When I think of mid-century modern design, I can’t help but think of simplicity, timelessness, and yes, Don Draper from Mad Men wearing a sexy suit. There is something about this style that oozes maturity and good taste and today’s home tour serves just that. If you love mid-century modern style (and honestly, who doesn’t??), you’ll love this historic Palm Springs condo.
Christa Martin is a renovator who has a deep love and admiration for mid-century architecture, so when she found this original Palm Springs 1965 condo designed by renowned architect William Krisel, she knew she struck gold. The Sandpiper Complex, where this condo is located, is historically designated architecture because it was the first condominium development in the Palm Springs area. To honor its rich history, Christa sought to revamp it while maintaining the original charm, but there were a few updates Christa immediately envisioned in order to make her modern vision come to light.
Through the front doors, you can see the iconic Palm Springs palm trees, the surrounding mountains, and the bright condominium landscape, all of which Christa wanted to highlight in her design. Palm Springs is almost synonymous with mid-century modern architecture and design, so it is no surprise that Christa drew a lot of inspiration from the area.
Sink | SemiHandmade Supermatte White Flush/Slab Doors | MSI Classic White Quartz Countertops | Walnut Shelves | Slide-In Gas Range in White | Microwave Hood | Built-In Tall Tub Dishwasher | Lexi 8″ Bulb Light
One room Christa knew needed an upgrade was the kitchen. The original kitchen layout was small and cramped so she decided to expand the open concept so the kitchen would flow directly into the living room. This openness allows for the abundance of natural light could do its magic. She also brightened the space by painting the walls a bright white which allows the light to bounce around throughout the space making it feel extra bright and airy.
The white appliances and slab door cabinets keep the space minimal and sleek, and the walnut accents are a classic nod to the mid-century style Christa was going for.
As far as the renovation aspect of the project, Christa was focused on budget and practicality so this kitchen could be as functional as possible. To keep costs down, she waited until sales were happening for the Semihandmade, Whirlpool, and CB2 items and opted for Ikea cabinets instead of custom cabinets. If time is on your side, waiting for sales to happen is a great hot tip if I’ve ever heard one. Overall, there were zero splurges on the kitchen, yet she managed to design an inviting and practical kitchen that is perfect for entertaining.
Paintings by Christa Martin
Is any MCM home complete without a bar area? I think not. This area opposite the kitchen functions as bar storage and more counter space for potlucks and parties. In order to make space for this area, she nixed the dining table so there is more room for entertaining and food prepping.
While most of the decor is kept simple, that oversized basket pendant 100% steals the show. It is understated yet packs a punch and adds the needed natural texture to the space. And those bar stools?? Sign me up. I love the subtle woven texture and the off-white coloring that blends really well with the neutral color scheme.
Eames Catch-All (vintage) | Perigold black glass desk (vintage) | Painting by Christa Martin
Architect William Krisel was known for his open floor plans and large windows to bring in as much natural light as possible. In a desert like Palm Springs, there is no shortage of sunlight, so the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors are a key component in utilizing natural light and bringing the outdoors in. Christa decided to keep the original glass doors here which highlights the landscape and the surrounding mountains.
Christa sourced both new and vintage furniture that would highlight the classic MCM style of the space. The sleek warm wood-toned credenza, leather vintage sling back chairs, and the woven rug all bring in natural elements while accentuating this eclectic style. When it comes to mid-century modern furniture, the focus is on natural textiles and organic curves that add movement and intrigue to a space without being too overwhelming.
Just outside the living room sliding glass doors is a patio that Christa wanted to make as useful as possible. She moved the dining table out to the patio to enjoy the views and weather and added a gas fireplace table nearby for colder nights. The other side of the patio has a breeze block wall for privacy and became a perfect spot for yoga.
What I always love about a MCM-inspired home is the bold pops of color that offset the natural wood tones and minimal design. Orange and red hues are a classic component of the MCM style, and Christa sprinkles them in perfectly with the orange standing vase and patterned rug.
If you are wondering how to add depth to a small, boxy bathroom, don’t skip the shower tile wall. The green Heath Ceramics subway tile adds an organic texture and of course color to this otherwise white bathroom. Because these tiles are hand-glazed they are not uniform, so in order to get a unique mix of tones, Christa bought seconds so she would have even more variation in the glaze. She then laid them out herself on the floor reworking the placement to get the perfect mix of hues.
Talk about wood paneling done right. I feel like I have been transported to the 60s and I LOVE IT. This accent wall looks like it could have been original, but Christa actually bought the 10’x4’ wood panels and had her contractor install them. This is a fairly doable project for anyone who wants to create an impactful (and natural) MCM accent wall.
Similarly, in the primary bathroom, Christa installed a colorful shower tile wall and then continued the subway tile to act as a backsplash above the double vanity. Again, Christa carefully mixed the individual tiles so the different hues would be evenly spread out.
Well, it’s official. I have fallen in love with MCM all over again. How about you?? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below. But first, buckle up for the stunning before and afters:
Huge thanks to Christa for allowing us to feature this project.
Check out Christa’s latest project here.