Midcentury architects who substituted glass panes for standard walls didn’t restrict that preference to certain rooms. A surprising number of vintage homes throughout the Coachella Valley feature glass-walled views from — and straight into — mid-mod bathrooms. Most of them, thankfully, are part of homes well concealed by high walls or dense hedges. Modesty and decency are timeless, apparently. The couple who purchased the Fess Parker Estate in 2017 as both a vacation rental investment and a second home were not at all deterred by the sheer transparency that encloses the showers, bathtubs, and commodes.
“Honestly, I thought it was pretty cool,” the owner explains of the 2,100-square-foot residence and its bathrooms barely separated from the outdoors. “The house is so private you can’t see into the yard. If you have company over, you will want to close the roller shades. Otherwise, only maybe the rabbits will see in.”
Actor Fess Parker, known for his portrayals of Davy Crockett in the 1950s and Daniel Boone in the ’60s, originally owned the home in the Indian Canyons neighborhood. Its soaring ceilings and long sight lines across the property connect the interior spaces to nature on a significant scale, helping the home live larger than its two bedrooms would suggest.
The open shower and soaking tub in the master bath face out to the yard
Roller shades are an option in the bathrooms but seldom used.
“We were the first ones to look at it, and we knew right away we were going to buy it,” he adds of the home built in 1974. “We love the design and the half-acre of open space. It doesn’t have an architect attached, but I have to suspect it was built using blueprints from the 1960s.”
About 75 percent of the home sits behind gleaming glass. Framing a freestanding tub set on a diagonal, two glass walls form a corner. (The owners converted one into a slider for outdoor access.) The open master shower faces out to the lawn. Even the powder room bares itself to the great beyond.
“The shower makes you feel like you’re in a resort in Bali or Tahiti, and many of the windows open to the yard where everyone likes to play bocce ball and croquet,” the owner notes. “We definitely get the most feedback from the entire indoor-outdoor experience.