From Vacation Home to Forever Home

An upbeat update turned this Palm Springs, California, getaway into an everyday escape.

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Photo By: David Tsay

Meet the Homeowners

Frequent travelers Dave Arthurs and Brennan Pardee have visited 55 countries between them. So when they found themselves drawn to Palm Springs, CA, again and again, they took it as a sign. In 2016 they snagged a 1963 condo to use as a getaway from their home in San Francisco.

Exterior

The not-relaxing part: Like an oversize time capsule from the ’60s, the home had terra-cotta flooring, wall-to-wall carpet and a choppy layout. The couple tapped online design company Laurel & Wolf to take on the redo on a budget. With a new open layout, fresh tile on the floors and rooms full of colorful retro furniture that nods to the home’s soul, the place looked too good to ever go empty. Add the fact that both guys work remote jobs and “the decision to stay full-time was a no-brainer,” says Brennan. “Being here makes it easy to forget about chores. Laundry? What laundry? I’m on vacation!”

Entrance

The front door is painted Blue Macaroon by HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams. The bullet planters are from a local decor store, and the mats are from Flor.

Living Room

A gray sectional by Kardiel gives the living room a mid-century mod vibe; the plush wool rug underfoot—a vintage Flokati—makes it extra cozy. The patterned pillows, hex ottomans from Blu Dot, molded plastic Eames rocker, and gallery wall of new and vintage art add color and fun. “We had a vacation mind-set when we decorated,” says Brennan, “but a lot of it is inspired by the location. All the colors are here to remind us that we’re in Palm Springs.”

Kitchen

The old kitchen had a claustrophobia-inducing galley setup. “You had to go through wooden saloon doors to get in and out. It was retro—just not in a good way,” says Dave. So he and Brennan removed the wall separating the kitchen and the living room. That gave them space for a nearly 10-foot-long peninsula covered in teal hexagon cement tiles from Villa Lagoon. The slightly deeper blue of the back wall and the doors (Blue Macaroon by HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams) plays off the tile. The Bertoia barstools are from Knoll.

Cabinets

This half of the kitchen once had dark wood floor-to-ceiling cabinets. “It felt like a coffin,” says Dave. Swapping uppers for open shelves brought airiness—and made it a much more cheerful place for Dave to whip up dinner. Brennan’s prized feature? The microwave drawer: “If Dave’s out of town, it’s all I use!” The new custom cabinets are vertical-grain white oak with a simple flat-front style. “One drawer is still empty, and we’re leaving it that way,” says Brennan. “It’s a reminder of how good we have it, storage-wise.” The white quartz countertops are by Caesarstone; the ceramic subway tile is by Daltile.

Dining Area

Located on the other side of the peninsula, the dining area is where Dave and Brennan regularly host wine-and-cheese shindigs for friends. The chrome-leg table, from EQ3, has a leaf hidden beneath to accommodate large groups; it’s surrounded by molded plastic Eames chairs. A chrome bookcase by Euro Style displays art and antiques. The funky chrome and glass light fixture is from Lamps Plus. “I love how it shines light around the whole room, not just directly on the table,” says Brennan.

Master Bedroom

“We wanted our bedroom to be a little warmer than the rest of the house,” says Brennan. He and Dave started with the floors, choosing neutral-toned Flor carpet tiles that they installed themselves in a stripe pattern. Soft yellow paint (Pineapple Cream by Sherwin-Williams) adds energy. The bed frame is a vintage Scandinavian design; the bedding’s mix of prints includes a diamond-pattern duvet from Target. The bench is from allmodern.com, and the bright blue chair and ottoman are from Design Within Reach.

Bahroom

Dave and Brennan stole space from a hall closet to gain enough square footage to give the bathroom a custom walnut double vanity and a walk-in shower. The undisputed highlight: a mix of tile. The black-and-white cement ones on the floor are from Terra Artesana, and the ceramic hex tiles on the walls and the aqua subway tiles in the shower are both from tilebar.com. “The contractor thought we were nuts,” says Dave. “He was shocked by how good it looked together!”

Outdoor Lounge Area

The patio is comfy in all temps: There’s a misting system for hot summer afternoons and a fire pit for cool winter nights. “It’s like having an extra room,” Brennan says. “As soon as we’re done with work for the day, we move out here.” A customized Modway sectional easily seats six when company comes over, while a super-mod rocker from wayfair.com fits a seventh. The teal-and-white chevron polypropylene rug is from allmodern.com, and the orange cube planters and the standing sunshade are from CB2. As lush as the setup looks, upkeep is easy (a requisite for a perma-vacation home). Says Brennan, “We picked plants that can survive mostly on rainfall."

Patio

A concrete patio used to take up the entire backyard. Dave and Brennan replaced it with a smaller one made of 40-inch-square porcelain tiles by Porslim (the same kind used in the kitchen and the dining area) that left room for greenery. The table and chairs are from hayneedle.com; the umbrella is from a local True Value hardware store.

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