This Palm Springs House Is Full of the Grooviest, Most Stylish Mid-Century Modern Decorating Ideas
It’s all about the details and color choices.
The fun thing about Palm Springs interior design is you can get really playful with it, drawing on mid-century modern features and groovy ‘60s vibes. And while there’s a lot of freedom to go truly bold, there is such a thing as going too far so you’re landing on the wrong side of “kitschy.” It’s a balancing act pairing patterns and colors and motifs in a way that’s not overwhelming.
In this four-bedroom, five-bathroom Palm Springs home, interior designer Michelle Boudreau pulls it off perfectly, making it a calm and inviting place with a serene neutral color palette, but with eye-catching patterns, textures, wood materials, and nods to mid-century modern design. “The house had lovely architectural bones and lovely classic mid-century details, which was a brilliant start,” Michelle explains. “However, it had not been updated in many years.”
Some of the home’s problems were that it didn’t have enough bathrooms for guests, the kitchen and dining room were too small and too “broken up,” it had dated materials, and there were watermarks on the original wood tongue-and-groove ceiling.
Michelle’s clients loved the iconic mid-century architecture of the property and wanted to preserve its historic authenticity while also bringing it up-to-date and elevating the design. “They wanted a place that exuded the Palm Springs lifestyle, a place they could get away to and gather with friends and family to enjoy,” she says. “They wanted the main spaces to be inviting and calming and each guest room to have a unique experience.” Another request was to have ensuite bathrooms for every bedroom.
Michelle and her design team created an open-plan living area that included the living room, dining room, and kitchen. She gave the large space a serene neutral color palette with soft greens inspired by the landscape outside. “I used textured tiles and light coastal oak wood materials throughout to brighten and refresh each room,” Michelle explains. “Custom decorative screens were designed to creatively divide the open areas to create comfortable seating areas and a nod to the mid-century modern era design details. We opened up the kitchen and dining areas to become open plan with a center island to work around.”
The primary bedroom was extended by 8 feet and wrapped with windows so the clients could enjoy the backyard and pool views. And while the living area had a neutral palette, Michelle gave each bedroom a different color story. “Each of the guest bedrooms were designed around a thematic color palette to provide surprise, delight, and intrigue for their stay,” she says. “Mixtures of shape and patterns create dimension and individuality to the home and invite you to explore the interesting difference of each room.” To create some balance when decorating with color, Michelle says one trick is to wrap the room with color and add materials like stone, wood, and layers of textiles.
The design team tried to retain as many of the original details and materials as possible, but since they extended the home, it was a challenge to find materials that no longer exist. Michelle sourced from other mid-century projects that no longer needed them, recycling original materials from the local modernist community. The clients had also been sourcing and storing vintage pieces, so Michelle was able to incorporate those items into the design. “It was really fun to give pieces new life with fabrics and upholstery that connected with the overall aesthetic design,” she adds.
The clients love their Palm Springs retreat, Michelle says: “They are absolutely delighted with the finished design. They are thrilled to have a retreat that welcomes them to relax and enjoy the interior and exterior of their modernist gem.”
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