sol palm springs

Sol Brothers

Artists and designers find common 
ground at Sol Palm Springs.

Lisa Marie Hart Arts & Entertainment

sol palm springs
In the pool area of artist Lee Waisler’s home at Sol Palm Springs, three cold-rolled steel wall sculptures act as greeters. From left to right: Einstein, Gandhi, and Freud.
PHOTO BY STEPHEN BAUMBACH

Lee Waisler calls it “an inspirational environment.” The compliment holds weight from an artist whose dimensional paintings and sculpture, sometimes socially and politically charged, have made him an artistic force to be reckoned with for almost 40 years. Waisler is among the diverse group of like-minded creatives residing at Sol Palm Springs, a postmodern community of 46 homes.

Sol’s desert panoramas contrast its extreme architecture, which wears a sleek, urban edge. Its two floor plan options are both two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath layouts over 2,000 square feet. Each opens to a private pool and spa with an outdoor fireplace and features dual master suites, a rooftop deck, and a two-car garage.

Especially attractive as second residences, these detached homes combine space and privacy with the benefits of a gated community and a dog park. Family Development builders and Chris Mills of Prest-Vuksic Architects had envisioned the “total package”: an elegant, low-maintenance lifestyle with convenience, downtown proximity, and views. They may not have forseen the deep kindred spirit that has grown among residents, one that stretches outside the calendar of Sol-sponsored social events.

“Palm Springs is rapidly becoming an international playground, a jet-setting stop for the beau monde. And the architecture is keeping pace. Sol is a forerunner in the contemporary, this-century modern architectural boom,” says designer Mick Fox, who designed the Plan 2 model home with his partner Dino Raimondi. “It’s one of many communities alive with artists and art lovers.”

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PHOTO COURTESY OF SOL PALM SPRINGS
Mick Fox and Dino Raimondi’s design at Sol.

Two of the first homes sold at Sol, respectively, were purchased by Waisler and fellow artist Stephen Baumbach, who utilizes high-speed photography to capture scenes of water, smoke, and vapor in innovative ways. A Sol neighbor has both artists’ work prominently installed in his home.

Raimondi and Fox have befriended a number of residents, having gone on to design seven private homes after homebuyers admired their model. “One couple has a Tudor home in L.A. and wanted something completely different,” says Fox. “Another gentleman didn’t want anything overly Palm Springs. He likes old-school glamour so we came up with the loose concept of a yacht. The dining room became his billiards room.”

Each owner’s personal taste takes a home from blank to brilliantly that person’s own. Here, we uncover Sol’s recipe for community.

Artist Lee Waisler

Based in L.A., Waisler has been a professional artist and sculptor since 1968 when he had his first exhibition on the famed gallery row of La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles. His work is included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Brooklyn Museum; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; the Bibliothèque 
nationale de France, Paris; the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; and 
the Indian Museum, Calcutta.

Artist Stephen Baumbach

After retirement from the military, this 20-year veteran turned to the corporate world for almost 20 years. “But the love of photography that kept me sane for 40 years became stronger and it was time to strike out on my own, which is where I am today,” he says. Baumbach maintains a studio and gallery in the Backstreet Art District and is a board member with the Palm Springs Art Museum Artist Council.

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PHOTO BY STEPHEN BAUMBACH
Sol’s resident artists Lee Waisler (left) and Stephen Baumbach.

Mick Fox and
Dino Raimondi
Co-owners, Fig & Nash, Palm Springs

In addition to Sol, this pair has designed models at Oceo Palm Springs, Escena Palm Springs, and Toll Brothers at Escala 
in Rancho Mirage. The newly opened 
Fig & Nash boutique is their first brick-and-mortar enterprise and is an extension of Dino Designs. In addition to interior design and staging services, they represent Cambria in Uptown Palm Springs and 
offer window treatments, art, accessories, and custom furnishings.

