PALM SPRINGS

 
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Known for being the mecca of mid-century design, PALM SPRINGS is located in California within the Coachella Valley. It is a desert resort city that surged in the 1950's due to a time of post war recovery. The time was very positive and exuberant, design was heavily influenced by innovative sciences and the exciting exploration of space.

Hollywood's celebrities and influential people all flocked to this glamorous desert city. As the rich and famous made up so much of the area, they had the ability to commission the period's best architects and designers to create lavish resorts and homes. This is why there are so many incredible mid-century designs located here. 

Modernism Week, held in February every year in Palm Springs attracts people from across the globe. It celebrates Palm Springs modern lifestyle and rich history- this is definitely on the bucket list!

The extend to which my love affair with Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern goes is quite limitless and I know it will be for you too. Bring some of this retro resort chic into your home and you will not look back, especially because a lot of the furniture used has a timeless quality.

1] Studio DIY on holiday in Palm Springs. 2] Loewy House. 3] Photo by Troyt Coburn for Marie Claire Australia. 4] Elena Boils Illustration. 5] Photo by Airows. 6] Palm Springs signage.

1] Studio DIY on holiday in Palm Springs. 2] Loewy House. 3] Photo by Troyt Coburn for Marie Claire Australia. 4] Elena Boils Illustration. 5] Photo by Airows. 6] Palm Springs signage.

Why Is Palm Springs Mid-Century Modernism applicable to Australia?

Not only do we just love this style, but there are a lot of mid-century homes and antiques here in Australia as our development as a nation was also going through the same prosperity during a time of overall community growth. We also have quite a similar landscape here in terms of the hot deserts and our lifestyle choices. Aim to channel more of a Palm Springs vibe and lifestyle into your home for a bit of relaxed glamour. 
 

THE COLOUR PALETTE

Featuring pastels like 'Tender Touch' and rich colours from the desert landscape such as 'Deep Aloe Vera', this palette is best used in a playful way! Not only will this palette bring some brightens and fun into your home, but also the effects of colour therapy.
+ Blues & Turquoise: Apply the blues as a reminder of open skies and holidays, these will act to make your feel free and happy.
+ Pink: Will inspire you to be creative in both your home and work life. This pale pink is a major colour trend this year, and its cool tones mean its definitely not just for girls!
+ Orange & Yellows: Positivity and a bubbly attitude. 

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Look at this original colour pamphlet and kitchen from the 1950's, it gives us such a great indication of the trends at the time...I love this kitchen picture, it sets such a scene from the outdoor sandstone feature wall, a multi-coloured kitchen and even the man of the house becoming completly demestocated- painting his kitchen a baby pink!

MID-CENTURY MODERNISM CHARACTERISTICS
1] Clean lines
2] Pops & Blocks of Colour
3] Streamlined Transitions of Spaces (Open-plan living)
4] Integration with Nature (Merging with the landscape)

HOW TO BRING PALM SPRINGS TO YOUR HOME
Want to bring a little bit (or a lot) of this resort style into your home? I don't blame you

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1] Paint your front door
A major feature of this style is the huge emphasis that is placed on the exterior of homes. Thinking of the characteristics of Palm Springs, I am sure you can understand why- It's all about whats on show! An easy, cheap and very effective way for you to apply this style to your home is by painting your front door in a bright poppy colour. Colour blocking (a feature of mid-century modernism) is best done in contrast with lots of white and this idea will create a great first impression for your guests.

2. Use Breeze Blocks
This simple and amazing concrete invention comes in so many different patterns. If your worried about doing an entire feature wall in breeze blocks, stack a few and pop a plank of wood on top to make a bench, or simply use one around the house as decor or as a sculptural piece in the garden. You can apply these in their natural concrete finish or paint them white or any colour you desire!

Here is a little computer generated image of a project I won with Dulux, John Eussen and International Floor Coverings back when I was at uni.. This tiny 30 m2 Apartment is in Pott's Point and was all about colour play based on this period. The breeze blocks here are backed with glass and act as a see through yet semi-private divider between the shower and living room to maximise natural light through the apartment to create more of an open plan space and a cheeky resort feel, both aspects features of the time. 

'Chimes Apartment' in Potts Point by Avalon Pover-Leong.

'Chimes Apartment' in Potts Point by Avalon Pover-Leong.

FURNISHINGS

1] Credenza (Unknown Source). 2] Retro Furniture. 3] Black & White Bold Pattens. 4] Copper: Styling by Heather Nette King, Photo by Mike Baker and Copyright Fairfax Media.

1] Credenza (Unknown Source). 2] Retro Furniture. 3] Black & White Bold Pattens. 4] Copper: Styling by Heather Nette King, Photo by Mike Baker and Copyright Fairfax Media.

1] CREDENZA: Get your hands on a mid-century credenza (i.e. side board) ASAP!

2] BRASS & COPPER: Use these elements in their true form to hint at sophistication. 

3] BOLD BLACK & WHITE PATTERNS: Apply through throws, rugs, cushions or artworks. This bold statement creates a sense of energy and playfulness within an interior and can be toned down by applying patterns on soft furnishings. 

4] KEEP YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN: Always be on the look for any mid-century pieces that are often found on sidewalks, thrown out by those most unfortunate to not know they were actually onto something really good!

5] FUN ICONS: 
Think anything flamingo. Whether you want to opt for a garden piece or just use flamingo pink this colour and icon of Palm Springs is such an easy way to bring this style into your home. 
+ Palms (display real plants) or apply them through textiles. 

1] Aloha Hotel. 2] Palms. 3] Flamingoes from 500px.

1] Aloha Hotel. 2] Palms. 3] Flamingoes from 500px.

Photograph by Jean loup Sieff in 1964 for Harper's Bazaar.

Photograph by Jean loup Sieff in 1964 for Harper's Bazaar.

The Swan Chair by Arne Jacobsen designed in 1958 for the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.

The Swan Chair by Arne Jacobsen designed in 1958 for the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.