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.




Sean Adams

Sean Adams is the Chair of the undergraduate and graduate Graphic Design Program at ArtCenter, founder of Burning Settlers Cabin studio, and on-screen author for LinkedIn Learning/Lynda.com He is the only two term AIGA national president in AIGA’s 100 year history. In 2014, Adams was awarded the AIGA Medal, the highest honor in the profession. He is an AIGA Fellow, and Aspen Design Fellow. He has been recognized by every major competition and publication including; How, Print, Step, Communication Arts, Graphis, AIGA, The Type Directors Club, The British Art Director’s Club, and the Art Director’s Club. Adams has been exhibited often, including a solo exhibition at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Adams is an author of multiple magazine columns, and several best-selling books. He has been cited as one of the forty most important people shaping design internationally, and one of the top ten influential designers in the United States. Previously, Adams was a founding partner at AdamsMorioka, whose clients included The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Disney, Mohawk Fine Papers, The Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Richard Meier & Partners, Sundance, and the University of Southern California.

Wallpaper Your World

Sailing Wallpaper A few months ago, I decided I needed some nautical wallpaper for one of my bathrooms. I couldn’t find any that fit the bill and had some semblance of being eco-friendly. So, we decided to make our own. Now we're in the process of designing and researching manufacturing. Once I finished designing the bathroom wallpaper, I moved on to the kitchen and living room options. There is a scene from On a Clear Day You Can See Forever that I’ve considered as we designed these. Barbra Streisand has nightgowns that match her sheets, and wall-paper, which matches the sheets. It’s all very matchy. But I’ve always wondered, does she have multiples of the nightgown in the sheet or wallpaper patterns? Does she ever wash it? What if she needs a new one and can’t find a match? Hopefully when we actually make this, we won't make matching pajamas and nightgowns.

Sailing Wallpaper Detail

Pots and Pans Wallpaper

Pots and Pan Wallpaper Detail

Street Scene Wallpaper Detail

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

Love the Dish Towel! Love it!

Missouri Queen Riverboat, Pat Prichard

Several years ago, I came across a fantastic dish-towel. This sounds sort of sad; like I live a small life and get excited by a dish-towel. But you will love this one. That's an order. Love it. The signature reads. “Pat Prichard,” who also designed dinnerware, handkerchiefs, and other assorted textiles. We had high hopes of writing a book about her work, but have been unable to find any information. The artifacts were created during the 1950s and 1960s and reflect the values and undercurrents of the era. Her choice of places as subject matter is interesting; they typically follow a idealized Americana. This depiction of the Mississippi and New Orleans tells the story with the Missouri Queen and Robert E. Lee Steamboats, a pot of shrimps creole, a banjo, chicken, and fried chicken ingredients.

Fried Chicken, Pat Prichard

Banjo, Pat Prichard

Shrimps Creole, Pat Prichard