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Kennedy show house shines at Palm Springs Modernism Week

Contemporary design takes center stage at Christopher Kennedy Compound show house

Now in its 10th year and shaping up to look like Comic-Con for Midcentury geeks, Palm Springs Modernism Week isn’t all about Atomic Age architecture and vintage home furnishings. At the second annual Christopher Kennedy Compound, a decorator show house on display through Feb. 22, contemporary design takes center stage — with over a dozen designers transforming rooms in a classic 2,500-square-foot 1964 ranch house in the Indian Canyons neighborhood.

“I don’t just want to be inspired by the past,” says the event’s creator, Palm Springs interior designer Christopher Kennedy, who created a state of the art kitchen with Sub Zero and Wolf appliances, Bellmont wood cabinetry and open shelving in a tasty mustard yellow and David Hicks patterned wallpaper. Kennedy also elevated the master bedroom’s wardrobe by adding a butterfly print wallpaper above the Elfa closet components from the Container Store.

“What’s wonderful is that Palm Springs has such a great ethos. We don’t need a lot of direction,” he says, pointing to the golf fairway out the window. “We have the green of the grass and the azure of the sky.”

Kennedy tapped a gang of designers who followed that inspiration. The Los Angeles-based Michael Berman furnished the pool deck with his Luna collection of cast-aluminum dining and lounging furniture for Brown Jordan in a brand new color, bright green, and set the table with swimming pool blue glassware and napkins. Michael Ostrow and Roger Stoker of Grace Home in Brentwood, which recently opened a showroom in the Palm Springs Uptown Design District, also hewed to the blue-and-green theme with a glamorous guest bedroom featuring a turquoise and emerald herringbone patterned cowhide rug and a color-coordinated Lava lamp. Mark Cutler’s master bedroom mixed a modern desk and Moroccan style nightstands in a palette of Wedgwood blue and chartreuse.

In outdoor spaces, New York decorator Bobby Berk placed pale aqua heated Eva chairs from the San Francisco firm Galanter and Jones on a side patio. Off the master bedroom, Las Vegas designer Linda Allen showed a new periwinkle color on her innovative wireless outdoor lamp collection Live. Anywhere. In the adjacent outdoor space, a more stark and minimal lounge, Gino Castano and David Lasker of Paletteur in San Francisco incorporated blue and green in patterned cushions on Henry Hall sofas.

Other L.A. designers shifted into neutrals. Vanessa De Vargas of Turquoise transformed a black- and-white powder room with brass lighting by Jonathan Adler and gold-veined wallpaper by Jeff Andrews for Astek. In the loving room, Trip Haenisch mixed vintage Danish and contemporary California pieces including a Hans Wegner wingback chair and a ceiling light by Jason Koharik in a calm palette of gray, cream and wood tones — all the better to set off  a gold-accented wet bar and the glorious golf course and mountains view outside.

The Modernism Week Show House 2015: Christopher Kennedy compound is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday. Tickets are $35.

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