The mid century sensibility of this Palm Springs Wexler home kitchen was given a boost with splashes of color and careful restoration of its original features.
How did this Wexler home’s kitchen come to look so awesome?
Well, it started the way many stories do: It was (mid century) love at first sight! Robert and Jaymi Gottfried knew right away that this Wexler designed house was the home for them, though they understood just as quickly the work it would take to bring the 1965 low-gable home back to its mid century glory. “The minute we saw it, we knew we had to preserve all the wonderful original features that Don Wexler incorporated into this design and the Alexanders built so well,” they say.
Since purchasing the home in late 2017, the couple has taken great care to do just that. Their home had had just one previous owner and was feeling its age, particularly in the kitchen. “It felt so dark,” they say. “The kitchen hadn’t ever been remodeled, with the exception of the flooring, but hadn’t been maintained either. The cabinets were peeling, the appliances were well worn, the flooring had brown grout, the walls were beige, and the counters and backsplash were beyond cleaning.”
Restore and Refresh
A kitchen refresh was a must. The Gottfrieds were clear about their aims—“to stay true to the original mid mod design but update the functionality and definitely brighten the overall space”—and they were fortunate to have a strong foundation to build from. Not only were the cabinets original and in decent shape, the Gaffers & Sattler oven was original as well. Careful refurbishment of both helped the couple stay true to the kitchen’s history.
Restoring the dark and peeling cabinets got the couple closer to their goal of brightening the space. Replacing the tile floor and brown grout with a glistening terrazzo tile brought even more lightness to the space.
Though easily accessible from the dining room, the kitchen is tucked away, a bonus for the homeowners when entertaining. Vintage Bitossi pieces from Not Another Mod Snob sit atop a vintage Lane Tuxedo dining set from the Palm Springs Vintage Market. The matching vintage Lane Tuxedo hutch was found in Pennsylvania at Deja Mod Furniture.
The custom Modwalls backsplash also had an incredible impact on the look and feel of the kitchen. Selecting the right color and shape for the tile was a time-consuming process and absolutely worth the effort. “We spent hours looking at tile online,” the Gottfrieds say. “At one point we thought we would do bright green quartz on the counter and backsplash, and then we found Modwalls. All their tile is so fun, and we really were drawn to the minnow shape. When we ordered samples, initially we thought we’d do just the light blue with green here and there. Our tile guy laid out all four colors in a random pattern, and the minute we saw it we knew that was it.”
The orange, green and blue found in the backsplash is carried through the rest of the house, from artwork in the dining room to the living room rug to the home’s front door. Those shades were selected as an anecdote to the beige that had once overwhelmed the space. “Everything inside and out was beige in this house,” the homeowners say. “One of the first art pieces we bought in Palm Springs is in the dining room, with bright orange, green and turquoise. We knew we wanted the house to have that same happy vibe.”
To see more of this Wexler home beyond the kitchen, keep reading A Well-Preserved Wexler.
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.