Randolph Avenue House Becomes La Mer Design Studio


Tammye  Delk Van Clief and Nicolle Isaacs Smith are partners in a new venture: La Mer, offering their expertise in interiors, furnishings, and event planning. (Wave photo by Sarah Golibart)

Cape Charles Wave

July 2, 2013

Referring to themselves affectionately as “Ebb and Flow,” Tammye Delk Van Clief and Nicolle Isaacs Smith contentedly drift about their studio, chatting as they unpack a new shipment from England.

They have named their new design company La Mer, reflecting themselves, the harbor town of Cape Charles, and the fluidity of life.

The big white house at 339 Randolph Avenue is home to their new business: Interiors – Furnishings – Events.

Tammye and Nicolle have given the house a complete facelift, showcasing their skills as interior designers, artists, and buyers of fabulous goods.

Along with the right furniture and decorative pieces, Tammye and Nicolle believe in “transforming a space with colors and lighting.”

The house not only serves as a place to display their fabulous finds (all offered for sale) but as an inspiration to the two veteran interior designers.

A documented structure in the Cape Charles Historic District dating to 1905, the “windswept old house fits exactly what we want to do,” says Tammye.

Rather than a shop, she and Nicolle wanted a studio, — a “work in progress,” where they can “think and put together ideas.” [Read more…]


Richmond Newspaper Spotlights Cape Charles

The Sunday, June 30, RIchmond Times-Dispatch travel section featured a story on Cape Charles, including a bike ride from King's Creek Marina to the beach above at Bay Creek. (Photo by Katherine Calos, Times-Dispatch)

The Sunday, June 30, RIchmond Times-Dispatch travel section featured a story on Cape Charles, including a bike ride from King’s Creek Marina to the Bay Creek beach shown above. (Photo by Katherine Calos, Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Cape Charles Wave

July 1, 2013

Cape Charles locals love reading outsiders’ impressions of our little edge of the world, so when a reporter comes to town and writes a story, the Wave takes notice.

Yesterday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch story by Katherine Calos headlined the Eastern Shore, but the story was mostly about Cape Charles.

Following a time-tested pattern, Calos did venture outside the Town in a trip to Chatham Vineyards, accessed via SouthEast Expedition’s kayak tour.

Readers learn that “Harrison and Joan Wehner bought Chatham Farm in 1979 and spent about 30 years restoring the manor house that dates to about 1818. The three Wehner grandchildren now are growing up with the craft at the next level, with French vinifera grapes and winemaking as a full-time business instead of a hobby.”

And then a little geography: “The Eastern Shore is only a half-hour from Virginia Beach, but the 20-mile-long crossing on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel makes it feel like ‘the world’s largest gated community’,” according to kayak guide Margaret Van Clief.

Speaking of gated communities, reporter Calos biked from one part of Bay Creek to the other: “A bicycle ride earlier that day had been as easy as ice cream. After picking up rental bikes at Kings Creek Marina, we followed a 10-mile loop to the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course at Bay Creek on the other side of town.

“Along the way we found Brown Dog Ice Cream, where scoops of homemade coconut almond and coffee ice cream would become our reward at the end of the day.”

(Calos neglected, however to reveal the secret for accessing Bay Creek’s gates: Never tell the guard you “just want to look around.” They are instructed to turn wanderers away — especially the week of July 4th. Instead, state a specific destination, such as the Coach House Tavern.) [Read more…]

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