MODERNISM WEEK 2019 WITH FERGUSON
Two weeks ago, along with a few other amazing gals, I had the pleasure of being hosted by Ferguson at Modernism Week in sunny Palm Springs as part of the #FergModSquad. Having never been before I didn’t really know what to expect so here is a little excerpt from their site explaining: 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.
The weekend started off on Friday afternoon with me loading myself, my luggage and two dogs into the car, thinking I’d have a quick 2 1/2 hour journey (which is standard from LA). Unfortunately due to the flash floods in both LA and PS the trip took over 4 hours which resulted in me missing out on dinner at the Pink Cabana restaurant designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard. I would have loved to see this because the design concept is a fresh modern take on the great Tennis and Racquet Clubs of the 50’s and 60’s in Palm Springs. It looks whimsical and playful and perfectly Palm Springs.
Ferguson hooked us up with a room at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club which is super dog friendly and even has a small dog park. I’ve not stayed a the Ace PS before but typically stay at the one in Shoreditch, London when I go back home, so knew we were in for a treat.
Once we’d arrived and settled I got myself ready to attend the next event – the Jenn Air party at the Dinah Shore Estate, which happens to be one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s houses. This property was built in 1964 by renowned architect Donald Wexler.
The grounds and pool had Jenn Air products and branding dotted around.
The master bathroom, was pretty incredible for the fact it had a vanity positioned in the middle of the room. You know you’ve made it when you have space for a double vanity that you can circulate around!
After a lazy morning snuggling with some puppies I started my Saturday at the Green Gables House Designed by Palmer-Krisel and built in 1958 by the Alexander Construction Company. The property recently underwent a renovation by Palm Springs own H3K Design. As the name suggests the gable roofline is painted in green and is a prime example of a midcentury modern house design.
This house showcases true midcentury elements such as the floor to ceiling glass windows and stone fireplaces.
One of my fave spots in the house is the office with the leather reading chair and houndstooth ottoman. It’s perfectly placed next to the sliding door which is ideal for an afternoon read with a cuppa.
The kitchen really is the happiest part with the yellow Corian waterfall countertop and Brizo faucets. I’m not usually into yellow but this is fun and perfect for this style of house. I’m not sure you’d ever be sad walking in here.
The yellow theme continued outside with the umbrella and now I’m noticing how off the pillows are! Photo styling error… I’m firing myself.
Next stop was the La Vie en Rose House built in 1958 and recently renovated by Christopher Kennedy himself. Starting with the exterior this house has a beautiful view of the mountains, a pool and an outdoor shower, who wouldn’t want to wake up here everyday!
From the yellow kitchen to the wood, red and grey kitchen, people of Palm Springs are not afraid of adding pops of colour into their homes. Something that is refreshing to see with all the white kitchens that grace our pinterest boards these days.
They separated out the stove and oven in here and used one of Jenn Air’s cooktops. I really like how simple and clean the front is.
This bathroom has 4 different types of tiles in a small area which on paper sounds like it might not work but I’m actually loving the overall look. They paired it with Brizo chrome plumbing fixtures with two shower sets, the ultimate luxury!
Something that was a running theme throughout a lot of the house tours, especially in the bedrooms, are feature walls. I’m definitely a ‘more is better’ person when it comes to wallpaper but these rooms work particularly well given the choice of paper (at least the two bolder prints). I think if the palms and leaves were adorning every wall it would be a bit to much for the eye to handle.
This bathroom had my favourite fixture in from the whole show – The Brizo concrete faucet (below) which I’ll talk about more later. The floor tile around the tub and shower wall is a wood look porcelain tile from Porcelanosa it’s really nice to see warmer tones used in a bathroom over bright white. The tub placement in here in front of that window is pretty special. That’s one of great things about midcentury house and Palm Springs is that the indoor/outdoor living is really prominent.
One of my favourite parts of the weekend was the Christopher Kennedy Compound showcase house. Set on the golf course in the posh neighborhood of Indian Canyons, this spectacular 1962 property is 3600 square feet and features three bedrooms and three bathrooms plus an attached guest house.
