An Intimate California Palm Springs Resort
About the Project
This house had been sitting abandoned for two years when it was “adopted” by the current owners, who envisioned it as a private resort to enjoy with friends. Memories of carefree summers and bohemian travels informed the design choices. The interior is cozy and retro—a return to “Godmother’s cottage.”
Here is my conceptual soundbite for this 1930s Spanish retreat in Palm Springs, California: “Frieda Kahlo has a love child with Luis Barragán”—and it’s a fiesta of color! This raisin-hued mini-resort rises to kiss the mountain views, while its feet spill out to patios of chocolate sandstone accented with turquoise pebble. Deep earthy red walls slink behind espaliered papery bougainvillea, fragrant jasmine, palm, and citrus trees.
Strong sculptural agave and cactus punctuate this lush desert landscape. There is magic here, along with a variety of sitting areas and features created for relaxing around the pool: hammocks, an Asian canopy bed, and even a vintage trailer add to the bohemian exotic nature of the place. Here you can breakfast by a violet casita, daydream next to a Mexican-tiled fountain, or sip wine at sunset with all your friends at a generously sized seating area and fire pit.
Designed into the infrastructure are all the elements of a sustainable landscape: permeable paving, infiltration zones, laundry-to-landscape greywater system, a smart irrigation timer and drip irrigation, habitat plantings, and good soil-building practices. Because of these elements, native and migratory birds and butterflies are regular visitors.
(NOTE: All work was performed by licensed landscape contractors.)