Takeaways from Palm Springs Modernism Week 2017

In addition to daily lectures, presentations, films and exhibitions, a big treat of Modernism Week is the opportunity to tour mid-century homes that are not for sale… and the chance to talk with owners who have lovingly restored and renovated their homes keeping true to the mid-century modern style. The photos below are from homes in the Green Fairway neighborhood designed by Donald Wexler, one of the most celebrated Mid-Century Modern Palm Springs architects… and from Merito Manor in Old Palm Springs (the Beverly Hills of Palm Springs), designed by Barry Berkus, another 'brand name' in mid-century design.

Palm springs modernism 2017-1Click to enlarge

Some things to notice…

  • Flat and accordion roof lines
  • Tons of light
    • High windows following rooflines
    • Walls of windows, sliding glass doors
  • Open, flowing living space
  • Stylized metal range hoods and fireplaces
  • Vintage Blenko glassware
  • Color explosions inside and out
  • Some current update trends
    • Brushed brass hardware and plumbing fixtures
    • Wallpaper framed for use as large-scale prints
    • Marbelized farmhouse kitchen sinks

This year another treat was two new homes in Chino Canyon, perched at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. The one below is an Al Beadle design from the 1970s that was never built until now. It isn't finished yet… which gives a unique opportunity to see the actual structure of the building, built with steel beams and corten steel siding.


Chino canyon2

Click to enlarge

Read more about the "Beadle House" pictured above and the second new O'Donnell house pictured below, dubbed the "O2 House" for its use of natural ventilation and solar energy at …. Palm Springs’ newest modernist gem? A revived ‘70s Al Beadle design

Palm springs chino canyon1

Click to enlarge

The last house I will show you is this year's Christopher Kennedy Compound Showhouse. Full of ideas, it features the work of 22 different designers.

Palm springs modernisn 2017-2

Click to enlarge

Some things I noted…

  • Wallpaper everywhere, even in closets and covering light switch plates
  • Patterned flooring and window shades
  • Strong use of aqua… even in the barbecue grill
  • Mix of colors everywhere
  • Mix of hardware finishes, including polished/brushed chrome and polished/brushed brass in the same room

Read more about it at Traditional Home… The Christopher Kennedy Compound Showhouse

In addition to the homes, a highlight of this year's Modernism Week was the full, uncut version of the recent film about the architect Eero Saarinen, shown at a large screen theater. His son, who was director of photography and co-producer was present and responded to questions following the screening. The making of the film was a very personal journey for him. Beautifully filmed, it is worth seeing even on a small screen… see it at AMERICAN MASTERS

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future

Saarinen film

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results

HomesMSP Team SharleneJohnAngelaTwin Cities Mid-Century Modern Realtors


Written By

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

Related Posts

Robert Cerny designed Mid-Century-Modern… remarkably preserved, with amazing planned storage throughout

🖨 Print Article When I first saw this MCM designed by Robert Cerny come on the market at 1808 Colvin Avenue in Saint Paul, I was intrigued. We drove by...

Can you spot Mid-Century-Modern design elements in this house?

🖨 Print Article It’s pretty easy to spot mid-century-modern design furnishings and decor… can you also spot mid-century-modern architectural design elements? This home built in 1953 is not a classic...

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Market Updates & Mid-Century Modern Listings

Our weekly HomesMSP Update includes current local market information and a curated list of mid-century modern properties for sale, plus posts from an inspector, a lender, a stager, info about neighborhoods, life in the Twin Cities… even recipes!


Blog Categories


Sharon and John Hensrud

About Us

The HomesMSP Team is committed to meeting you where you are and listening… really listening to understand you so we can use our extensive knowledge of the market and local neighborhoods to give you personalized service.