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  • Writer's pictureJenni Robin

Modernism Week in Palm Springs

The preeminent annual event for lovers of architecture and design, Modernism Week in Palm Springs, is an experience I wish to embark on next year. The public explore modernist homes, from original condition to sympathetic renovations.


Living in a modernist home has unique challenges with walls and ceilings not appropriately insulated, offset by beautiful joinery details, timber wall paneling, glass and/or concrete blockwork and an inherent connection to nature not always present in newly built homes.

For those reading along not fully aware of modernism homes, think large expansive windows and doors, flat or angled roofs, slender elongated elevation profiles (pavilion style), sunken lounges, natural materials such as cedar, teak, concrete, glass, exposed beams. Modernism is also a way of life, a forward-thinking movement.


Some house tours from the 2024 event;

Frey House II

Recognised as a benchmark example of modernist architecture, Albert Frey’s understanding of form/shape, functionality, practicality, and connection to nature combine to create an extraordinary home.


Interior of Frey House 2 showing living room joinery

Frey House exterior with desert rockery in background

House of Tomorrow

The hideaway honeymoon spot for Elvis and Priscilla, the House of Tomorrow was designed by architect William Krisel in 1960 for the Alexander family (Alexander Construction Company). The interiors recently completed by Michelle Boudreau Design, adding pattern and texture to the already insanely beautiful home.


Exterior streetscape of House of Tomorrow, this is where Elvis stayed on his honeymoon!

Primary bedroom at House of Tomorrow with timber clad walls and stunning brass pendant, not to mention those fab views!

Villa Sierra

Designed by TV set designer turned architect, James H. McNaughton, the home features huge palm trees and crisp white exterior cladding, not to mention the pink entrance door. The architect was able to capture theatrics in built form, understanding perspectives and scale.  


Villa Sierra pink door entry at night

Fun poolside views from Villa Sierra

I adore living in my own piece of modernist architecture, embracing yesteryear living, our family home built by Sibbel Builders in 1968 for the Lewis family with a considered extension in 1987. Sibbel Builders arrived in Australia from The Netherlands in the 1950’s building a range of legacy modernist homes with wonderful connection to the site and superb joinery craftsmanship. Sibbel homes are synonymous with the northeastern suburbs of Melbourne.  


In 2025 I’m scheduled to visit Palm Springs, which will bring much joy, extending on my appreciation for the industry and the ability to share my experience and expertise with clients.  


Jenni's home in Mitcham, her living room with vintage furniture

Original open stringer staircase and bedroom with 100% wool burgundy carpet

Cedar clad walls in Jenni's family and kitchen open plan space

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