At John Armor’s house, it’s all about the kids. But don’t mistake that for cluttered closets or toy-strewn floors.
With 8,000 square feet, five bedrooms, and 7.5 baths on 1.25 acres, this is a house in which Armor’s twin girls, now 3 1/2 years old, can grow. Armor and his partner, Mario Koppe, recently completed a major remodel of the home that accommodates the children but doesn’t sacrifice style.
The 17-foot-tall ceilings make a grand statement in the foyer. One-hundred-year-old crystal chandeliers reclaimed from a Utah hotel hang from the ceiling in the main hallway. The chandeliers were one of the few elements Armor maintained from the home’s former Victorian design. The living room alone is 1,000 square feet, complete with masonry fireplace. The living room opens up to both the music room and the formal dining room. An informal eating area with a banquette against the windows abuts the spacious kitchen. The girls’ room is a whimsical area decorated in pastels and Winnie the Pooh characters. The master suite, which connects to a spacious bathroom with marble floors, features a fireplace (one of seven in the home) and large doors to the back yard and patio.
The desert contemporary interior design complements the home’s surroundings. The view of the mountains, palm trees, and city was enough to sell Armor on the home. Other outdoor elements include a living room with wood-burning stove, pool (covered with netting when the children are outside), kitchen, swamp coolers on the patio, and pool house with shower and toilet. Armor is particularly proud of the solar array he installed on a portion of the roof. “I’m a techie,” he says. “And I’m a big believer in renewable energy. I think it’s the right thing to do.”
A separate back yard is the perfect childhood paradise, with five different types of citrus-fruit trees, a lawn full of grass, a playset, and plenty of room to run freely. (Look for the Canine Casitas in the back yard when you’re on the Discovery Home Tour.)
Location: Las Palmas, Palm Springs
Year built: 1993; renovation in 2005
Interior design: Chris Kennedy
Specs: 8,000 square feet — master suite, 3 bedrooms, 7.5 baths, casita with one bedroom