiors interesting while still being unified and serene,” says Wood, adding, “I’m an amalgamation of different lives. I love antiques, the 1930s and Neoclassical style, but I also love modern. So, I tried to be a careful editor.” In the living room, she placed wicker chairs around a more contemporary-style coffee table set on a carpet of 1920s Turkish textiles stitched together. “I wanted the space to feel like a Moroccan tent,” she says. “It’s quite small but is influential since it’s visible from other spaces.” In the master bedroom, an emerald-velvet-wrapped bed mingles with Art Nouveau and Art Deco pottery and hanging Moroccan lanterns. “This is an ode to some of my favorite motifs,” the interior designer says.
Wood translated the collected vibe of the house into her design studio, too. “I’ve always created my design studios in my own world, so that clients walk through the gardens and go through the kitchen we designed to show them hospitality and show them our world,” she notes. “It changes the dynamic.” Located on a precipice, French doors open on every side of the structure to patios with views of the mountains and vineyards. Inside, a large soapstone-topped work table pairs with wood-framed armchairs and a custom rug with a geometric pattern. Vintage McCoy ceramics rest on the kitchenette’s shelves and cladding the fireplace is natural stone gathered from the surrounding hillside. “I am always trying to bring the outdoors in–and very often trying to bring the indoors out,” she says, pointing to her affinity for adding architectural details in the landscape, such as the chicken coop in the rose garden that has a rooftop composed of the same Spanish tiles as those on the main house.
“A Spanish home really harmonizes with the landscape in Southern California,” says Wood. “There’s an unhurried energy.” That harmony, both inside and out, is evident in the finished product. “My aim was to be able to feel like the house was clean and sophisticated but everyone could run and jump on the couches and talk all night with the doors open,” she explains. It’s safe to say she accomplished just that.
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