ACME House Company Rejuvenates Palm Springs Vacation Rentals

Design team helps property owners create vacation paradise

Lawrence Karol Real Estate 0 Comments


There are plenty of great hotel options when visiting Palm Springs, but some visitors prefer a bit more space or privacy for those times when traveling with a group of friends and looking for a communal, shared experience.

ACME House Company has been offering vacation rentals in the city since 2008 and currently has 70 homes in their portfolio. Their website explains that ACME means, “the point at which someone or something is at its best; a peak, summit or pinnacle.”


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BEFORE/LIVING ROOM: The designers painted the old wood ceiling and brought in all new furnishings, lighting, and art. “In designing vacation homes, it’s all about seating the entire group comfortably,” says designer John-Patrick Flynn. “Two nine-foot custom sofas plus additional occasional chairs, the oversized Cordova cocktail table by Bernhardt, a Mandarin altar table, and the Amelia chandelier by Nuevo Living.” They also commissioned the two 60" x 40" paintings that now flank the fireplace.


To ensure the homes in their portfolio meet that standard, the company has its own design team. John-Patrick Flynn and Francie Flynn have been working together for more than 25 years, and were even married for 16 years during the 1980s and 1990s. They help property owners create the perfect vacation paradise.

“Our design projects range from quick and easy accessorizing to full-scale remodels,” says John-Patrick. “Some owners of existing vacation home rentals just need help to lighten things up with some new toss pillows, a few pieces of art, maybe a headboard, or a new outdoor dining set.”


before photo: photo: Photography: Eric Lynch

BEFORE/AFTER: BACKYARD: The designers worked with Solterra Development to give the backyard a major face lift. Before, it was missing two of the three most requested amenities in a vacation home: an outdoor fire feature and covered dining. “In addition to adding the pergola and the custom cocktail table with a fire feature, we replaced the freestanding hot tub with a waterfall spa—the third most-requested amenity—and tanning shelf integrated with the pool, and new decorative tile for the pool and outdoor shower,” says John-Patrick.


Other projects, like the one shown here, need a complete remodel. In these cases, a property owner may have purchased a fixer upper specifically to put it in the vacation rental pool and ACME’s renovations will include changes such as new baths, flooring, windows, and an exterior revamp.

Mike Flannery, president of ACME House Company, notes that the company underwrites the design team’s fees, which provides property owners with a great value-added service. “The property owners value the guidance. And the guests get to stay in properties that are dressed to the nines. It’s a win-win arrangement all around,” he says.

“This is about creating the perfect place for vacationers—that Palm Springs experience,” adds John-Patrick. “But we also have to stay within budgets that make sense. We have to choose pieces that look expensive but can easily and affordably be replaced should they get damaged during a guest stay. Our job is to create properties that offer the comfort and style of a private home, but can stand up to the wear and tear brought on by high occupancy.”


Before photo: photo: Photography: Eric Lynch

DINING ROOM: Before and After. John-Patrick notes that the dining room is, “Our desert version of the chic cabin in the woods, we went a bit more rustic using a zinc-topped picnic table, a medallion print on the wood-trimmed side chairs, oversized head chairs, and the Illana Pendant Lamp by Nuevo Living.”


John-Patrick adds, most importantly, a property has to photograph well so that ACME properties catch the eye of prospective guests visiting travel websites chock full of choices. “They have a lot of options and they are making their choices largely based on the online pictures. So the 'wow factor' is crucial,” he says.

The design team completes most of their projects on a very short timeline — six to eight weeks from design concept to installation — yet, they don’t take a cookie cutter approach.


Before photo: photo: Photography: Eric Lynch

GUEST ROOM: Before and After. “In successful vacation home design it’s all about creating the feel of an upscale hotel room with the comfort of a bedroom in a private home,” says John Patrick. To achieve that affect, a guest room was painted in a warm shade of white — Swiss Coffee by Dunn Edwards — and decorated with pattern-on-pattern textiles in blues, camel, and white. John Patrick notes that a king-size bed and en suite full bath, which this room now has, are at the top of the list of most requested amenities.


“No two properties look alike,” says John Patrick. “We are careful about that. We have a few beds and outdoor living room sets that we like to use. But we change up the fabrics or the way they are presented to maintain that ‘private home’ feel.”

And with properties throughout Palm Springs’ distinct neighborhoods, ACME has something for everyone. John-Patrick notes that modernism fans are attracted to the restored Alexanders in Racquet Club Estates and Sunmor, while those who enjoy being able to walk to South Palm Springs favor Tahquitz River Estates.


Before photo: photo: Photography: Eric Lynch

MASTER BATH: Before and After. Originally, the guest room and the master shared a very large, long Jack and Jill bath. The Flynns reimagined the space to create two full baths so there are now two bedrooms with private en suite bathrooms. “We repurposed the cabinetry and plumbing fixtures to create the guest bath and brought in all new cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, and decorative mosaic tile to create the master bath,” adds John-Patrick.


“Larger extended families are drawn to the bigger properties in Las Palmas, Indian Canyons, and Deepwell,” he adds. “The Movie Colony East [formerly Ruth Hardy Park] is always very popular, and now Sunrise Park is becoming more in demand.”

The residence shown here is a recently completed project dubbed Hidden Haven. It’s a four bedroom/four bathroom, private home located in Tahquitz River Estates. Homeowners Michelle and Kon Martin could not be more pleased with the renovation. (Flannery’s other company, Solterra Development Inc., was the general contractor.)


Before photo: photo: Photography: Eric Lynch

MASTER BEDROOM: Before and After. In the master bedroom, the designers mixed textures and patterns, including Moroccan-inspired prints for the area rug and lounge chairs, and decorative bedding in a gray and yellow chevron. “Lots of toss pillows are one of the mainstays of our look,” says John-Patrick. “A king-size upholstered bed, fluted mercury glass lamps on Pulaski Farrah nightstands, a mother-of-pearl cocktail table, and gray lacquer dresser all add a bit of subtle bling.”


Michelle says that their home is, “vacation rental savvy. The house can sleep up to eight people and they [the design team] created spaces that can hold all eight comfortably, as well as private spaces so that couples can have private time. There are just so many places to go on the property that it makes it pleasurable to just hang out and not have to leave the house!”

ACME House Company, 1733 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite D, Palm Springs, 760-650-1050;


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