Monday, February 28, 2011

Palm Springs Preservation Retro Martini Party 2011

This year's
popular Retro Martini Party (Coordinated by the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation) was at the Jorgensen-Mavis House (1955) located on the 9th fairway of the exclusive Thunderbird Country Club, playground of U.S. presidents, located in my current hometown of Rancho Mirage, California.

Remarkably, this house has only changed hands once, in 1956, and has ALL of its original furnishings, hardware, and even the upholstery and window treatments are original. Can you say "patina?"

Modernism week in Palm Springs typically highlights interior design from approximately 1946 through the early 80's, but this house was a glimmering example of how sophisticated and reserved mid century modern homes could be- there was nothing wild about it- it simply was sleek, modern, comfortable living for its occupants in the 1950's.

Ever wonder what living next door to Lucy and Desi was like? You (as steel magnate Earle M. Jorgensen) are in your modern William "Wild Bill" Cody-designed home and the doorbell rings...those pesky Hollywood folk...whenever they're in town they want to play pinochle...guess you have to make a pitcher of martinis...

Well 1955 is long gone, as are the Arnazs and the Jorgensens...but their hip houses remain, the country club is still exclusive and the views are still let us make you a martini and you and your fellow hipsters can recapture the cool of midcentury Palm Springs.

Even if you weren't able to make this fantastic event, there's always next year- and this event, always held in a significant mid century modern home, is always the highlight of the week's events.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Things I Love About Modernism: Papa Bear Chair

Among the many choices of lounge chairs for a swank space-age bachelor pad, one in particular is a standout: Has Wegner's Papa bear Chair. Ironically, I don't see too many of these in midcentury homes in Palm Springs, and I am not sure why. It certainly is one of the most comfortable chairs of the period. Designed in 1951 by Hans J. Wegner, the Bear chair was originally sold by AP Stolen. The wooden frame was supplied by PP Mobler and they were reissued recently. Expect to pay upwards of $5000 for a nice original one, and more than that if it has the beautiful matching ottoman.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Things I Love About Modernism: Sputnik Chandelier

A light
fixture that at once brings a smile to my face and immediately sends me into orbit is the Sputnik Chandelier. There are many variations, some are graceful starbursts of light; other imitations are clunkier and less beautiful to look at. My favorite source for them is 20 First, 1117 N. Palm Canyon Drive, (760) 327-5400. We have one of their chandeliers in the living room, and a sconce in each bedroom. Simply Space-Age Jetson Wonderful!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Things I Love About Modernism: Lucite

Lucite is clearly modern (yuk yuk yuk)! I love the corny jokes. One of the most fun materials in a modern home is lucite, both because it hints at the lines of furnishings while allowing visibility through to other pieces in a room. This material was first brought to market under the trademark of plexiglass in 1928, but the first real modern furnishings weren't produced with it until the 1960s-1970s. Love it in Kartell's Ghost Chair designed by Starck, these awesome tulip chairs, and the mod dressing table!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Things I Love About Modernism: Blenko Art Glass

My friend
Ben introduced me to this years ago in Ohio. He's been collecting for years, but this company has been producing outstanding colorful art glass in West Virginia for years. I love the free form, fluid shapes as well as the bright intense colors. These accessories look great in just about any kind of home interior, but particularly are suited to Mid-Century Modern Homes as well as newer contemporaries. My favorites are the owl bookends- I've got a set of three that was given to me by the owners of Hedge in Cathedral City. Another great local source for vintage Blenko is Bon Vivant in Palm Springs.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Things I Love About Modernism: Room Dividers

Something is great about a room divider: creating privacy and mystery out of an open space. There is something even more hip and jet-setting about a den or living area with a teak or metal room divider with beautiful cut outs that give glimpses of the space that it hides. So Jetson that I can't stand it!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Things I Love About Modernism: Color!

This will be a short one: I love the colors and patterns of the 1950s, 60s and 70s! The muted earthy tones of the 70s, the bight upbeat patterns and colors of the 60s, and the bright hopeful colors and pastels of the 50s. What's not to love?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Things I Love About Modernism Week: Clerestory Windows

I'm going
to try to limit myself to just posting a single thing that I like about Mid-Century Modernism during Palm Springs' Modernism Week, which runs through February 27.

My first thing that I love are clerestory windows. Rooted in religious architecture, and reaching their height (ha ha) of popularity during Romaneaque and Gothic cathedrals, these uppoer-wall windows were artfully applied to residential homes in the 1950's, giving residents a glimpse of sky, but none of their neighbors. During this time of rapid suburban expansion, overcrowding was rife in these developments, and the cape cods and colonials were not able to give this same amount of privacy while allowing in valuable exterior light.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Palm Springs Modernism Week

In case
you're out of the loop, (Mid-Century) Modernism Week starts TOMORROW in Palm Springs with the preview show and sale at the Convention Center. The show at the convention center runs all weekend, but the great home tours, lectures, and cocktail parties are all week long and run through the 27th! I'm most looking forward to the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation's Retro Martini Party at swank Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, where the party will be held in a home that has all of its original hardware and furnishings from 1955. Two other events not to miss are the Airstream Show and the Braniff Airlines at the Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs. One of my favorite neighborhoods, Park Imperial, will be hosting a home tour.

It's a great week to be here if you like Mid Century Modern, or just a fan of architecture or interior design! Hope to see you here!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Given Campbell Wallcovering

If you're not a fan of colors and patterns then this isn't the post for you. Totally in love with these bright colors and patterns from Given Campbell Wallcoverings. I can't wait to get them here in the showroom and have samples available for clients!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cantina Way, Palm Springs

Kaplan invited us to have a peek at one of his new listings, Cantina Way. The house sits in the Cahuilla Hills with a spectactular hilltop view of South Palm Springs. The home was designed by R. Denzil Lee in 1963, and one of my favorite things about it is the circular colonnade around the swimming pool. Like most homes, this one was designed for entertaining and making the most of its views from all rooms in the home. I can't wait until Modernism Week starts in Palm Springs. It's a fantastic week for interior design, fans of Palm Springs Design, or just those who enjoy checking out a lot of great homes in a short amount of time!

Thanks, Paul for showing us a great house!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

had a few calls lately for "large mirrors." The largest one that we stock is 6' x 5', which is pretty darn large. However, if you have a particular area with a very specific size in mind, the easiest way is to have a custom mirror designed for your home interior. We get so many requests for this, that we have many samples of framing available, but again, we can custom design a finish for the framing as well.

When specifying glass for your mirror, there are many options: smoked, distressed, opaque, colored glass, etc. The look for a piece can also be changed by arranging the mirror in quadrants of 12" x 12" pieces within a frame, which makes for a really great-looking mirror.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Movie Sets I Would Live In: Pillow Talk

Pillow Talk
with Doris Day and Rock Hudson is a perennial favorite at my house. The sets are amazing, and they have to be, as Doris Day plays an Interior Decorator. The movie displays all of the hip trends of the day: long low built in shelves and upholstered furniture in both main character's New York apartments, lots of hanging pendant lamps for accents, oodles of geometrically shaped pillows, dark-strained teak for his apartment, and light finished birch for hers.

It's a lush technicolor dream to watch, at least until the end when the decorator gets her revenge, making a gothic nightmare of Rock Hudson's pushbutton jet set bachelor pad.
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