Modernism Week

See MidCentury Modern Homes During Modernism Week thru Feb 24th!

You probably know about Modernism Week—the February festival that highlights midcentury modern architecture, art, interior design, landscape architecture, and vintage culture in Palm Springs area of Southern California. But did you know that attendees can also explore stunningly significant homes in the area? This year’s Modernism Week will offer tours of the Modernism Week Show House: The Christopher Kennedy Compound 2019, five Featured Homes and curated Signature Home Tours during the 11-day event that runs February 14-24, 2019. These stellar home tours still have availability and tickets may be purchased at modernismweek.com. A portion of ticket proceeds benefit Modernism Week (a non-profit organization) and other local preservation, neighborhood and community groups.

The Modernism Week Show House: The Christopher Kennedy Compound returns for its fifth year. Interior designer Christopher Kennedy brought together 14 of the nation’s most prominent and rising-star interior designers to create unique rooms in the official Show House of Modernism Week, which has been named by The Hollywood Reporter as the week’s “No. 1 Must-See Event.” Set on a golf course in the posh Indian Canyons neighborhood, this spectacular 1962 property is 3,600 square feet and features three bedrooms and three bathrooms plus an attached guest house. Just in time for Modernism Week, it has undergone a complete renovation spearheaded by Kennedy. This remodel respects the modernist property’s architectural pedigree while updating it with the best and brightest materials in modern design. 

The designers in this year’s Show House include Kerry Green of Kerry Green Design (Entry/Gallery), Joe Lucas of Lucas Studio Inc. (Living Room), Lori Paranjape of Mrs. Paranjape Design + Interiors (Living Room/Dining Terrace), Celerie Kemble of Kemble Interiors (Dining Room), Christopher Kennedy of Christopher Kennedy, Inc. (Kitchen + Patio), Brian Paquette of Brian Paquette Interiors (Den/Media), Keith Fortner of Christopher Kennedy, Inc. (Powder Room), Jeff Schlarb of Jeff Schlarb Design Studio (Office/Bath), Michael Berman of Michael Berman Limited (Master Bedroom/Master Bath), Lisa McDennon of Lisa McDennon Design (Master Closet/Patio), Josh Greene of Josh Greene Design (Guest Bedroom/Guest Bathroom), Michelle Boudreau of Michelle Boudreau Design (Pool House), Chris Barrett of Chris Barrett Design (Firepit), and Gordon Kurtis of Gordon Kurtis Associates (Landscape).  

The Compound was specially created to raise funds for Modernism Week and other preservation efforts. It has become one of Modernism Week’s most successful signature events, raising more than $250,000 for Modernism Week and other preservation efforts since its inception in 2014.

The Show House will debut with an exclusive “Friday Night First Look” party on Feb 15 ($250) and will host the “Red Carpet Gala” ($185) and “Starlight After Party” ($125) on Feb. 16. Daytime tours will be offered on Feb. 16-18 and 21-24; tour tickets at modernismweek.com are $40 and are available in advance or at the door.

The Modernism Week Show House project has been brought to life by Shields Residential construction, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Corian Design, JennAir, Brizo, La Cantina Doors, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Crossville Tile, Rock Mill Stone, Hunter Douglas, and more than three dozen other local and national design resources. For more details, please visit TheChristopherKennedyCompound.com

Each year Modernism Week offers exclusive tours of Featured Homes.  This year, attendees will be able to tour five Featured Homes located in Palm Springs (tours occur on different days throughout the festival):

Green Gables 
Designed by Palmer-Krisel and built in 1958, this original three-bedroom, two-bathroom home has been completely renovated by H3K Design. The house sits at the gateway to the Twin Palms neighborhood. The home’s high gable roofline is an ideal example of midcentury modern design, as are its walls of glass, topped with dramatic ceilings that seem to float in the air. The home’s expanded master bathroom, restored interior atrium, and kitchen pay homage to the house’s midcentury roots. It is open for tours from February 15-17 and tickets are $30.  It features products by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, JennAir, Brizo, Corian Design, Dunn-Edwards Paints and Hunter Douglas.

Two special events will take place on the property. On February 16 at 3 p.m. Atomic Ranch editorial director Jickie Torres will conduct a poolside interview with Palm Springs design/build experts Kevin Kemper and Howard Hawkes of H3K Design.  They will reveal what H3K did to restore and personalize this classic midcentury modern home and provide suggestions about how attendees might walk away with fresh ideas to implement in their own home. Tickets are $40 for this event. On February 21 at 5 p.m. the house will be the stylish venue for the Green Gables’ Poolside Fashion Show – The Best of MCM Style. Curated by William Miller, this celebratory event will feature the unique influences of midcentury fashion from “new look” to Mod, and will highlight the trends, looks and style of fashion from 1950 to 1965. Tickets are $125 for this event. 

La Vie en Rose 
At this Modernism Week Featured Home, Interior designer Christopher Kennedy presents a spectacular renovation of a midcentury property. This 1958 home in the posh Vista Las Palmas neighborhood backs up to the San Jacinto Mountains. The original home has been thoughtfully expanded to include a spacious master suite and a casita. Kennedy’s modernization of the property includes a new kitchen and remodeled bathrooms, while new folding-door systems maximize the indoor-outdoor Palm Springs lifestyle. Furnishings and décor by Kennedy and his team exemplify the sophisticated California glamour for which his brand is known. It is open for tours from February 16-18 and tickets are $30.  It features products by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, JennAir, Brizo, Corian Design, Dunn-Edwards Paints and Hunter Douglas. 

