A New Tradition

The custom-built home captures the contemporary desert aesthetic.

Lawrence Karol Home & Design, Real Estate

This modernist, desert-style home was completed in 2015 and was part of the Modernism Week 2018 Palm Desert Signature Home Tour.

Among the new events during Modernism Week 2018 was the Palm Desert Signature Home Tour. Presented by Modernism Week and KUD Properties, a Palm Desert-based real estate and property development company, this inaugural event allowed visitors a peek inside midcentury modern and “new century modern” homes in South Palm Desert.

One of those newer homes was this stucco, stone, and cedar residence completed in 2015 and designed by McAuliffe & Company, a local firm established in 2006 by Michael T. McAuliffe. The interiors are by Angela Harris of Angela Harris + TRIO Environments, with offices in Denver and New York.

For this three-bedroom, three-bath, 3,500-square-foot home, the owners — a retired couple with three children and multiple grandchildren — wanted modernist influences made relevant for today.

“They wanted something simple, authentic, and iconic,” Harris says. “A large part came from establishing a simple foundation. For example, the concrete floors inside and out and the white, smooth drywall throughout the home help set the tone. Also, we didn’t over-accessorize, and we used large-format, impactful art.”


A focal point of the living room is the stone wall and 20-foot linear fireplace.

Harris, who wanted to capture a modern desert aesthetic, says her favorite features include the lenticular roof, expansive steel windows, and those concrete floors.

“The house is very livable,” says homeowner Susan Brown. “It is a comfortable space with minimal ‘things.’ We especially enjoy the uncluttered spaces [and] I love cooking in the kitchen as it is extremely functional. We [also] love the indoor/outdoor living that the house provides, as well as the classic modern style.”