n fall 1998 David Jimenez left his home in San Francisco for a weekend getaway in the more reliably sunny environs of Palm Springs. It was his first time visiting the desert community made famous for attracting some of Hollywood’s brightest stars in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. “In my mind I had a very romantic idea of what Palm Springs was all about,” Mr. Jimenez, 40, said recently. “It was all very Rat Pack-esque.”
Poolside cocktails, palm trees and golden sunsets left a favorable impression on him. So much so that about six months later, when he was contemplating what to do with a little financial windfall, he decided to invest it in real estate and buy a second home there. He settled on a modest Modernist house, with a butterfly roof and pool.
In 2003 he paid $500,000 for a 1,600-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, replete with palm trees and a pool. The house was designed by the architect William Krisel and built by the Alexander Construction Company in 1957. It was part of a Modernist tract-housing boom in more affordable vacation homes for people of less glamorous means. Krisel built more than 2,000 houses, often rotating identical floor plans and changing roof lines for a custom-made feel.
“It’s a really happy color,” he said with a so-sue-me shrug that would make Sinatra proud. “But I knew that if I added other elements to it, like that white screen and the cabinet with books, that it would tone it down enough so that you’d still have this great pop of color.” One conundrum was what to do for seating in the living room. The problem was solved when he discovered a matching pair of tattered couches at a second-hand store. He paid $150 apiece and had them made over in a refreshing shade of light-blue Naugahyde. “I like the idea of having a sharp aesthetic, but let’s face it, it’s a vacation home,” he said. “I want to walk in the house and sit on the couch in a wet bathing suit.”
The rest of the house is largely furnished with more second-hand finds: old end tables, a large cabinet and chests of drawers were coated with white or black semi-gloss paint. New, vintage-inspired wallpaper gives each bedroom a distinct flavor. For the master bedroom he saved a pair of clubby Milo Bowman chairs and a wall sculpture, “Raindrops” by Curtis Jere, the name used by design duo Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels, who fashioned handmade metal wall sculptures in the 1950s and ’60s. “Everyone likes to have people over and hang out at home,” Mr. Jimenez said.
He’s created such an enticing escape — with a wall of ficus trees for privacy and a large canopy for the sun-weary — in the backyard that even the most committed workaholic would find it difficult not to chill out. In front, the same shade of happy yellow used inside is splashed across the double-door entry. “I don’t really take myself too seriously,” Mr. Jimenez said. “I wanted to create a place that would make me smile the minute I walked through the door.”
Source : David Jimenez, apartmenttherapy.com