Palm Springs, CA – Mid-Century Modern Mecca

I thought I’d found my happy place…until I arrived in Palm Springs, California. There is no place on earth quite like it. Palm Springs has one of the largest concentrations of mid-century modern architecture anywhere. The yearly offered Modernism Week is a one-of-a-kind celebration of these beautiful buildings and homes. It’s remarkable to think that so many of them have been preserved and restored so that they can be revered even today.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Albert Frey, William Cody and William Krisel are just a few of the incredible minds and hands that helped shape this gorgeous community. You cannot drive anywhere in Palm Springs without witnessing the simplicity and beauty of mid-century modern design.
Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, William Holden and Steve McQueen called Palm Springs home at one point.
Next year, I fully intend on doing the Modernism Week right by attending the walking tours, bus tours and home tours. I’ll be saving up and have something to look forward to. However, if you’re on a budget like our family was this time around, you can take what I call the poor man’s tour any time of the year.
When you drive into Palm Springs, you can’t miss the gorgeous Tramway Gas Station built in 1965 by Albert Frey and Robson C. Chambers, which now serves as the city’s visitor center.
Pick up a “Map of Modern Palm Springs” for $5 and you will hold in your hand a detailed treasure map that features addresses and building history for all the modern points of interest in the city, which are too many to tackle in one day. For you nerd bomber Apple lovers, you can download the app at palmspringslife.com/psmodapp directly on to your Apple device.

Tramway Gas Station
Tramway Gas Station

Here are just a few pictures we took on our self-guided tour:

She's not mid-century....but she's an icon of the time, and therefore, must be included.
She’s not mid-century….but she’s an icon of the time, and therefore, must be included.
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According to the artist, this is what she was sporting underneath….what do you think?
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Palm Springs features it’s own walk of fame complete with stars not unlike Hollywood.
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Sinatra residence which features a beautiful amoeba-shaped pool just on the other side of this view.
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Not a famous person’s house, but merely an example of what is standard in the area as far as design.

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"Armed Response" gave us a giggle. In other words, "All you crazy Modernists have driven us nuts. Get too close and we'll put a cap in ya."
“Armed Response” gave us a giggle. In other words, “All you crazy Modernists have driven us nuts. Get too close and we’ll put a cap in ya.”

There is certainly no shortage of MCM to fill your cup. It’s definitely a new favorite spot for me. Now to manage a weekend away….now that I’ve seen it, I have to get back!

Next week, I’ll feature just one of the many mid-century modern/modish boutiques on Palm Canyon Drive. The shops alone are worth a trip…

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Modernism Week 2013

This week I’m excited to feature the mother of all mid-century modern extravaganzas, Modernism Week in Palm Springs, California. If you are able, I strongly suggest you head on down to where the other half partied all those years ago.

Here’s an excerpt from modernismweek.com:

“Modernism Week is an exciting 11-day celebration of mid-century modern design, architecture and culture in Palm Springs, California. This design aesthetic originated in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, and was typified by clean, simple lines which came to define desert modernism.

Modernism Week is filled with a variety of events including architectural tours, films, lectures, an architectural symposium, educational events, and chic, fun parties in cool mid-century modern homes.”

Watch this delicious promo….if this doesn’t get you excited you should check your pulse:

Old cars, old houses, old people….Modernism Week features it all. So jump in your ’56 Chevy and head on down to Palm Springs to go back in time when life was simple, and the design was simpler.

Modernism Week will continue on until February 24th. For more information about events and scheduling, go to http://www.modernismweek.com.

Minimalist Mentality

This week, I’d like to feature a great article I read that not only holds true to the typical mid-century modern look, but goes deeper into how clutter at home can clutter our minds. This is a tragic story with a happy ending, and I hope you are as inspired by it as I was.

Can I have your Grandpa’s Style?

My favorite song right now and my sons as well…(the PG version of course) has to be Thrift Shop.  Just like in the song…I really do have your grandpa’s style. If only they had a song about Craigslist too. I’d be all over that.

As I’ve written several times before, thrift shops and Craigslist are the BEST way to affordably update your digs.

Case in point: 2 weeks ago, I stumbled upon the exact matching end tables to my long and low mid-century coffee table on Craigslist. I had to travel into L.A. to get them, which was hard for me. My throat starts to close the closer I get to downtown. I’m not a Hollywood girl. Not an L.A. girl. Never have been….I’ll take the beaches, thank you. Peace, love, and waves. You can have your crazy drivers and people literally living on top of each other. When in L.A., I feel claustrophobic and begin to understand what a caged animal feels like. No offense, Angelenos. Your city has much to offer. If only there was a way to hover in and hover out, I’d be visiting a lot more.

I digress….here are the new additions, thanks to Craigslist and one very hip seller in L.A.:

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Looks nice….but a little mis-matched. Not at all like Betty Draper would have in her home.
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New Matching End tables
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Shaaa-wiiing!
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TAAAA-DAAAAHHHH!!!!!

Now I can finally leave this room alone and stop taking photos of it.

Picture perfect. 🙂