Homeowners Scott Hunt and Bill Maxwell took matters into their own hands when renovating their Palm Springs home in Vista Las Palmas (part 1). Hunt wanted to reinvent his new home according to his own vision, so instead of hiring an architect he donned the hat of general contractor (part 2). But the creativity didn’t stop after installing the new roofing, windows and doors—Hunt and partner Maxwell’s personal tastes carried over into choosing the furnishings, many of which were customized.
Bill Maxwell, 75, played the role of pragmatist in keeping the remodel grounded. “Bill was instrumental in this whole project. He has the passion for modern and mid century,” his partner says. “I’m not a licensed architect, and I’d come up with these out-there ideas and bounce them off Bill. It was very collaborative, and he helped me stay focused.”
Maxwell oversaw the manufacturing process at their to-the-trade furniture company, Silhouette (now sold), which customized many pieces for the weekend house. This gave them the flexibility to take a given item, such as a buffet, and stretch it into a longer credenza with different doors and finishes. Or to interpret original midcentury pieces in a fresh wood or at a larger scale, or to design a new coffee table or console with legs inspired by a Selig Z chair.
Many of the outdoor furnishings are custom as well, from the blue cord chaise longues and the tri-shade sheltering the steps of the pool, to the built-for-lolling daybeds with white concrete bases. Hunt worked with landscape designer Gordon Kurtis on the concept for the front and back yards, which include an outdoor kitchen, multiple fire pits, desert plantings, select insets of turf and three palm trees that were craned into place over the house.
A now-friend, artist Chase Langford (whose house AR has also featured), contributed to the house after a fashion, too. His works now hang in the dining room, bedrooms and living room. “I took Chase’s paintings in the living room and pulled colors out of them, but wanted to keep it a very neutral background—clean and open and airy,” Hunt says.
“The re-imagination of this mid century house continues the original spider legs seamlessly into the new wing,” Langford enthused when he suggested his friends’ home for feature coverage. “The remarkable coherence of the updated and expanded version is extraordinary, making it hard to know what is new and what was added.”
“One of my favorite builders is Joseph Eichler,” says Hunt. “My vision was to interpret what Eichler would do if he had access to the wonderful materials we have available to us today.”
To see the whole house, click here for Part 1 and Part 2.
Can’t get enough of MCM Palm Springs architecture? Don’t miss Atomic Ranch at Modernism Week! Find tickets here to Atomic Ranch: Remodeled Marvels book event here and a house tour with AR and H3K here.
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