Sweet Dreams

A new book celebrates the splendor of homes in the dramatic desert landscape.

Tuscan-style residence with interior design by William Miller Design.

Photo by Ethan Kaminsky

Selected for their immaculate design, original concept, and inventive use of tried-and-true architectural patterns infused with a modern aesthetic, 10 local houses made the pages of Dream Homes Deserts (Panache Partners/Independent Publishers Group, March 2008). The 200-page volume is the 14th in a series of coffee-table books showcasing luxurious living spaces. Its three chapters cover Las Vegas, Palm Springs, and New Mexico.

Here are highlights from our own neighborhoods, with excerpts from the Q&A sections of the book that lend insight into the designers’ thought processes.

• Carol Adolph, Duende Designs Inc., La Quinta, and Mark Schneider, Graystone Contruction Co., La Quinta

What one element of style or philosophy have you stuck with for years that still works for you today?

Carol: Keep things simple.
Mark: We don’t vacillate on decisions or second-guess our choices.

• Jeanette Christian, Christian Design Associates, Palm Desert

What is the best part of being an interior designer?

I love the whole process from first conceptual vision of the house to placement of the very last accessory. I think about projects from the inside out — including all of the architectural details, from fireplace to cabinetry and hardware — as a total cohesive space.

• Mark Kirkhart, DesignARC LA, Los Angeles

What single thing would you do to bring a dull house to life?

I would try to establish an emphatic connection between the major indoor spaces of the house and the outdoors, via the creation of a series of courtyards and patios. Then I would throw a party in the house.

• Bill Miller, William Miller Design, Palm Desert

What do you like most about doing business in your locale?

The California desert resort areas provide a perfect opportunity for creative expression — the ultimate creative freedom. Most homes are second and third residences where people enjoy playing golf and tennis. The clients are more relaxed at this phase of their lives, so they are more open-minded about exploring design options.

• Randy Patton, Patton Design Studio, Rancho Mirage

What is the most unusual design technique you’ve used in one of your projects?

I have a passion for slump glass, a molten glass poured into molds to create counters, bar tops, and architectural panels. Using the same sand-casting process as bronze sculpture, this material is transparent, looks like lead crystal, and can be manipulated to achieve effects such as a rough-hewn etched surfaceor artistic tinged “rivers” running through it.

• David Prest and John Vuksic, Prest-Vuksic Architects, Palm Desert

If you could eliminate one design technique, what would it be?

Never overwhelm good architecture with too much interior design. Keep it clean and simple to complement the space.


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