As I stepped onto the back patio of Modernism Week’s Christopher Kennedy Compound on Yosemite Drive in Palm Springs, the view of the nearby golf course and the San Jacinto Mountains was breathtaking.
The home and its furnishings weren’t bad, either.
Tour guides explain that the home was purchased by Kennedy, with the rooms done by various interior designers, whose credits appear on wall plaques. When I stepped into the living room, the first thing I noticed was strange paintings. One depicted a half-dozen or so people in water—with a few of them looking horrified. Another featured a grinning man who looked like sci-fi author Isaac Asimov. The painting above the sofa? It showed a house in the middle of a flood, of course. (See below.)
Moving down the hallway and into the master bedroom, you’ll find a gargantuan walk-in closet. The retro style, including decorative paper on the ceiling, made the space feel current, yet with a decided nod toward modernism. The bedroom itself was simple and elegant, starring a bed with a canopy that hung down from the ceiling. (See below.)
The front patio of the house shows off a beautiful amoeba-style swimming pool, with a bridge going over a portion of it and a fountain on the far end. When the tour guide asked me if I thought it was beautiful, I remarked that it looked like a party safety hazard, but that it was indeed magnificent.
The kitchen feels more current than modernist; after all, the appliances are all in stainless steel. However, the bowls and cookware offer retro hints.
On the back patio, one’s eyes are immediately drawn to a huge sculpture that resembled a window frame. When I asked about the piece, it was explained that it was created by Warner Bros. prop-builders who were in between films.
While the home does offer some hints of modernism, it equally incorporates modern-day and even futuristic touches—just as modernist homes in the ’50s and ’60s did. Oh, and if you really like the home, good news: It will go on the market after Modernism Week—but, alas, only after the interior decorating is removed.
The Christopher Kennedy Compound, at 2309 S. Yosemite Drive, in Palm Springs, is on display through Sunday, Feb. 22. Tour tickets are $35. For more information, visit www.thechristopherkennedycompound.com.