Palm Springs Patrick Boyce Alexander Desert Holly
Boyce, who had designed a couple of lamps and retro-tiki-mod interiors for friends, fell hard for the 1,100-square-foot cinderblock condo and its location by the San Jacinto foothills.

Palm Springs continues to exert a tractor-beam pull on fans of MCM, many of whom succumb to buying or building their own desert hideaways. Two men, both named Patrick, have taken very different approaches to living in this classic desert environment.

In 2005, Chicago businessman Patrick Boyce bought not only an Alexander home for his own vacation usage, but a two-bedroom unit in a 1957 apartment complex known as Desert Holly. Boyce, who had designed a couple of lamps and retro-tiki-mod interiors for friends, fell hard for the 1,100-square-foot cinderblock condo and its location by the San Jacinto foothills. He nixed the seller’s plans for the ’50s Gaffers & Sattler appliances to be yanked out, and practiced his nascent interior design skills when it came to furnishing the vacation rental.
Vintage pieces—a Ligne Roset couch, a “lemon slice” dinette set and a ’60s Captain Kirk-esque swiveling vinyl chair—were augmented with a shag rug and a surfboard table Boyce made. In one bedroom, midcentury light fixtures illuminate a padded headboard in the shape of the Budweiser logo—take that ode as you will.

Palm Springs Patrick Boyce Alexander Desert Holly Living Room
Vintage pieces—a Ligne Roset couch, a “lemon slice” dinette set and a ’60s Captain Kirk-esque swiveling vinyl chair—were augmented with a shag rug and a surfboard table Boyce made.

“In the ’60s when I was a youth growing up in Chicago, many people would use their basements as entertainment areas. Because of the brutal, long winters of the Midwest, they did their basements with tiki bars and tropical island themes to get their minds off what was outside,” he says. “I just decided that whenever I owned my own home, I was going to have a room or area with Hawaiiana and Polynesian artwork and midcentury modern.” And so he does.

Stay tuned Wednesday for the other side of Palm Springs modernism.