Design Destination: The Sinatra House In Palm SpringsAuthor:Allison McCarthy
Anyone who’s ever visited Palm Springs is quickly schooled in the town’s distinct design. The sleepy California desert community has earned a reputation as a mecca for mid-century modern architecture, and Frank Sinatra’s legendary Twin Palms estate stakes its claim as one of the most beloved examples of this Desert Modern style. Long a destination for Hollywood celebrities, Sinatra can largely be credited for putting the town on the map. After signing a lucrative film contract in 1947, Sinatra commissioned E. Stewart Williams to build his weekend home in the area now deemed “Movie Colony.” This was Williams’ first residential project, and he’s since become one of the most prominent faces of mid-century modern design.
Ol’ Blue Eyes originally requested a Georgian-style home with brick facade and columns, but Williams and his partner steered Sinatra to a more desert-appropriate structure with long horizontal lines and non-traditional building materials. The 4,500-square-foot ranch-style abode maintains all the requisite swank and swagger worthy of its former Rat Pack owner. Today it can be rented as a luxury vacation rental at the going rate of $2,600 a night, but it’s worth it for bragging rights alone. Here, a look inside.
The towering twin palms, after which the estate was named, served as a landmark for Movie Colony neighbors. Sinatra would hoist a Jack Daniels flag in between the palms, signaling neighbors to come over for cocktail hour.
The property’s original sound and recording systems, installed by Hollywood’s Valentino Electronics, have been preserved, and while houseguests today can play old Sinatra tunes via iPods and surround sound, the old system is not connected for use.
The modern kitchen, the property’s most recent renovation, boasts Viking appliances and St. Charles cabinetry resembling the original kitchen design.
The house features seven bathrooms, including the glamorous powder room pictured here. It’s rumored that the crack on one of the bathroom’s sinks was from a time when Sinatra hurled a Champagne bottle at Ava Gardner.
Nancy’s bedroom has been restored with vintage designer furnishings.
The boldly decorated green-palm casita brings Havana flavor to Palm Springs.
The backyard, perhaps the centerpiece of Sinatra’s home, is the storied site of many star-studded soirees.
The famous piano-shaped swimming pool.