Desert FlipAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Tichenor & Thorp break away from the Palm Springs norm.
WEN A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA power couple, known for their contributions to art and design purchased a property in Las Palmas, they were ready to build a vacation home that stepped outside of the local mid-century box.
One of Palm Springs’ most historic neighborhoods, Las Palmas is full of idyllic palm trees and sweeping views of the San Jacinto Mountains. However, the position of the lot did not allow the couple to take advantage of the vistas if they built the home facing the same direction as their neighbors.
The design-savvy duo enlisted Los Angeles architecture firm Tichenor and Thorp to help reconfigure the property layout in order to frame the pictur- esque mountains. The team achieved this goal by flipping the conventional floor plan and position- ing the back of the house along the street with the entrance to the home situated at the back of the property. This innovative orientation grants exclu- sive access to the pristine views whether the owners are making dinner or entertaining poolside.
Through innovative landscape design, the team created an eclectic outdoor oasis, stylistically unique to Palm Springs, which conceals the direc- tion of the home. Tall shrubbery walls surround the perimeter of the property, creating a natural screen from the street, while a variety of drought-tolerant plants, including aloe and olive trees, float through- out, evoking a 1920s-hacienda-meets-modern Mediterranean escape.
Like the gardens, the home is an elegant mix of styles with a focus on indoor-outdoor living. Walls were designed specially to showcase the couple’s extensive collection of Post-War California art while maximizing the connection to the outside. “They don’t live in the house full-time,” says Raun Thorp, principal at Tichenor and Thorp. “While they are there a lot, we still wanted to create a seamless living experience with little maintenance.” Walls were covered in plaster throughout to add texture and steel doors were installed for modernity and durability. “Our clients are very enthusiastic about many different styles,” says Thorp. “This project was a departure for them but still includes elements of their other homes.”