Hidden away between newer developments and a golf course sits a neighborhood of mid century houses with exquisite pedigree.
Famed architect Donald Wexler, along with the Alexander Company, created this quiet Palm Springs neighborhood of sprawling desert homes in 1965.
Current owners Dean Williams and Daryle Morgan, an HR executive and a landscape architect, have lovingly cared for the home since 2008. Their passion for mid century design runs deep, and the couple credits Daryle’s love of the Arts & Crafts movement as its foundation. Dean and Daryle surround themselves with their love for mid century design—as evidenced by the fact that this is the second mid century vacation home they’ve owned in Palm Springs and that their primary residence in Berkeley also falls into their favorite design style.
While doing what the couple describes as a “casual search of MLS listings,” they spotted a photo of the fireplace and were hooked. “We had to see the house that was attached to that fireplace!” they say.
They were further drawn in by the home’s blurred line of indoor/outdoor living, its walls of glass and clean lines. A family room was added to the layout in the 1980s, bringing the three bedroom, three bathroom home’s square footage up to 2,224.
Upon moving into the golf course adjacent residence, the couple began making careful changes—being mindful not to alter the character of the building, but rather to subtly update it to suit their lifestyle.
Their first projects took place in the interior—opening a wall between the dining room and addition, and repainting and installing carpet throughout. Outside, they removed the lawn and shrubs, opting instead for more desert-friendly landscaping of gravel and succulents. They also painted the entire exterior and added period-appropriate wood louvers in front of the bedroom windows for sun protection and privacy.
Dean and Daryle kept all the original features they inherited with the home, including interior and exterior rock walls and the stunning white fireplace that first caught their eye. Grasscloth wallpaper in the entry was too damaged to be salvageable, but the couple traced down a replacement so as not to lose this unique feature.
Sometime in the late 1970s or early ’80s, previous homeowners redesigned the kitchen and baths. Rather than diving in with a full renovation, the couple has decided to make the spaces palatable until they can invest in a future remodel. A soft blue shade paired with brass hardware and peel-and-stick wallpaper, patterned with the appearance of glasscloth, has made the spaces feel cohesive with the couple’s style. When the time to renovate does come, Dean and Daryle are already prepared to respect the building’s integrity and continuity.
A color palette inspired by the desert landscape and Daryle’s love of the Arts & Crafts movement has played a vital role in how the couple balances their home’s authenticity with personalized décor.
The couple describes their residence and aesthetic as relaxed and approachable—an ideal outcome for a vacation getaway. They value a mix of old and new as it creates a “lived in” feel, where nothing is too precious to be used and appreciated.
Dean and Daryle have met the adult children of the Wexlers and Alexanders, and according to the couple, both families said their parents would love the house and be proud of how well it has been cared for a deeply meaningful and well-placed compliment.