Palm Springs Modernism Week Fall Preview 2018

Let the countdown begin! There are 112 days until Palm Springs Modernism Week 2019 and I can’t wait. The 10 day celebration of all things mid-century modern is one of my favorite events of the year in one of my very favorite towns. And right now I’m especially excited because I was in Palm Springs last week for the Modernism Week Fall Preview and it only whet my appetite for the celebrations to come.

The official event in February is so chock full of activities that it can be a bit overwhelming. The fall preview is slower placed and offers a fun taste of the excitement to come. Unfortunately, this year I was only able to make it 1 out of the 4 dates but I still was able to experience some fun mid mod events.

Each year the designer, Christopher Kennedy, renovates a fabulous house and opens it to visitors as a Modernism Week Featured Home. This year the property, La Vie en Rose, is in the tony Vista Las Palmas neighbor and backs right up to the San Jacinto Moutains.

Featuring spectacular views the 1958 home has 4 bedrooms, an attached guest wing and open space to die for. As always, Kennedy has outfitted it to the T with high end brands making me just about ready to move in.

After tearing myself away I headed downtown to check out the Walker Guest House.

The house is a full scale replica of a 1952 Florida beach cottage designed by Paul Rudolph. On loan from the Sarasota Architectural Foundation it’s making its West Coast debut in Palm Springs.

The original was designed as the Sanibel Island vacation home of the Walker family and this version is an exact replica right down to the original furnishings.

It’s essentially one open space filled with a few partitions to demarcate such rooms as the kitchen and bath. The exterior wall panels open to allow ocean breezes to flow throughout the house and I can only imagine what paradise it was for the family.

After oohing and ahhing at the homes I headed to the historic Desert Star for an evening of Mod With a Twist.

Mod With a Twist, a mainstay of Modernism Week, is a series of short, irreverent lectures on various mid-century topics. While sitting in a historic location guests enjoy entertainment while enjoying complimentary snacks and wine.  I’d long been waiting to attend and was happy to finally make it this year.

Over the course of the evening we heard from 5 different speakers who covered a range of topics from A-Frame homes, to the designer Raymond Lowey to LSD. My very favorite presentation was called ModWest in which Richard Hovel, owner of the Desert Star, brought us back to a time when mid-century met Wild West in 20th century Palm Springs.  How I wish I could go back in time and experience such events as Western Week and Desert Circus!

Though I had limited time I still managed to enjoy a healthy dose of mid-century modern at the Modernism Week Fall Preview. I can’t wait until February!


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