Joan Crawford or Richard Neutra

Richard Neutra, Kaufmann House, Julius Shulman photographer

We recently decided to find a second house in Palm Springs. My mother would like to move there and escape the northern Nevada mountain weather. So it seemed like a good idea to find a place she could live in and the entire family could use. Years ago, I remember the Kaufmann House for sale. I seem to recall Barry Manilow owned it and it had been transformed from a gem of elegant forms to a dark Mediterranean monstrosity. At the time it was incredibly inexpensive. It's been beautifully restored by Marmol Radziner and Associates, but I don't have an extra $20 million in a shoe box.

I'd forgotten how depressing and, at the same time, exciting looking for a house could be. One house will look amazing outside, but the inside is terrifying. There are houses that have been horribly treated; flipped and filled with cheap fixtures and materials. Others that have the type of decor you can't believe exists. After one such house, after we left, I kept repeating, "I didn't know people like that really existed." I'm just not one for red velvet wall-coverings and oversized paintings of Joan Crawford.

But, on the other end of the spectrum, we found some well maintained and thoughtfully restored houses with beautiful views. I had hopes of finding an early California Cliff May ranch house, but the few we found were on the small side. I don't want to be that cliché and do the whole mid-century modern thing, but there's a whole lotta that in Palm Springs. And I have a rumpus room in LA filled with extra Saarinen chairs and tables. We're still looking, but I couldn't resist sharing some of the options. You can be the judge. There's something for everyone.