Typically showcase houses kinda scare me because they get several different designers to design a room and they can end up a hodge-podge of different styles. For me a house should maintain some cohesion throughout. This year’s showcase house was stunning and felt like it worked in harmony. I only attended the preview party so couldn’t really get any great photos since it was wall-to-wall people so I nabbed some of the internet from Nathan Cox.
This room designed by Joey Lucas of Lucas Studio Inc took my breath away. It’s just so fun and collected and not afraid to be bold. I can’t harp on enough about how refreshing it is to see colour being used in interiors so this was a truly inspiring space. Joey also happens own Harbinger, a furniture and fabric store here in LA. The wallpaper in this room is a mural from Fromental using Farrow & Ball colours. The artwork, which is so intricate and detailed is by Marco Lorenzetto.
This daybed by CBM Design Group was by far my favourite piece of furniture. The craftsmanship and curved detail is stunning and I like how it was paired with a nubby boucle type fabric. Also lovely to see a different shaped mirror other than round above the terrazzo fireplace.
Terrazzo was a bit of a theme than ran through here. It’s funny because it’s having such a resurgence right now yet it was super popular back in the 60’s so fit’s perfectly within this space. This room was designed by Celerie Kimble.
We’re currently working on a project that we have proposed a black, white and green bathroom with deco vibe so this was a joy to see. Designed by Jeff Schlarb.
I’ve followed and admired Brian Paquette’s work for ages now and didn’t even realise he was showing here. It was only when I spotted him and went over to introduce myself that I realised I was stood in his room. He uses a lot of Lawson Fenning pieces in his spaces and also has a line with them so I instantly recognised their work. He’s in the process of launching some new pieces and these beautiful stools are from the new collection.
Also new to the collection are the dining chairs and sectional sofa. What I love about Brian’s work is it feels sophisticated but not too precious that you don’t feel comfortable enough to kick off your shoes and relax.
Again this property shows off that indoor/outdoor living and they had designers deck out the back yard with seating areas and dining spaces. How perfect is the show capped mountains in the distance!?
After a late night at the Parker Hotel with the Ferguson team, my Sunday morning was spent on the Palm Springs Door Tour organised by Katie Carrier of Palm Springs Style who is one our #FergModSquad gals. A lot of people were doing the tour on bikes which would have been fun but I had the dogs in tow so we had a little jaunt around in my car. It was a really special way to see a new area of Palm Springs and take photos of the iconic doors you wouldn’t normally be allowed to.
Our last stop before hitting the road back to LA was Modernism CAMP to see the Brizo and Jenn Air stands.
Full disclosure, I’d never heard of Jenn Air before attending this weekend but I was super impressed with their products. The designs are clean and unfussy with modern lines. They are on the upper price level but the attention to detail makes it worth the extra expense.
I’ve personally never really understood the benefit of an upright oven, mainly because I love the look of a range. I did install one at a client’s house once and she liked it because she cooks a lot and didn’t love the idea of having to keep bending down all the time. I think if you have one that looks as good as these Jenn Air ones then they can be integrated really well into a beautiful kitchen.
I’ve sourced many a bathroom faucet before but it was great to see the Brizo fixtures in person. All the Ferguson, Brizo and Jenn Air people were heading to Vegas for KBIS in Vegas after this week and I wish I’d jumped onto that. Had I not been to Las Vegas Market in January I probably would have done.
The highlight of the weekend for me was the Brizo Vettis concrete faucet. TJ eads an industrial designer who originally developed the faucet said it was born from a deep respect for nature and its strength. The limited edition of 500 are now hand built by British Columbia based sculptor, Christopher Shannon. What I liked about it the most was how smooth it felt and there was a great ease to turning the lever. That might sound weird but there’s a great quality to it that you don’t get from metal faucets which is probably why it’s a limited piece with a hefty price tag. It’s definitely not for everyone but for special bathroom it would be a real showstopper.
We finished the trip with a takeaway sandwich from Wexlers deli. Theo (right) had clearly had enough and couldn’t wait to get home, while Gatsby (left) just wanted to wave to everyone as we were leaving.
Thanks so much to all the Ferguson, Brizo and Jenn Air teams. Special thanks to Christine & Mary Hannah for an especially fun night at the Parker and to Shaun for organising such a great weekend. Palm Springs… we will be back! xXx