Next Up

Tour a Spanish Colonial Redesigned After California Wildfire Damage

October 07, 2022

A California wildfire nearly destroyed this family home. An interior designer used the recovery process as an opportunity to make her home feel new again.

Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money off these affiliate links. Learn more.
1 / 20
Photo: Alex Loucas. From: Interior Archaeology.

Growing Out of Misfortune

Perched on five acres of land in the Santa Monica Mountains, interior designer Tammy Randall Wood’s sprawling Spanish Colonial home has been her family headquarters for a decade. She nearly lost it all in 2018, when the Woolsey Fire devastated Southern California. “The landscape was destroyed; we lost many trees, fencing and irrigation were all destroyed, as well as the pool and all of the pergolas and outdoor areas. The stucco finish was blackened, and some doors burned and buckled, there was extensive smoke damage to the interior, and we had water damage in the kitchen,” she recalls.

Though the house looked “a bit like a blackened marshmallow in a campfire,” it was left standing — and Tammy, Interior Archaeology’s founder and principal designer, chose to approach the damage as an opportunity to make long-overdue improvements. “Because the entire house was under construction and we had moved out, every room could be reviewed in a way that it simply could not have been before.”

More photos after this Ad

2 / 20
Photo: Tessa Neustadt. From: Interior Archaeology.

Sometimes the Best Makeover Is a Makeunder

In rehabbing her home after the Woolsey Fire, Tammy was finally able to peel back ill-advised modifications flippers had made before she moved in. “We leaned into the most authentic and natural materials we could find as we envisioned its remake and brightened things up, so they feel a bit younger,” she says. “The materials for the most part, though updated, feel more accurate to the direction of the architecture and overall, I think, make the house feel more organic to the setting.” Her reimagined home also features wares she both lives with and offers in her recently launched SHOP by Interior Archaeology, a destination for favorite finds.

More photos after this Ad

3 / 20
Photo: Tessa Neustadt. From: Interior Archaeology.

Let Modern Furnishings Share Space With Ancient Materials

Tammy’s sun-dappled breakfast room is a study in subtle contrasts. Strong lines on the ceiling’s exposed beams and the paneled pass-through to the kitchen soften into an arched window and chairs, and a contemporary table stands before a traditionally tiled wall. "I love Zellij tiles from Morocco; they have been making them the same way for thousands of years," she says. “The modern silhouette of the table creates a nice tension with an ancient material like Zellij, and the timelessness of the wicker creates another layer of texture and a natural mood.”

More photos after this Ad

4 / 20
Photo: Tessa Neustadt. From: Interior Archaeology.

Use a Split-Level Island to Define an Open-Plan Kitchen

“The shape and location of the kitchen are challenging in that traffic needs to move through to access other spaces,” Tammy says. “The layout that worked best was to create two islands for the best flow. But to be perfectly honest, I have never liked the look of a kitchen with two islands."

Sleight of hand served her well here. “Raising the bar on the second island allowed the kitchen to feel like it had only one island, and at the same time created a subtle barrier between the family room and the kitchen. We entertain quite a bit, and guests love to sit at the bar and talk while we’re cooking and cleaning up — it’s ideal.”

More photos after this Ad