When Brian McGuire acquired one of Donald Wexler’s seven steel model homes in Palm Springs, California, as his vacation house (part 1), he made sure to keep both the exterior and interior true to midcentury design (part 2). “I don’t know anything about design, but I wanted to do the house myself, so I tried to keep the style as consistent as possible and minimize color so I wouldn’t mess up too much,” Brian says. “The living spaces are so versatile, it’s hard to go wrong with a Wexler, the house just kind of finished itself.”
In the dining room, Brian displays several Saarinen pieces: a low coffee table he bought at Retro Inferno in Kansas City and two orange cushioned stools. He inherited the kitchenette set, and only discovered its roots as an early Burke set when he attended the Palm Springs Modernism Show in 2007. A vintage Greg Clark wall sculpture hangs on the wall, while several reproductions grace the room, including the sputnik chandelier and bullet planters.
In the living room, Brian kept it simple with several vintage lamps to light the way, seating from Liberty’s in Hollywood and a round rug by Angela Adams. The laminate-topped end table is from Fat Chance.
“The Modernists espoused simple, uncluttered living and the reality of it is, people don’t have simple lives—they have a lot of stuff,” Brian says. “That might be why modernism didn’t take off more. It’s hard to change your life to fit a very simple house. It works best in a vacation house where you can come out and pretend you have a simple life.”