Partners and homeowners Shelly Bowen and Gary Allard set their sights on a beautiful midcentury modern home in Palm Springs, California. The house, known as the Easmor, named for the street in the Sunmor neighborhood where it resides, was built in 1958 by the Alexander Construction Company and designed by William Krisel.
Shelly and Gary’s escrow took an especially long time to close but the couple didn’t fret—they dove into their midcentury modern home renovation even before getting the keys in their hands. The couple gives credit to Gary’s dad, who helped them through the entire process. “We have the good fortune that my father is a contractor based in Seattle and he and his wife packed up the tool truck and drove down to get things started,” says Gary.
After escrow closed, the couple had to restore their Krisel to its original glory. “The house had been last renovated sometime in the ’80s and our first goal was to bring it back to its original floor plan,” Gary says. “Overall, the process took about 6 months to get it to be vacation-worthy.”
There were big decisions when it came to renovating the whole house, but the biggest choices were made in the kitchen. “We already knew we were taking down two major walls that enclosed both the kitchen and divided the dining area from the entry and living room,” Gary says.
Since they wanted the space to be sparse and since this was the home they were turning into a vacation rental, the kitchen had to do multiple things at once. “We didn’t need a lot of storage space,” Gary says. “We opted for minimal upper cabinets to keep the kitchen open and airy.”
Aside from keeping with the openness of midcentury modern design, the kitchen had to function well as a kitchen. The couple re-routed a gas line to relocate the kitchen sink to underneath the window, showcasing the spectacular view of the mountains and the pool.
Gary and Shelly’s first piece of advice when starting a midcentury modern renovation project is to roll with the punches: “Be open to surprises because we had plenty of those when we got deep into it!” Gary says.
But the kitchen was just the first step to breathing new life into their new home. Step two was right beneath their noses—literally! Be sure to check back for Part 2 of this story.