Mid Century Modern Upgrade
Palm Springs, California
Located in the Coachella Valley desert region, Palm Springs is sheltered by mountain ranges on all four sides. This geography gives Palm Springs its hot, dry climate, with sunshine virtually every day, and very little rain.
Since the 1920’s, an identifiable strain of sleek, modern homes that embraced the desert environment has slowly developed. The dramatic geographic surroundings of the Coachella Valley inspired a design aesthetic that peaked in the middle of the 20th Century and is now called ’Desert Modernism.’ Notable for its use of glass, clean lines, natural and manufactured resources and indoor/outdoor spaces, Desert Modernism evokes a lifestyle of simple elegance and informality. Influenced by the dictates of desert living and the intense climate, the style grew out of post WWII technologies, the aesthetics of the German Bauhaus, and is reflected in popular local works by Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, and others.
In general, Desert Modern is a post-and-beam architectural style that features low-pitched roofs, wide eaves, open-beamed ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The greater Palm Springs area is active with restoration projects now being undertaken to return many mid-20th century homes and businesses to their original condition.
This project is the ongoing restoration and modernization of a 1960’s, 1600 sq. ft. residence in old Palm Springs. The original design was a three bedroom, square plan with a detached two car garage, connected with a ’butterfly roof,’ and opening up to a modest pool in the rear yard. Over time, various owners had added both living and storage space to the rear of the home. The current Los Angeles owner sought to update the home with a series of strategic renovations that maintain the design integrity and spirit of the original home, yet accommodate contemporary amenities.
To date, most work has focused on the interior - removing ’stuff,’ as opposed to adding. All floor tile was removed and the concrete refinished. The kitchen and both bathrooms have been redone, . Work is in progress on a transitional indoor / outdoor area to the rear yard. Walls were removed to turn a previous indoor storage room into a shaded, outdoor living space adjacent to the pool. Next is the construction of a hot tub / day spa area off the master bedroom.