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PHOTO BY CLARK DUGGAR
Design duo Mick Fox (left) and Dino Raimondi of Fig & Nash.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF SOL PALM SPRINGS

H&D: What’s your relationship with Palm Springs?
Lee Waisler: My first experience with Palm Springs occurred when I was 7 years old, when my father and uncle built a small motel on Indian Avenue. I feel Palm Springs and I grew up together.

Stephen Baumbach: A long love affair with the city and the surrounding area of many years. I was born 114 miles north at Edwards Air Force Base in Kern County. I’m a native, but the military and work took me far from home. Finally I decided it was time to return to the desert and the valley. All native Californians return home eventually.

BaumbachHome

PHOTO BY STEPHEN BAUMBACH
Stephen Baumbach’s dining area features a marble table, ’60s Lucite chairs, a 1965 terra cotta Asian lamp, and a glass-tube chandelier from Christopher Anthony Ltd.

H&D: What brought you to Sol?
Waisler: My wife Su-z and I moved into our home in Sol in September 2014. We wanted a home as close to the historic center of Palm Springs as possible. Sol provided that. Ours was the second home sold in Sol and we were the first people to occupy the community. I had a chance to see the development of the home and was very much taken with the quality of construction as well as the harmonious architecture.

Baumbach: I chose Sol two-and-a-half years ago simply because the design was so much different than other homes in the area with its modern lines, colors, and close proximity to downtown. I moved in February of 2015 into one of the original four. I think this community stands out as a leader in new desert home design.

Mick Fox, Fig & Nash: We made a connection while volunteering for the Designer Showcase at Marrakesh Country Club, where we assisted with the kitchen. What we love most about designing at Sol is the collaboration with so many artistic like-minded people. It’s something we are extremely grateful for.

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bambachart

PHOTOS BY STEPHEN BAUMBACH
(Left) Lee Waisler’s home with his art. (Right) Baumbach’s “Indigo” print installed in a neighbor’s home.

H&D: What do you love about your home?
Waisler: The house position provides unique lighting conditions for the viewing of my paintings and sculpture. Additionally, the house and garden lend to my sense of inspiration.

Baumbach: I love the pool area most. It lends to a feeling 
of being at a resort all the time.

Dino Raimondi, Fig & Nash: We aren’t residents, but we love the 
Plan 2 model that we designed. Our fictitious “client” is a woman named Anastasia who owns a yoga studio in Manhattan. She fosters peace for many city-dwellers but flies to Palm Springs to find her own serenity. Her bejeweled tub extends into a shower. A wavy resin wall in the powder room continues in the reflection. Asian screens on the living room wall, Buddhas throughout, and a glass-tiled patio fireplace add to the peaceful feeling that goes all the way up to the covered rooftop lounge on the third level.

Fox, Fog & Nash: For me, a standout favorite element is the chrome-and-wood signature wall in the dining room. I also love that everything sits on an angle, even the master suite balcony, which to me feels like a cruise ship.

H&D: In your eyes, what’s so special about Sol?
Waisler: The fact that there is a community of residents who have become friends is exceptional. I think the beauty of the place is highly conducive to the relaxed atmosphere in which one can be private or public as one wishes. Sol has soul.

Baumbach: This community is full of creatives, both entrepreneurial and artistic. I love the people who live in Sol; 
we’re the most diverse group of people I’ve seen in one community. A hip crowd that, when together at community gatherings, turns into a large family of well-read, creative, and hip people.

Fox, Fig & Nash: What sets the Sol community apart is both 
the strong architectural elements (i.e., the complete retractable 
wall to the pool and patio in each home) and the international 
artistic community. We have worked with and become friends with so many amazing, globe-trotting people.

Raimondi, Fig & Nash: I love that the relationships with our clients here live on long after their homes are finished.

leewaislerartist

PHOTOS BY STEPHEN BAUMBACH
Top: Lee Waisler’s art hangs in a neighbor’s dining room at Sol 
Palm Springs. Above: A modern vignette in Stephen Baumbach’s home.

Sol Brothers was last modified: June 6th, 2017 by Lisa Marie Hart