Palm Springs’ architecture has long made the city a favorite destination for fans of mid-century modern design, and the biggest names of that era (e.g. Walt Disney or Frank Sinatra) greatly appreciated the oasis of desert. A-lister home design standards have changed a lot since those days – you wouldn’t expect to find a Richard Neutra home equipped with smart home technology – and yet the appeal of the surrounding San Jacinto Mountain area remains. strong for big names and design enthusiasts.
Take Leonardo DiCaprio, for example. The Oscar-winning actor supports a number of worthy causes, and preserving Palm Springs’ distinct place in the history of modern architecture is one of them. In 2014, the actor purchased a stunning home designed by Donald Wexler, one of the key figures in Palm Springs’ mid-century architectural scene, just as superstars were beginning to flock to the desert just two miles away. hours drive from Los Angeles.
The house was built in 1964 for Dinah Shore, a singer of the Big Band era, and has been beautifully preserved and furnished to honor that legacy. Now, under DiCaprio’s watch, the six-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bathroom home functions as a hotel where visitors can quietly soak up the design of the era for $3,750 a night. Rock-clad walls, wainscoted ceilings, and a Nelson Saucer Bubble Pendant in the dining room are among the many details that quietly maintain the mid-century feel in the one-story home. To ensure a comfortable stay, the kitchen and other key elements have been updated to modern standards, although these elements are understated by design to avoid clashing with the rest of the house.
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DiCaprio’s Dinah Shore home is located in the neighborhood of Old Las Palmas, a favorite of many mid-century celebrities, from Marilyn Monroe to Elvis Presley. Indeed, each neighborhood in Palm Springs tells a distinct story. La Quinta, an area of Greater Palm Springs that features mostly Hacienda or Spanish-style homes that don’t have the same architectural appeal as older builds in the area, is particularly hot with reality TV royalty. today, that seems to inject some architectural style into the neighborhood. Kourtney Kardashian and Kris Jenner own state-of-the-art mansions in La Quinta, and Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian recently purchased land there. Kim in particular has big plans for her plot — she shared in her recent vogue cover story that Tadao Ando is designing a house for him.
Ando has designed memorable buildings around the world (including a Malibu home now owned by Kanye West), and while his signature style isn’t quite desert modern, his focus on seamlessly integrating his homes in their natural setting is perfectly suited to the area and will become a valuable addition to Palm Springs’ rich architectural heritage. Other famous La Quinta residents include Lori Loughlin, Cindy Crawford, and Rande Gerber.