What is Desert Modernism?
As a style of Mid Century Modern design, Desert Modernism takes key Mid Century elements like sleek lines and open spaces and takes them a step further by giving them a Desert Modern twist. But this style isn’t found just anywhere— true to its name, Desert Modernism is found most frequently in the arid oasis of Palm Springs, California.
The sunny skies and year-round warmth of Palm Springs made it a vacation destination in the mid-century, and its natural beauty didn’t hurt too much either. Because of this, the town adopted an informal and relaxed feel, and its architecture started to follow. Form followed function in Desert Modernism, as expansive glass windows characteristic of the style showed off the picturesque Coachella Valley and dramatic overhangs protected the interior from mid-day heat.
The Architects and Designers of Desert Modernism
Desert Modernism brought together architects and interior designers to create an effortless, simple style. These mid-century designers helped put Desert Modern style on the map, and left Palm Springs all the more beautiful for it.
What Does Desert Modernism Look Like?
The exteriors of Desert Modern homes first and foremost reflect the beauty of the surrounding landscape— this is done through large windows that let the outside in, low, sleek lines that make buildings blend in with the scenery and open interiors that keep that airy desert feeling.
Desert Modernism uses natural building materials like wood and stone as a way to blur the line between man-made and nature-made. Buildings are often neutrally colored in whites, light grays and tans to keep the home exteriors cool and seamless with the neutral-toned landscape.
True to its Mid Century Modern roots, less is more in Desert Modern style. Because of the style’s focus on its picturesque exteriors, not much is needed when it come to interiors. A beautiful rug or striking chair is all you need to make a room feel put together.
The interiors of Desert Modernism are heavily influenced by Southwestern style— think Kilim rugs, leather accents, white-washed walls and natural textures. Mid Century Modern classics like the Eames Lounge Chair or the rustic feel of Danish Modern furniture fit perfectly in a Desert Modern home. Informal rustic modern interiors are key to getting the perfect Desert Modern feel.