Palm Springs Modernism Week
Christopher Kennedy and Kate Buckley

Modernism Week — What a Treat!

It’s no secret that I love Palm Springs. Put simply, it’s my happy place. I’ve been a resident or frequent visitor since 1998 and the love affair keeps growing. And one of my favorite events to enjoy is Palm Springs Modernism Week. 

This past week I was able to sample a variety of fun, entertaining, and educational events from this year’s event—from dinners to lectures to live music to featured homes and house tours, it was a symphony for the senses!

While I enjoyed every event I attended, the highlight for me, without a doubt, was the long-awaited and highly-touted 2019 Palm Springs Modernism Week Show House: The Christopher Kennedy Compound. I had the pleasure of running into our friend, Christopher Kennedy, at the event and it was a pleasure to see him and to learn more about this masterpiece of vision, collaboration, and creation.

A cohesive mix of 14 of the nation’s most prominent and rising-star Interior Designers put their collective stamps on this year’s Palm Springs Modernism Week Show House. Hailing from both coasts and famed cities in between, these talented Interior Designers, including Celerie Kemble, Michael Berman, Joe Lucas, Christopher Kennedy and others, created rooms uniquely their own. To say that I was “wowed,” is putting it mildly (check out my photo gallery below).

Located in the posh Indian Canyons neighborhood of Palm Springs and set on a sweeping golf course, this spectacular 1962 property is 3600 square feet and features three bedrooms and three bathrooms plus an attached guest house. A down to the studs refurbishment, led by Kennedy and his team, respected the modernist property’s architectural pedigree while updating it with the best and brightest materials in modern design. Gorgeous and creative colors, textiles, materials, and staging created a jewel box of a home—and yet, it was still entirely livable, practical and accessible. 

The design edict set forth by Kennedy, and reflecting the homeowner’s vision, was to create a contemporary, sculptural, unique and luxe look; somewhat formal and elegant but comfortable. Not retro, kitsch-y or overly midcentury. “We are known for having one of the most cohesive and inspiring show houses in the country,” said Kennedy. “We strongly encourage the designers to design with the homeowners in mind, while of course staying true to their own design aesthetic. This was a collaboration between 14 design professionals and a client, and the end result reflected that.”

Named by the Hollywood Reporter as the “#1 Must-See Event of Modernism Week,” The Christopher Kennedy Compound (in partnership with Traditional Home and California Home + Design) has become one of Modernism Week’s most successful signature events, raising for Modernism Week and other preservation efforts over $250,000 since its inception in 2014.

The project was brought to life by Shields Residential construction, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Corian Design, JennAir, Brizo, Hunter Douglas Shades, LaCantina Doors, Dunn-Edwards paints, Crossville Tile, Rock Mill Stone, and more than three dozen other local and national design resources.

DESIGNER LINE-UP:

Entry / Gallery: Kerry Green of Kerry Green Design

Living Room: Joe Lucas of Lucas Studio Inc.

Living & Dining Terrace: Lori Paranjape of Mrs. Paranjape Design + Interiors

Dining Room: Celerie Kemble of Kemble Interiors

Kitchen + Patio: Christopher Kennedy of Christopher Kennedy, Inc.

Den / Media: Brian Paquette of Brian Paquette Interiors

Powder Room: Keith Fortner of Christopher Kennedy, Inc.

Office + Bath: Jeff Schlarb of Jeff Schlarb Design Studio

Master Bedroom and Master Bath: Michael Berman of Michael Berman Limited

Master Closet + Patio: Lisa McDennon of Lisa McDennon Design

Guest Bedroom and Guest Bathroom: Josh Greene of Josh Greene Design

Pool House: Michelle Boudreau of Michelle Boudreau Design

Firepit: Chris Barrett of Chris Barrett Design

Landscape: Gordon Kurtis of Gordon Kurtis Associates

About Christopher Kennedy:

“The golden state of mind” describes Christopher Kennedy’s philosophy towards interior design —and life. Combining Jet Set nostalgia with California modernism, Christopher’s widely published work has earned him the reputation as one of the most influential designers in the USA.  For the past 15 years his interiors have become synonymous with the Palm Springs lifestyle. Working from his design studio and eponymous retail boutique in the trending Uptown Design District of Palm Springs, this prolific designer also creates furniture, candles, bedding, artwork and pottery, all available at his boutique and nationally through showrooms. He is the author of two design books: California Modern and Making Midcentury Modern.

About The Christopher Kennedy Compound:

One of Modernism Week’s most successful signature annual events — The Christopher Kennedy Compound: Modernism Week Show House — which combines the work of several interior designers who each design a specific room in the Showhouse was started by Christopher Kennedy in 2014.  Ticket sales to the event raise funds for Modernism Week’s education and preservation efforts. Cumulatively, all his Showhouses have raised upwards of $250,000 for Modernism Week charities.

About Palm Springs Modernism Week:

Palm Springs Modernism Week is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization, providing scholarships to local Palm Springs students pursuing college educations in the fields of architecture and design; as well as giving grants to local and state organizations for their efforts to preserve modernist architecture throughout the state of California. The mission of Modernism Week is to celebrate and foster appreciation of midcentury architecture and design, as well as contemporary thinking in these fields, by encouraging education, preservation, and sustainable modern living as represented in the greater Palm Springs area.

About Kate Buckley

Kate Buckley is a brand strategist, premium domain broker and consultant, interviewer, storyteller, visual artist, and award-winning poet & writer. She’s worked in media and marketing since 1997, holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and is the author of A Wild Region (Moon Tide Press) and Follow Me Down (Tebot Bach). A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her awards include a Gabeheart Prize and the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize. She was most recently shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. A ninth-generation Kentuckian, she’s made her home in Southern California since 1998.

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