Inspiration for Sale

The most luxurious houses on the market blend imaginative architecture and the best of the indoor/outdoor desert lifestyle

Initially an outpost influenced by Spanish architecture, then an experimental pool for midcentury modern pioneers, the Coachella Valley today fires up the imagination with a breadth of styles drawing on influences throughout time and place. Palm Springs Life scouted the desert for architectural gems on the market. Here are the best of the best.


Contemporary in Palm Desert

Dave Prest of Prest Vuksic Architects of Palm Desert designed this Bighorn Golf Club residence. “The most significant feature to designing this home was capturing all the panoramic views in as many rooms as possible,” he says of the 6,846-square-foot house. Thanks to the lot’s configuration, there are valley, mountain, canyon, and golf course views. “We used lots of glass and designed rooflines with angles to help frame those views,” says Prest, who is now designing another Bighorn property for the homeowners.

Offered at $6,700,000
1013 Mountain Springs
Bighorn Properties



Spanish Revival/Moorish Influence in La Quinta

Frank Stolz of South Coast Architects in Newport Beach gained a reputation at The Hideaway and Madison Club for designing houses that capture a sense of warmth and family. The owners of this 6,126-square-foot residence asked Stolz to design a Spanish revival-style house that optimizes an indoor/outdoor lifestyle and takes advantage of the views of The Hideaway’s Clive Clark golf course and the Santa Rosa Mountains. “Each client comes to us with requirements that we integrate into our work,” Stolz says. “The client wanted to optimize the views, so we layered the indoor/outdoor living spaces where we could. We also designed a sky deck.” To bring exterior elements into the home, Stolz designed a small pool for the dining room.

Offered at $4,150,000
26/27 Via Capri
Janine Stevens, Coldwell Banker


courtesy windemere real estate

courtesy windemere real estate

Classic Mediterranean in La Quinta

Gordon Stein of Palm Desert designed this 8,500-square-foot classic Mediterranean-style house for a double lot at The Hideaway. The indoor/outdoor lifestyle was the client’s primary request. “The Mediterranean style best lends itself, with classic details and clean lines, to capture from the interior the large-scale outdoor spaces,” Stein says. He used Italian architectural forms, including vaulted ceilings and arches often found in elegant homes lining Italy’s Amalfi Coast and on the island of Capri.

Offered at $7,795,000 (furnished)
52345 Via Savona
Valery Neuman, Windemere Real Estate


Contemporary/Tuscan in Indian Wells

Architect John Vuksic’s team on this 8,200-square-foot house at Toscana Country Club included homeowner Bobbi Reiman and interior designer Donna Diamond. “We all worked together from the start to create Bobbi’s primary vision for a warm and fun home,” Vuksic says. “The style is Tuscan, yet with an open, flowing floor plan that is pure contemporary.” One of the fun elements is a round tower room leading to guest suites. Mixing materials and surfaces like rough-hewn wood beams with glass and stone created the contemporary yet warm feel the owners wanted. “We used a huge expanse of disappearing glass in a wide archway, moving the visual of the home’s interior onto the exterior entertainment pavilion,” says Vuksic of Prest Vuksic Architects in Palm Desert. “We also took the sky-lit ceilings from the inside to the outside, adding to the home’s flow and movement.”

Offered at $6,500,000
43135 Via Siena
Brady Sandahl, Desert Area Real Estate




Moroccan/Modern in Rancho Mirage

As one of the first houses built in Thunderbird Heights in 1957, this is a true architectural gem. Upon completion, the four-bedroom house designed by Eggers & Wilkman AIA was featured in a 22-page spread in House Beautiful. T.H Robsjohn-Gibbings (whose clients included Walter Annenberg, Aristotle Onassis, Elizabeth Arden, and Doris Duke) designed the interiors. The house sits elevated on one acre, with a dramatic courtyard and fountain. Carrera marble runs from the entry courtyard through the main living space and out to the pool and patio. Eggers & Wilkman created high ceilings and huge walls of glass to capitalize on views of the valley floor and surrounding mountain cove. The combination of straight lines and Moroccan arches make a signature piece of modern desert architecture.

Offered at $2,495,000
70378 Pecos Road
Tyler Morgan, Morgan, Monaghan Markovitz, Capitis Real Estate



Midcentury in Rancho Mirage

The Firestone estate in Thunderbird Country Club has a top pedigree. Built in 1958 for former Ambassador Leonard Firestone by world-renowned architects William Pereira and Charles Luckman, the 7,280-square-foot house on three acres exudes midcentury architecture in steel and glass. Its flat rooflines, lofty ceilings, textured stone flooring, and walls of glass reflect the Pereira and Luckman vision of cutting-edge design. Architectural elements like broad overhangs provide practicality and structure. Pereira’s other design credits include the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco and Geisel Library at University of California, San Diego.

Offered at $3,995,000
40555 Sand Dune Road
Nelda Linsk, HK Lane Real Estate



Contemporary in Palm Springs

James Cioffi has established a reputation of designing contemporary buildings that relate directly to their surroundings. This Parc Andreas house is a prime example. “The clients wanted an open, contemporary home for a site that included rock outcroppings and a rear wash bed,” Cioffi says. He incorporated specific requests from the homeowners, such as a display area to showcase a china and crystal collection. “We used the bar and the fireplace element to separate the spaces with different materials, including natural wood, stainless steel, and copper sheeting over the fireplace. We then designed the shelving with a soffit for indirect lighting, while using a metal ceiling to add visual interest to the space housing the collections, ” explains Cioffi, whose philosophy is, ”A successful home reflects the homeowner’s style and taste and not its architect.”  

Offered at $1,888,000
38759 Maracaibo Circle
Sandy Phillips/Jon Caruana,
HK Lane Real Estate



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