Palm Springs Modernism Week 2020
What is PS Modernism Week? It is an iconic event celebrating the midcentury modern lifestyle that has taken place annually in mid-February since 2006. Midcentury modern aficianodos descend upon Palm Springs and for 10 days to soak in everything midcentury modern . Every hotel, motel, Airbnb, and vacation rental is sold out months in advance. If you’re even remotely interested in midcentury modern furniture, architecture, design, and/or art, Palm Springs is THE place to be for Modernism Week.
Dinner at the Kirk Douglas Estate with Monogram Appliances
The fabulous parties and dinners are what Modernism Week has become known for and the reason why so many designers I know flock to Palm Springs for opening weekend. On most years, I look forward to touring my friend and designer Christopher Kennedy’s show house, The Christopher Kennedy Compound, but this year he took a year off. Producing a high-caliber show house is demanding!
Among the dinner parties we attended this year was dinner with Monogram Appliances. This took place on the grounds of the former Kirk Douglas Estate.
The home recently underwent a major renovation which included a full kitchen remodel, compliments of Monogram Appliances! The hearth oven, above on the right, is unique to Monogram and provides the performance of a wood-fired brick oven. Perfect for entertaining large crowds because of the speedy cooking time and perfect results with minimal effort.
An evening of intimate conversation was had by 50 designers, all while enjoying signature cocktails and a delicious meal that was prepared in the newly installed Monogram kitchen. The meal served even demonstrated how some of the new appliance features such as the hot air fryer can produce delectable (and healthy) results without the use of oil in the electric convection wall oven.
A long table set up on the estate grounds on a perfect mid-February evening under the stars was a treat!
Palm Springs Modernism Show and Sale
Another event not to be missed during the opening weekend of Modernism Week is the Palm Springs Modernism Show and Sale. Held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, dealers from all around the country bring their vintage wares. It is a mecca and treasure trove of midcentury modern art and furniture. Here is a glimpse of what I saw:
One part of the show was dedicated to new resources – ones that complement the midcentury modern aesthetic. Here were a few of our favorites:
Another thing to take advantage of during Modernism Week is the home tours. Tickets sell out quickly so make sure you secure them well in advance.
I attended 4 home tours during Modernism Week and below is the first of the four – the Lautner Compound.
The Lautner Compound
Famed architect John Lautner, the architect behind the Elrod House (located in Palm Springs) and the Sheats-Goldstein Residence (perched on a hillside in Los Angeles), designed and built The Lautner Compound in 1947. An interesting fact: It wasn’t until recently that I realized that my childhood friend’s dad, Andrew Nasser, was Lautner’s structural engineer late in Lautner’s career. All this time I knew Mr. Nasser was a structural engineer but I had no idea he was JOHN LAUTNER’S structural engineer. Knowing the complexity of Lautner’s work, that is impressive!
The project went through many ups and downs and spent a significant amount of time sitting vacant or under renovation. In 2008 it underwent a 4 year restoration by its current owners. Vintage pieces from midcentury modern furniture designers such as Platner and Bertoia adorn the boutique apartments. The Lautner Compound now serves as a destination wedding and event venue, with a recent addition of an outdoor event area and adjacent bungalow.
The renovation included full bathroom renovations with each bathroom sporting a different color scheme with tile sourced from Heath Ceramics.
Each room boasts loads of natural light flooding through each room from the plethora of large, expansive windows and angled skylights from above.
If you love midcentury modern art and design, you won’t want to miss Modernism Week in Palm Springs when it returns in 2021. Be sure to book your accommodations and purchase your home tour tickets well in advance to ensure your spot.
Have a look at our last post, The Morse House. The indoor/outdoor pool is an entertainer’s paradise!