The new owners of this 1957 Twin Palms home kept many of the existing features, enhancing them with vibrant prints and colors, as well as personal touches, in every space.
During a Modernism Week 2020 tour just before the pandemic, a “for sale by owner” sign placed in front of this 1957 Twin Palms, California, home caught the attention of its future owner and his fiancée. It was love at first sight for the couple, and they contacted their realtor and then quickly made a deal.
While the house was in relatively good shape, it was in need of a refresh and colorful makeover. The only problem? The new homeowner, a film and television producer living in Canada, was suddenly unable to travel to his newly acquired house.
The homeowners had partnered with Kevin Kemper and Howard Hawkes of H3K Design for a previous renovation on a 1960s home in Maui, Hawaii, and reached out to work with them again on this new project.
“We designed this virtually. We worked with H3K, who are local [to Palm Springs]. They are top-notch, and they would send us photos every week, as well as a video if we needed it,” says the homeowner.
The couple also utilized a 3D tour of the home to help make design choices without being present.
To Refresh a 1957 Twin Palms Home, Start with the Basics
The previous owner had purchased the home in 2013 after a significant and tasteful renovation had taken place. Because the house was in relatively good condition, the team set about refreshing the space for better functionality and to suit the tastes of the new homeowners.
“We had some basic stuff to do, such as refurbish the roof, along with some electrical and plumbing,” the homeowner explains. “Just to make everything work better, because it had been seven years since [anything had been done to the home].”
After tackling the basics, the team replaced a wall-mounted AC unit in the main bedroom with an independent system that encompasses the primary bedroom, bathroom, desk area and laundry.
“The best part about a split system is that it gives you a lot more flexibility, and you can actually have a lot more control,” Kevin Kemper of H3K Design points out. “And the fact that you can actually do multiple rooms off one system is great.”
They also created a barbeque/bar area in the backyard, as well as circular concrete pads that form a walkway through the grass. Existing carpet in the bedrooms was replaced by a similar poured terrazzo-type tile that was already in the main areas of the home, thus creating a seamless look via floors that are easy to clean.
Adding Personal Style
Inspired by the existing pegboard in the kitchen sliding cabinets and the guest bedroom closets, the new homeowner carried the look into other parts of the house. The primary bedroom (which was previously some kind of living room but had been converted to a bedroom during an earlier renovation) had an open closet.
“I had H3K and the construction [team] make pegboard doors to match so that all the closets are the same,” the homeowner says. The team also created a custom TV stand with the pegboard material for further continuity.
A Personal Palette
Knowing where to start is often a challenge when choosing a color palette. This couple utilized inspiration from artwork for several spaces in their home.
Vintage Aperol “Spritz” posters in an outdoor seating area inspired a blue-and-yellow color scheme for the entire backyard. The homeowners are also tennis fans and designed one of the guest bedrooms and bathrooms around a vintage Wimbledon poster. In the main bedroom, Shag’s “The Imposters” was the springboard for the design, while his “The Party” sparked ideas for the front guest room.
The recent refresh added pops of vibrant color, pattern and increased overall efficiency, and the homeowner plans to utilize the space as a vacation rental when he’s not staying there.
Looking toward the future, he notes that the couple might further refurbish the bathrooms to keep up with the demands on a rental home. But, for now, the homeowner is looking forward to enjoying the space, describing it as “designer chic” while “still [honoring] the home’s classic mid-century architecture.”
For more of H3K Design, don’t miss their advice on How to Get the Colors of Palm Springs Doors.
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