Inspired by the geometry of the decorative metal panels on the former Desi Arnaz-Lucille Ball house nearby, architect Stuart Silk designed entry gates and an interior room screen for his clients’ Rancho Mirage, California, vacation home.
At a deeper level, though, the actors’ comedic personas also inform this young couple’s residence, which refuses to take its 1960s desert modern demeanor too seriously.
“They kept telling us this was their vacation house, so they wanted it to be fun, with a lot of whimsy,” recalls Silk’s project manager David Marchetti of their young clients.
A spin on period materials like white brick, terrazzo and bronze framing give the dwelling a contemporary look, while interiors mix vintage furniture with more modern pieces that hark to the era of “Mad Men.” Custom creations, such as the living room sofa, are inspired by iconic designers of the day (in this case William Haines).
“The architectural envelope is basically clean and modern, but the interiors are 1960s ‘granny-chic,’ where you laid one pattern over another and it was playful and colorful,” Portland-based interior designer Joelle Nesen says.
The landscape nods to Palm Springs’ history as a fun locale with roots in the historical modern design movement. Guests are greeted with patios, a pool, small citrus groves and multiple gardens that provide pops of green in a minimalist manner.