According to Peter, even though the glazing in the original steel casement windows is not up to current insulation standards, inexpensive evaporative cooling means the house doesn’t use much more energy than if they had double paned windows. Without a winter to worry about, heating is a rare necessity. However, for safety reasons, the couple replaced the original glazing in the sliding glass doors with tempered safety glass.

According to Peter, even though the glazing in the original steel casement windows is not up to current insulation standards, inexpensive evaporative cooling means the house doesn’t use much more energy than if they had double paned windows. Without a winter to worry about, heating is a rare necessity. However, for safety reasons, the couple replaced the original glazing in the sliding glass doors with tempered safety glass.

 

sunny colorful kitchen belonging to author Peter Moruzzi. The vintage oven is a bright yellow. The calssic 1950s tile is a peach and brick red combo. The white cabinet's are an original style. The white 1950s refrigerator is also vintage.

 

a Saarinen tulip table and chairs set sits in author Peter Moruzzi's breakfast nook in his Palm Springs kitchen.

 

A short-lived trend in the mid 1950s through the early '60s, the built-in indoor barbeque had been painted white when Peter and Lauren moved in. Even though smoke and splatter make it an impractical feature, the couple painted it in one of their favorite hues and cherish its unique presence.

A short-lived trend in the mid 1950s through the early ’60s, the built-in indoor barbeque had been painted white when Peter and Lauren moved in. Even though smoke and splatter make it an impractical feature, the couple painted it in one of their favorite hues and cherish its unique presence.

Peter Moruzzi, architectural historian and author of pictorial history books such as Palm Springs Paradise: Vintage Photographs from America’s Desert Playground, and Lauren LeBaron, director of accounting in the healthcare industry, bought their desert home in 1998. If you missed the first half of their home tour, click here.

Upon moving in, the couple got to work removing paver tiles, worn carpeting and plantation shutters. They replaced the sprinkler system, refreshed the landscaping, added a square concrete block wall and repaired the cracked concrete pool deck. They also replaced the original galvanized pipes with copper and relocated them from the concrete slab to the upper crawlspace so the pipes wouldn’t be visible on the roof.

The couple removed the cracked driveway
in favor of a steel-reinforced concrete driveway and replaced the gas pipes, as well as the leaking roof and flashing.

 

While the roof was open for the latter repair, they opted for custom ductwork to be installed, freeing the roof of the evaporative cooler and air conditioner.

Perhaps Peter’s passion for midcentury design is best exemplified when asked about his home’s original kitchen. “Certainly, we could replace our 1956 Western Holly oven, stove and Hotpoint refrigerator with contemporary models, but why? They work perfectly well
 with the added benefit of extraordinary beauty epitomizing the brilliance of midcentury American design and workmanship. Each is of solid, durable construction of the type rarely found in contemporary appliances.”

Related Reading: 5 Elements of a Mid Century Modern Kitchen

The backyard takes full advantage of the property’s mature palm trees and stunning views, while deep overhanging South-facing eaves provide protection from the desert sun and heat. The pool’s large size and proximity to the house is a Palm Springs trademark.
The backyard takes full advantage of the property’s mature palm trees and stunning views, while deep overhanging South-facing eaves provide protection from the desert sun and heat. The pool’s large size and proximity to the house is a Palm Springs trademark.

 

 

 

 

A bright yellow and rectangular planter with chrome legs is filled with snake plant outside of a house in Palm Springs. A vintage pool chair is beside it.

 

A mid century modern walnut credenza with sleek oval pulls sit in a guest room in a Palm Springs home. A Bitossi lamp with a black shade as well as a Bitossi bull artwork both in a deep teal blue pop against cream walls.

 

Having found their dream mid mod home and given it the restoration work necessary, Peter and Lauren were able to create the warm, open and inviting Palm Springs home they’d longed for—a space filled with their favorite vintage furniture and art.

Want to see some more great Mid Mod backyards? Check out this roundup!

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