The Christopher Kennedy Compound 2015
Last weekend I took a quick overnight trip to Palm Springs to stop in on Modernism Week and see for myself what all the buzz was about at the Christopher Kennedy Compound Show House. This may only be Christopher Kennedy’s 2nd year in producing the Modernism Week Show House, but by the roster of participating designers , the amount of buzz in the media, and the impressive list of sponsors, you would think that Christopher has been in the business of producing showcase houses for years.
The proceeds from the Christopher Kennedy Compound Show House goes to Modernism Week, which works towards the preservation of architecture in Palm Springs and also provides scholarships to design students in Southern California. Last year brought 45,000 visitors from 20 countries to Modernism Week and 4000 of those visitors dropped by the Modernism Show House. There’s no telling what kind of numbers this year will bring, but judging by what I’ve been hearing, the feedback has been nothing but positive.
This year’s Modernism Week Show House was a bit different in last year’s in that this year Christopher purchased the 1964 property to be used as his own personal residence after the event concludes. However, each designer was given free creative license to do as they wished, and I am sure Christopher is not the least bit disappointed by the outcome. The setting is simply breathtaking – the 2500 square foot midcentury compound backs up against the Indian Canyon Golf Course and offers views of the rolling mountains, blue skies, and the lush green fairway from the rear of the residence.
So let’s go inside the Christopher Kennedy Compound to see what all the fuss is about!
The Pool Area/Front Terrace | Michael Berman
As one enters into the walled compound designed by Los Angeles designer Michael Berman, they are immediately greeted by several seating areas around the pool – that for lounging, conversation, and eating. All of the seating is outfitted in a powder coated grass green from the designer’s own collection for Brown Jordan. Bright pink blow up rings floating in the pool provide a fun, complementary contrast in color.
You may recall seeing Michael’s work both at the 2014 Pasadena Showcase House where he was responsible for designing the dining room as well as the Bungalow One Presidential Suite at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica this past year, both of which were covered here on Cozy Stylish Chic. Judging by his past work, green is without a doubt Michael’s signature color.
The entrance to the home is a bright and eclectic one with a stunning black and white elongated hex mosaic tile from Kelli Ellis’ newly introduced tile collection for Tile Bar mixed with an exotic Moroccan lantern and brightly painted turquoise door. Bold and modern with a touch of the exotic – just like Kelli’s personality. FYI – Kelli is one of my favorite people and she is a gem!
The Dining Room | Nancy Price
The dining room, designed by Nancy Price, is an opulent mix of matte black and white with gold accents. The textured charcoal grey wall covering from Maya Romanoff makes for a dramatic backdrop and is a contrast to the art that hangs on the wall.
An open, modular carved wood screen between the dining room and living room acts as a divider while still allowing visual contact and conversation between the two rooms.
Living Room | Trip Haenisch
The living room, designed by LA designer Trip Haenisch, is a collection of sophisticated vintage pieces and is a neutral canvas that is supplemented with pops of color provided by the art and accessories placed throughout.
The narrow hallway that leads from the common area to the bedrooms is stark white with the exception of the art that hangs on one side of the hallway. A bright, striped painting strategically placed in the room at the end of the hall acts as a visual cue and draws the eye front and center.
The asymmetrical semi-flush mount lighting by Jason Koharik that hangs from the ceiling of the living room is a stunning one. You may recall seeing Jason Koharik’s work in the Sunset Idea House that I covered on the blog last summer. Koharik’s custom lighting embodies the mid century modern aesthetic and works in perfectly with the “collected” feel of the space.
Living and Dining Room Terrace | Paletteur
The living room and dining room feature floor to ceiling LaCantina folding glass doors that lead to the outdoor living room and dining room terrace designed by San Francisco based Paletteur, extending the indoor living space to the outdoors. A dramatic large-scale sculpture defines the edge of the terrace and creates the feeling of a more contained and intimate setting.
An ultra chic, wood and black top ping-pong table from James Perse, complete with a hidden drawer for the ping-pong equipment, provides guests with fun and entertainment in style.
Master Bedroom Terrace | Linda Allen
Linda Allen‘s fun and flirty design featured an all white and blue color palette that was accented with touches of yellow. An outdoor wireless floor lamp and table lamp from the designer’s own line of luxury outdoor wireless lamps, was the talk of the show house, as I saw them featured on almost every visitor’s Instagram feed.
Master Bedroom | Mark Cutler
Mark Cutler‘s design of the master bedroom was an exercise in restrained opulence that was fashioned after design circa 1982, the age of excess. He has taken the excessive design elements of that particular era and pared them down to how we live today.
The space was bathed in neutral winter white on the exterior but when approached, pops of chartreuse made an appearance on the reverse sides of the bed canopy, blankets and window treatments.
Art and furniture from different cultures and periods – antiques from India, a Danish Modern desk, the iconic Panton chair, a reproduction Swedish flat-weave rug, were gathered to create a more collected and lived in space.
Master Bathroom | Marlaina Teich
The drama created by the high gloss surfaces is what took center stage in the master bathroom designed by Marlaina Teich.
A high gloss blue textured strié wall covering from Phillip Jeffries lined the perimeter of the bath and was a contrast to the porcelain floor and walls in the shower that is open to the rest of the bathroom.
