When buying an authentic mid century home, sometimes you have to look past its current state. When Rod and Cindra Stolk first toured this Palm Springs home 20 years ago, it was in need of some TLC. “The home was in a condition of extreme disrepair,” they say. The 1947 home had not been properly maintained and was not in original condition. It had undergone multiple changes and add-ons throughout the years.
The home’s Palm Springs neighborhood is the historic Tahquitz River Estates. The neighborhood was in a similar state of disrepair when the Stolks purchased their home in 2003. In the years since, both the home and neighborhood have been revitalized.
“Our neighborhood has gone through a tremendous amount of ‘upgrade’ over the past 17 years. There are now many beautiful refurbished/reimagined homes in our neighborhood,” the couple says. “We are in good company with many other homeowners who have purchased and restored their homes like we did.”
“We had contractors come out to bid on restoring the house. Most felt it was in such bad shape that we should tear it down and build a new home,” Cindra says. There was a termite problem and wood rot, but the couple saw something special and worth saving in the house. “From the start we loved the bones, the way the house was oriented. Being a 1947 Palm Springs home, it would be a lot of work, but we felt it would be worth it.” Determined, the couple finally found a contractor that restored mid century homes.
Rod and Cindra took the house down to the studs for a fresh start. The design would honor both the original footprint of the home and the era in which it was built. What the homeowners brought in feels period-true. The couple’s extensive collection of vintage pieces shine in their favorite mid century tones of orange, green and turquoise.
“The home … although it’s small from a square-footage perspective, has a very functional floor plan and good feng shui,” the couple says. “From a design perspective, the entire home connects well. There are no themes, furniture, accessories or art out of context with each other. They all blend nicely.”
A Feel-Good Palette
Passing through the entryway, outfitted with a custom-made room divider, visitors can then enjoy a meal in the dining room, which features green-upholstered Knoll chairs and vintage orange glassware, or curl up with a good book in the reading nook’s orange swivel chair.
That same orange can be found on the custom sectional in the living room, the basin in the guest bath, the space-age wallpaper in one of the guest rooms and even the rug in the master bath. “These are feel-good, happy colors for us, so we knew our house had to have them,” Cindra and Rod say of their home’s palette.
A Very Vintage Collection
The couple, who both grew up in mid century homes, have been collecting vintage pieces for nearly 30 years, securing their finds at flea markets, vintage shops, yard sales and through online vendors. Working at their design firm has helped further sharpen their talent for procuring vintage finds.
“It has to call to us, be the right color, shape, texture,” the couple says of a vintage piece they would choose for their home. “No objective, quantitative answer; we just know it when we see it. For years we’ve spent a lot of time decorating homes, under our company MidMod Design. We are forever searching for pieces for the homes we decorate, and we know when we come across pieces that are right.”
Bringing Back Some History
That knack for finding the right pieces extends to the home’s outdoor spaces as well. While the pool is original to the house, the Stolks implemented the landscaping and décor. Outfitted with a louvered patio cover, misters, infrared heaters and even a 75-inch TV, the space is ready to be enjoyed year-round.
It’s also the perfect spot for showcasing one of their favorite unique finds. “The Aloha Palms sign is original, from the Aloha Palms apartment once in our neighborhood,” they explain. “The apartments were converted to condominiums [and] we were able to save this architectural feature from the dump pile. We feel it describes our home perfectly with our love of tropical and Tiki.”
If Palm Springs is your passion, tour another Palm Springs home by architect William Krisel.