By Annie Thornton I Houzz
1. The Ultimate Getaway
BEFORE: Though the pool in this somewhat dilapidated 1958 property was in decent shape, it needed a few upgrades and some landscaping.
AFTER: This view showcases the quintessential Palm Springs retreat, from the flamboyant poolside umbrellas to the midcentury modern home projecting into the clear desert sky beneath towering palm trees. “We really tried to give off the sense that this was an ultimate Palm Springs getaway,” says Kevin Kemper, who renovated this home with Howard Hawkes, his design partner and co-owner of H3K Design.
The designers added a hot tub and waterfall feature. A new sun shelf at the pool’s far end enables guests to pull umbrellas and chairs into the water. Artificial turf breaks up the hardscape without requiring excessive water or maintenance to stay green. A new flush fire pit makes for an inviting amenity when the desert cools off at night, but it doesn’t get in the way when not in use. “You can put a bar over it during a party or a dining table — when the fire is off, of course,” Kemper says.
BEFORE: The house had been remodeled at some point, and the living room had black padded, tufted vinyl wallcovering when the designers came in. “Everything was black on black on black,” Kemper says.
AFTER: In the open living room and kitchen, the black wallcovering and gray carpet made way for tile and lots of glass — in the form of new dual-pane, low-emissivity windows — to overlook the pool area. The designers repainted the original tongue-and-groove ceiling and installed hidden track lights. They also played up the home’s original fireplace, adding midcentury panels and columns for a more of-the-time look. Add Hidden Track Lights for a Modern Feel.
Bar cart: Ernest, CB2; sofa: Nova Steel Linen, Sackville; chair: Xert Modular, Zuo Modern Contemporary; ottoman: Varr cowhide, Plummers; rug: Indochine in Peacock, Z Gallerie; coffee table: Oyster, Pangea
2. The Rare Gem
BEFORE: To revive a rare 1963 William Krisel custom-designed home that had fallen into disrepair, Sean Lockyer, principal of Studio AR+D Architects, stripped away a heavy, overgrown landscape, as well as layers of interior finishes that had been added over the years.
AFTER: This started in the front yard. Lockyer removed low garden walls, overgrown shrubs and some existing lawn, making way for decomposed granite, palm trees and cactuses that show off the home’s exterior and enhance the desert aesthetic without requiring too much water. (After this photo was taken, the grass was replaced with artificial turf.)
A new front door invites visitors down the offset walkway. “I suggested the yellow front door,” Lockyer says. “The color seemed right — and welcoming — in that setting.”
The walls of the renovated master bedroom open up to the pool, highlighting the home’s clean lines and deep roof overhang. See More Beautiful Midcentury Modern Designs.
BEFORE: The original kitchen was small, enclosed and dark.
AFTER: Throughout the remodel, the goal was to honor the home’s original design while updating it for contemporary living. The renovated kitchen blends a midcentury aesthetic — the Claro walnut cabinetry and vintage bar stools — with a 21st-century sensibility in the form of an oversize marble-top island, high-end appliances and expansive windows that welcome in plenty of natural light.
Refrigerator: Sub-Zero; cooktop and oven: Wolf; wall ovens: Gaggenau; faucets: Dornbracht; sink: Julien
3. The Architect’s Dream Home
BEFORE: Los Angeles architect Duane Smith hoped to gain a second income by renovating and renting out a home in Palm Springs. When he first saw this neglected 1954 house, he knew it had potential, but first he had to deal with its dry rot, smells and newspaper-lined floors.
AFTER: Instead of renting it out, the house became the full-time home for Smith and his husband, Stefane Barbeau. “We fell so in love with the area that when we were done, we decided to move there full time,” Smith says. The midcentury home now boasts double the square footage and amazing views of the surrounding San Jacinto Mountains.
In the backyard, the newly built cast concrete pool with a black gemstone finish completes the dreamy Palm Springs retreat. Existing boulders give poolside guests a place to prop up against or stretch out on. Find the Best Pool Construction Companies Near You to Get Started.
Inside, natural light streams through the rooms as strategically placed windows create dramatic effects. Original concrete floors and Douglas fir ceilings anchor the home, with accent pieces, like the baby head sculptures from Bangkok and the charcoal gray fireplace, punctuating the spaces.
The homeowners designed the ceiling light fixture in the dining area, just off the kitchen and living room, which stands out like a floating sculpture in the clean-lined space. The kitchen’s patterned cement tile backsplash pokes into the edge of this photo, revealing another one of the bold accents scattered throughout the home.
4. The Soulful Restoration
BEFORE: When it came to remodeling the front of this William Krisel home in the Twin Palms neighborhood, homeowner and builder Avian Rogers wanted to bring more natural light into the house, which steel grating and a block wall prevented. In addition, she wanted to remove the circular blacktop driveway.
AFTER: An entry courtyard replaced the blacktop driveway, and a burnished block wall adds privacy. “I wanted to create a soulful, primal kind of vibe that was true to its classic design, and embraces the surrounding desert and the San Jacinto Mountains,” Rogers says.
She opened up the living and dining areas by removing a wall between them. The home’s original inside-outside stacked-stone chimney brings texture to the space.
Dining table: Crate & Barrel; replica of Lindsey Adelman chandelier: Replica Lights; stools: Calligaris; Caesarstone color: Nougat
In the bedroom, a mixture of new and vintage furniture pieces creates an eclectic look with a hint of color. Wallpaper depicting a desert scene runs through the house, connecting the bedroom and living room spaces.
In the backyard, a new patio and cover extend off the home, drawing the party outside. At the corner of the yard, a steel sculpture that had once sat at a now-shuttered Palm Springs restaurant beckons guests to the back of the space.