Modernism Week 2019 – Revisiting the Desert Wave House

Whenever I attend Palm Springs Modernism Week I always look forward to something new. I’m not one for repeats so I always attend new screenings, new lectures and new tours. But this year I found myself returning to a home I had previously visited – The Miles Bates Wave House and it became my festival highlight.

In October of 2017, during that year’s Modernism Week preview, I headed to Palm Desert to visit a house that was destined for the auction block. Designed in 1955 by famed architect Walter S. While the Miles Bates Wave House (so called because of its distinct roof-line) was in severe disrepair.

As I walked through the structure I was well aware of it’s terrible condition but thought it could be absolutely beautiful if restored. I crossed my fingers that the purchasing party would feel the same and anxiously awaited the results of the auction.

Luckily, the home was purchased by Stayner Architects, a Los Angeles firm, and they intended to complete a full restoration of the property. Flash forward 2.5 years and i found myself back in Palm Desert ready to view the finished product.




The home is truly, truly stunning. Stayner Architects chose to remove all later additions and return the home to White’s original design. The result is a spacious one bedroom, 2 bath home that’s a perfect desert hideaway.

If you’re so inclined it can be your desert hideaway because the Wave House is now available for overnight rentals and special events. You can find all the info here.

For those of us who love historic preservation we often endure heartache. Beloved buildings too often are bulldozed due to ignorance and greed. It’s nice to get a win and what a win the Miles Bates Wave House is. Thank you Stayner Architects for preserving this desert beauty.



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