Back to Basics


Tantalus Studio returns an Albert Frey designed home back to its original glory

Photos by Mariko Reed

“At Tantalus Studio we believe that interior design should be life-enhancing, inspiring and artful,” says founder and principal designer Ginger Lunt. “Warmth, natural materials and clean lines are underlying patterns in our work. We strive to make each project we are a part of livable, classic, thought-provoking and always authentic to its owners.” While based in Hawaii, the Tantalus Studio client base is far reaching.

An Allied Maker pendant shines light in the dining room. Photos by Mariko Reed.

Most recently they completed the design inside a 3,700-square-foot Palm Springs home that a client in Hawaii inherited from her parents. The property is used often by family members during prime season in the desert, therefore it needed a modern yet durable refresh. “She asked me to work with her on this project since we already had a great working relationship,” Lunt notes. “Since our studio’s work is primarily in Hawaii, it was really inspiring and exciting to have an opportunity to work in a different environment with its own stunning natural beauty and different cultural landscape.”

In the powder room, Nobilis wallcovering adds tropical flare. Photos by Mariko Reed.
Photos by Mariko Reed.

Designed in the 1960s by famed architect Alfred Frey—who shaped much of the Palm Springs architectural landscape—the home had undergone years of interior updates that strayed away from the original intention. “There were many different flooring materials in the home that felt dated and made the house feel chopped up,” she recalls. “Some bathrooms had newer tile that felt very commercial and dated. On the other hand there was a fun built in bar cabinet in the dining room that was original, and a great vein cut travertine fireplace wall in the den. We kept interesting details authentic to the original Frey design, and strived to make the interior finish palette that was not original and from different remodels updated and cohesive.”

In the primary bedroom, the bed and nightstands are by Baker. Photos by Mariko Reed.

Aside from unifying the materials and embracing its mid-century charm, the Tantalus Studio team had to reconfigure an awkward addition and expand the overall functional floor plan. “There was a second guest bedroom that had been added as an addition years ago, and the only way to access the room was through the primary bedroom,” she notes. “Our client wanted to create a hallway to access the space, and add a bathroom for this room. Secondly, the existing guest bathroom was quite small, and she (our client) wanted it to be larger. Lastly, she wanted to add a bathroom to the den area so that it could serve as overflow sleeping for larger groups.”

Sconces from Apparatus hang above a custom vanity in the primary bathroom. Photos by Mariko Reed.
Photos by Mariko Reed.

The final result is a warm and inviting vacation home that honors Frey’s iconic approach to design. When asked how the client felt upon seeing the transformation, Lunt says, “She loved the feeling of the interiors being light, airy and spacious.”