December 6, 2022

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A Backyard Residence Makeover

This small Palm Springs trip apartment was remodeled from a drained “tennis unit” right into a retro gem.

Tucked away within the sleepy Palm Springs neighborhood of Araby Commons is CoCo Cabana, a former Mid-Century Fashionable backyard condominium resort that, for a lot of, is the image of desert leisure residing.

The “CoCo,” because it’s recognized, was inbuilt 1955 as a trip vacation spot for the “inconspicuously prosperous” and later grew to become a magnet for Palm Springs tennis followers when the game captured the zeitgeist within the Nineteen Seventies. To capitalize on this fervor, 16 new condominium lodging had been constructed on the CoCo in 1971, doubling its capability. They had been branded because the “tennis models.”

I procured one in all these coveted models some 40 years after the CoCo’s 1977 condominium conversion, and whereas the intervening years had been gracious sufficient to this iconic property, my one-bedroom, 700-square-foot trip residence was in want of a facelift.

All of the Proper Strikes

Its terra-cotta-red ground tiles, brown marble counter tops and obtrusive kitchen bulkhead all made it really feel very darkish and dated; and, regardless of the CoCo being surrounded with stunning mountain views, you needed to step exterior to completely take pleasure in them.

Desirous to meld indoor-outdoor residing and create an open structure that was vibrant, welcoming and harmonious with the CoCo’s mid-century origins, I set to work with these objectives in thoughts.

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The wood display screen is an Eames molded plywood display screen that’s historically used as a room divider. THE AUTHOR put it there to outline the consuming/eating space. Additionally, as a result of the whole wall is mirrored, HE didn’t need the lavatory to be mirrored. Consequently, the plywood display screen additionally serves a sensible function: It blocks the reflection from the lavatory space.

After eradicating the period-inappropriate outsized sofas and different generic décor that got here with the acquisition, the tennis unit’s untapped potential grew to become obvious.

With the intention to brighten issues up, the dingy Spanish pavers had been changed all through with new, hexagonal terrazzo-style ceramic tiles—a novel flooring that gave a nod to the CoCo’s mid-century model and helped enhance the apartment’s visible look by studying as one cohesive house.

Good Salvaging for the Backyard Residence Refresh

When it got here to the galley-style kitchen, its authentic wooden cabinetry was intact and solely wanted some recent paint and new {hardware}. I changed the dated marble counter tops with recent, clear quartz and eliminated the bulkhead. By taking away these higher cupboards, I sacrificed storage—however I gained the open and welcoming look I’d envisioned.

garden apartment before

refreshed Coco Cabana kitchen
Eradicating the higher cupboards made the small galley kitchen really feel extra vibrant and open. Changing the outdated, darkish marble counter tops with white quartz counter tops added to the brand new, light-and-bright really feel.

Moreover, by protecting the whole lounge wall with a floor-to-ceiling mirror, Palm Springs’ stunning mountain views had been pulled contained in the unit; and, very like the ground tile, it elevated the apartment’s visible sq. footage and brightened up the house.

Backyard Residence Model-Making With Outdated and New

The completion got here through period-appropriate décor and furnishings.

Classic items had been sourced domestically at outlets reminiscent of Dazzles, BLVD (each have since shut down) and Period Gallery in close by Redlands, whereas up to date furnishings got here from West Elm’s mid-century-inspired line. The Palm Springs Classic Market and Grace Dwelling Furnishings had been nice stops for equipment, as had been the varied vintage malls off Sunny Dunes within the Heat Sands neighborhood.

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garden apartment living room before

living and dining area in garden apartment
The small, 700-square-foot condominium packs quite a lot of model punch with a number of strategic strikes—reminiscent of including a mirror wall and new terrazzo tiles, which improve the open movement of the floorplan.

Lastly, in an effort to assist meld previous and current, my tennis unit’s partitions had been adorned, not with images of tennis greats Jimmy Connors or Billy Jean King, however with up to date works of days passed by from Southern California artists, together with Danny Heller, Gary Dorothy and Shag.

garden apartment interior
The writer selected this blue shade for the inside entrance door. it positively units the tone for the room. Apparently, the unique doorways had been stable wooden, however that they had been painted over many occasions.
Coco Cabana apartment vintage blue chair
Classic furnishings from native spots reminiscent of The Palm Springs Classic Market and the vintage malls off Sunny Dunes within the Heat Sands neighborhood imbue the rooms with classic character.

By permitting each outdated and new to coexist, whether or not by means of structure, finishes or furnishings, this refreshed tennis unit now delivers the desert leisure life-style that CoCo Cabana is understood for.


Ken MacIntyre is the creator of Modtraveler.internet: An Fanatic’s Information to Modernism and the writer of CoCo Cabana: Designed for Gracious Residing. Observe Ken on Instagram @modtraveler.


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