Desert Eichler 
Modernism Week attendees will be able to tour a newly built, modernized version of an original Eichler house designed by Anshen + Allen. This inviting dream oasis features bright colors with a focus on outdoor living. Homeowners Brad and Heather Fox, stars of HGTV’s Stay or Sell, collaborated with prestigious design partners to outfit the home’s interiors with fun and colorful décor and create the perfect vacation home for their young family. Tour participants will see big, bold designs that embrace high style and practicality. It is open for tours from February 17-19 and tickets are $30. It features products by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Corian Design, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Hunter Douglas, FLOR, and Room & Board. 

Axiom Desert House 
This stunning home by Turkel Design is a midcentury-inspired, systems-built jewel that will be the private residence of designers Joel and Meelena Turkel as well as a “living lab” for design professionals, students, and general enthusiasts. The home is a testament to modern prefab, celebrating desert design that is simple, elegant, and replicable. When tour participants step inside the transformative, net-zero-energy home, they will witness a creative ecosystem that is a fusion of process and true collaboration. Turkel Design is also offering a private stay at Axiom Desert House to one lucky tour attendee and a guest of their choice. It is available for tours February 22 – 24 and tickets are $30. It features products by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Corian Design, Dunn-Edwards Paint, Marvin Windows, and Resource Furniture.

On February 22 at 6 p.m. the Axiom Desert House will be the venue for an elegant cocktail party.  Guests will enjoy cocktails and conversation at a twilight unveiling of the Axiom Desert House. Designers Joel and Meelena Turkel will explain their process for creating their private residence that doubles as a Living Lab for design professionals, students and enthusiasts alike. The home’s open plan, indoor/outdoor flow, and innovative use of materials and space are a testament to modern prefab, celebrating transformative desert design that is simple, elegant and replicable. This event is generously hosted by Marvin Windows and Resource Furniture. Tickets are $100. 

Sackley Shadadelic 
This three-bedroom, three-bathroom 1979 Stan Sackley home has been completely renovated and redesigned by Thomboy Properties. The classic design features strong horizontal and vertical lines, a dramatic fireplace, and retail doors that lead to an entry courtyard. Front-facing clerestory windows allow for complete privacy yet ample light while glass walls at the home’s rear offer gorgeous views of the San Jacintos.  This featured home tour in the Indian Canyons neighborhood is brought to you by the team behind last year’s popular Moroccan Modern home. This Featured Home is available for tours February 22 – 24 and tickets are $30. It features products by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, JennAir, Brizo, Corian, and Dunn-Edwards Paints.

Signature Home Tours
Modernism Week attendees may also participate in the wildly popular Signature Home Tours, which have become the must-have ticket for architecture fans during the first and second weekends of the festival. Every year the selection of homes takes months of research and planning in order to provide visitors with a cross-section of iconic desert modern design that informs and inspires: from midcentury classics to contemporary interpretations. Palm Springs has long been a haven for designers and artists, with new generations of homeowners attracted to the light, the views, the landscape, and the lifestyle. The vision of the area’s most noted original architects combined with the personal design flair of current-day owners is reflected in each home so that architectural style, interior and landscape design are always individually expressed. Featuring homes that epitomize the unique qualities of desert living in a wide range of neighborhoods, this self-driving tour once again provides compelling insight into the best of greater Palm Springs.  

While the tours on the first weekend are already sold out, there is still availability for the Weekend Two Modernism Week Signature Home Tours, which take place in the morning and the afternoon of February 24. These tours will feature some of the Coachella Valley’s most iconic vintage homes by heralded architects as well as homes by contemporary masters in a variety of neighborhoods around Palm Springs. Tickets for this extraordinary tour are $135. Featured architects include:

Richard Neutra: His 1937 Grace Miller home, rarely open to the public, won many accolades including First Prize in the House Beautiful annual competition “Best Small House in North America.”
E. Stewart Williams: This residence he designed in 1960 in Deepwell celebrates Williams’ original design concept, with modern updates for 21st century lifestyles. It is an example of how great architecture can be rescued from neglect and ill-conceived makeovers.


Hugh Kaptur: This 1959 hillside residence in the historic Mesa district that features a contemporary flat-roofed, post-and-beam home, beautifully detailed with large expanses of native rock veneer and includes a contemporary renovation by Jim Schmidt


Jim Jennings: This high-style contemporary prefabricated building from the inventive and much-lauded Blue Sky Building Systems is located in the south end of Palm Springs on a flat lot with beautiful mountain views
William Cody: His 1958 Thunderbird North modernist ranch features deep overhangs and floor to ceiling glass on both sides of the house. It was described in later ads as “Luxury Desert Living at Its Best.”

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.

Check Also

The Music of Elton John to Highlight Food Samaritans’ “Evening Under the Stars” Gala

Got your tickets yet? The Food Samaritans (AAP) legendary annual gala is just around the …