The floor was on a slight slope and the water empties into a barely visible infinity drain that sits next to the glass wall and door. (On the other side of the glass is an open air shower.)
The blues and greens seen in the bathroom are pulled into the niche that leads into the master closet. A printed grass cloth in blue and green from Phillip Jeffries covered the walls of the small area and was coordinated with a kelly green étagère from Worlds Away that was filled with a collection of shiny, decorative treasures.
Master Closet | Christopher Kennedy
Judging by the looks of Christopher’s closet, shopping is one of his loves, or perhaps an addiction? With a dedicated area for shoes and another for hats, his closet rivals that of Carrie Bradshaw’s from “Sex and the City” but with a slightly more masculine and tropical inspired flair.
The whimsical wallpapered ceiling of painterly butterflies was grounded with a seatbelt chair from Phillips Collection that was situated at the corner of the L- shaped closet.
Den | Parker Kennedy
The dynamic duo, Lance Jackson and David Ecton of Parker Kennedy brought their signature colorful Southern Regency style to Palm springs with cool and eclectic mid-range blues, turquoise and chartreuse mixed with orange accents. The bright explosion of color is grounded with neutral grass cloth covered walls and a neutral floor.
The abstract painting that was hung above the sectional was the cohesive power that binded everything in the room.
As is customary with Parker Kennedy designs, traditional vintage furniture was used, but when the Parker Kennedy boys are done working their magic, the outcome is always anything but traditional, and was also the case with the den. They restore vintage pieces that they come across and give them new life with lacquer and then pair them up with fresh upholstery patterns These pieces, many with chinoiserie inspired accents offer a hint to the past, but with a fresh and updated edge.
The art and accessories that were chosen for this space are an eclectic mix and complement the vintage sofa sectional covered in Robert Allen’s plush cut “Velvet Bliss” in Calypso Blue.
Powder Room | Vanessa de Vargas
The powder room, designed by Vanessa de Vargas, was an exercise in contrasts. A simple black hex patterned floor was contrasted with an abstract white and gold veined wallpaper. The gold wall mount Dornbracht faucet on black Silestone paired with a glossy white standalone basin was simple yet at the same time very lavish. I especially loved the “blanc de chine” porcelain figurine that stood guard over the bathroom and also softened up the space.
Guest Bedroom | Grace Home
The guest bedroom, designed by Michael Ostrow and Roger Stoker of Los Angeles based Grace Home provided an escape from the desert heat with a mix of cool turquoise and greens.
Complementary patterns and textures provided lots of visual interest, but the dyed and patched herringbone cowhide rug was the dynamic force in the room.
Guest Bathroom | Tabitha Evans
Standing in the guest bedroom with the door to the bathroom open, one sees a painting on the opposite wall that pulls the viewer’s eye in with its fresh kaleidoscope of color. This painting also picked up on the cool turquoise and green palette that dominated in the bedroom. Designer Tabitha Evans chose a colorful allover bird motif wallpaper with a white background that read as neutral even though it contained touches of color, but another punch of color was delivered from above with the ceiling painted a deep turquoise hue.
Kitchen | Christopher Kennedy
The kitchen was the second of two rooms that Christopher Kennedy himself designed for the home. Designed with a catering kitchen on one side and a fully equipped kitchen with direct access to the food serving area in the pool area, this space was designed with serious entertaining in mind.
A built-in bar area that can also be used as a serving area was conveniently located across from the pass through to the pool area and next to the dining room that sits on the other side of the wall.
One end of the kitchen was void of pattern with blocks of color in white, a brownish grey taupe (that was recently seen trending at KBIS (the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) last month in Las Vegas, and chartreuse (ok, maybe it’s a bit more avocado than chartreuse, but chartreuse sounds better).
However, the other end of the kitchen was all about the juxtaposition of pattern and color. There was a sharp contrast between the graphic motif wallpaper by David Hicks against the more organic marble print from Dwell Studio for Robert Allen. I also loved the touch of glamour that the polished chrome anemone light fixture brought to the space…
Above, the working kitchen is seen on one side of the wall and the catering kitchen on the other.
Outdoor Lounge | Bobby Berk
This brings us to the outdoor lounge designed by Bobby Berk, best known for his contemporary spaces. The outdoor lounge is situated at the end of the kitchen and is the perfect space to gather for a glass of wine or hot chocolate once the sun sets. Equipped with heated cast stone seating from Galanter and Jones and a central fire pit (yes, it does get a little chilly at night in the desert) guests can gather around in an intimate outdoor setting and still be comfortable when the temperatures goes down at night.
The Christopher Kennedy Compound Show House was such a pleasure to visit, with fresh ideas and inspiration in every inch of the residence. Even though most showcase houses I visit are more than 5000 ft2 , the Christopher Kennedy Compound Show House at less than half the size, was packed with just as much punch. Many showcase houses I attend tend to be disjointed with no cohesive elements, but that was not the case at the Christopher Kennedy Compound. There was a nice flow of color and form from room to room, and even though each space reflected the style and personality of each designer, it was as though there was a dialogue that took place between the designers and that they banded together to create a cohesive space that was respectful of the original architecture of the home.