To my utmost surprise and delight, a new trend in home design and lifestyle is taking shape in the California desert.
On a recent tour of new residential developments in the Palm Springs area, I was completely caught off guard. The traditional Mediterranean, Spanish Mission and Tuscan style homes that have dominated the Coachella Valley scene for decades, are being replaced by ultra-contemporary homes.
What I found most fascinating though, is that these new ‘Urban Chic meets 1960’s Atomic-era’ designs and neighborhoods also reflect a major shift in attitude and lifestyle. And, while not necessarily new, it is uniquely American.
In a back-to-the-future move, new developments like Trilogy at the Polo Club and Alta Verde Group, are creating streamlined, modern homes in Palm Springs, Indio and La Quinta, California.
There, designers are blending highly textured natural and artistic man-materials in creative ways, and integrating them into the structure itself, so each home becomes a work of art.
In addition, advanced technologies, like solar panels, electric car plug-ins, and remote home control systems are making life for new residents there, easier, less expensive and environmentally responsible.
Characterized by strong geometric, mostly rectangular shapes these homes feature ten-foot-plus ceilings, and walls wrapped in windows that slide into each other for maximum outdoor exposure. Home designers use metal, glass, wood, and stone materials combined creatively on floors, walls and ceilings to create dramatic and often glamorous effects.
Most appealing to me are the lifestyle changes that add to the richness of the home life experience. For example, large, useable living spaces flow seamlessly between the indoors and outdoors, multiple courtyards and lush landscaped privacy barriers create beauty, peace and a Zen-like setting.
My perspective as a Baby Boomer is that these refreshed versions of mid-century modern homes are beautiful, practical, and good for the environment.
While walking through, I couldn’t help reminisce of a time when social norms and prejudices were put on trial. When education, knowledge and courage tested the limits of our imagination and took us beyond the boundaries of our world. Then as now, I remember being filled with awe, optimism, and trepidation for the future. I guess like home design, some things may evolve, but rarely ever really change.