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.”


The two designers have enough material to write a book. The La Mer website credits Tammye with 20 years of working “side by side with homeowners, contractors, and architects creating functional and inspiring installations in fine homes from Charlottesville to Virginia’s Eastern Shore.”

Nicolle is well known locally as the former manager of Marina Shops in Bay Creek. She also is an experienced event planner.

La Mer studio contains a blend of “upcycled” and vintage items and antiques from all over the world.

Drawing inspiration from Cape Charles and the bay, Tammye and Nicole have infused their shop with a coastal flair based on a quote by John F. Kennedy: We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch — we are going back from whence we came.

In the same way that a visit to the sea (or bay) can be a return to basic, pure, organics,  a visit to La Mer Design is all about finding oneself and “revealing, staging, and celebrating your story.”

Tammye and Nicolle offer to create a space that is a perfect reflection of the homeowner. They see themselves as the “go to girls” in terms of interior design, furnishings, and event planning.

Their hope is that “La Mer Design will become a brand.” Based on their variety of experiences, eye for design, and loving embrace of the coastal atmosphere of Cape Charles, all the ingredients for success seem to be in place.

La Mer is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-4p.m., and by “Chance & Appointment.” Their website is at lamerdesign.com.

339 Randolph Avenue received a complete makeover. (Wave photo by Sarah Golibart)

339 Randolph Avenue received a complete makeover. (Wave photo by Sarah Golibart)



4 Responses to “Randolph Avenue House Becomes La Mer Design Studio”

  1. Thomas D. Giese on July 2nd, 2013 11:10 am

    I would like to read Sarah’s reporting on a regular basis. She has a real talent for observation and writing.

    We agree! Sarah is an honor student at James Madison University who stays as busy during the summer months as she does at school. The WAVE is most fortunate that she finds time to write local stories while also working a summer job. Sarah promises more to come! –EDITOR

  2. Debbie Suddeth on July 2nd, 2013 1:45 pm

    I happened upon the new studio recently and was in awe of the beautiful designs, items for sale, etc. These ladies have a great eye for decor!

  3. Nicolle Smith on July 3rd, 2013 2:29 pm

    Join us tomorrow [July 4th] from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to see our newest rare finds from Tammye’s trip to England. We will be having a tag sale! Stop by for cool water, lemonade and cookies! 339 Randolph Ave Cape Charles 757-331-2072

  4. Jodi Outland on July 3rd, 2013 8:46 pm

    This is wonderful, I cannot wait to check it out. Well written article as well!