PSST! — Tour de Force

Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert’s annual home tour showcases ingenious design.



Jean Carrus’ light-filled home in Rancho Mirage is among the viewing opportunities of the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert’s eighth annual home tour.

Walter Russo

Natural light floods Jean Carrus’ 7,000-square-foot residence by home designer Guy Dreier. The glass-and-stone structure contrasts with yet complements Carrus’ collection of Western and Indian art, while lake and pool views provide the perfect setting for contemporary sculpture. Those who take the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert home tour will enjoy seeing this Waterford country club house and six other residences on Feb. 8.

Art — including sculpture, Finnish art glass, a tree-trunk table from Cameroon, and a Royal Guards helmet collection — also marks the home of Dennis and Dr. Raila Horne. Be sure to take special note of the carved polystyrene and stucco fireplace surround, granite slab tables conceptualized by the Hornes, the glass sink in the massive wet bar, and two-person sauna near the pool.

Greda and Philip Condit’s 14,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style jewel at The Reserve showcases architectural elements from Jordan: handcrafted mosaics in the walls and floor and a travertine ceiling. Chefs and would-be chefs alike will appreciate the gourmet kitchen with a copper-trimmed stove, work sink, and walk-in pantry. An elevator or curved stairway lead to the lower-level “town square” with a lamppost that once graced the home of Ginger Rogers, a restored soda fountain, a barber pole, and church-front game room. Beyond the antique bar and pool table lies a 26-seat custom theater.

The Old World charm of Janie Andrew’s Venetian-styled home highlights Italian garden greenery, a library, a loggia, and hand-made iron scroll doors. Craftsmanship also is evident in hand-cut ceiling beams, a custom-cast fireplace, hand-applied Shimmer Stone wall finishes, and leather soapstone and fossilized limestone counters. 

The other three homes on the tour are in the Veneto development of Rancho Mirage and reflect their owners’ distinctly tastes. A highlight of Bill and Darlene Brodovsky’s villa is the kitchen, where wood-carving appliqués, oversized Italian ceramics, and custom wood moldings create a warm ambiance. A pass-through fireplace, graced by Venetian-styled pillars, divides the kitchen and great room from the formal dining and bar area.

A collector of European art, Barbara Burdick enjoys the complementary charm of hand-cut wooden beams with iron accents, imported Rosetta windows, hand-made wallpaper, and custom finishes. An outdoor fireplace and kitchen take advantage of
spectacular mountain views.

Catherine and Seymour Shuster also collect art — with a flair for the unusual, such as plaid-upholstered floor-to-ceiling walls in the dining area and hand-carved rugs with delicate European patterns. Their master bath features a walk-in shower with a 20-foot ceiling and a Jacuzzi with a view to sculpture and open air. The media room showcases crackled, antique-finished cabinetry and a large stone fireplace.

Each February, Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert offers peaks into some of the desert’s most beautiful, intriguing, and inspirational homes. The homes’ owners and those who take the tour support the nonprofit museum’s mission to promote intellectual curiosity and self-expression among children.

Information: (760) 321-0602.

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