It’s possible there has been some person, somewhere, who once said, “I can’t stand Carrara marble.” Yet let’s be serious. It’s equally possible this has never happened in the history of time — and certainly not in the history of fabulous Palm Springs interiors.
Business partners and homeowners Pjetur Sigurdson and Sebastian Sierra of Hollywood Home simply have a knack for knowing what people love, knowing how to do it well, and knowing just when to do it in abundance.
The home they recently completed as an investment flaunts everyone’s favorite marble as liberally as buttercream frosting on a birthday cupcake. It gleams under morning sun rays on the kitchen wall, lavishly soothes along two walls of one master bath, and frames up a spa-style shower in the other. Outside, porcelain Carrara glides decadently along the edge of the pool just because.
And that’s only the beginning of their Palm Springs debut. The two Los Angeles interior designers, who recently transplanted themselves, designed this dazzling, party-ready vacation rental together as their first local peek at their work.
The home was officially unveiled during Modernism Week’s Chandeliers and Champagne event while the pair were planning the spring 2015 opening of their Palm Springs showroom.
“We call ourselves ‘Hollywood Home’ because we want to embody the swinging ’60s in our aesthetic,” Sierra says. “We mix Hollywood Regency with midcentury, and we like to glam things up,” Sigurdson adds. “Every room has a glam factor that pops and makes it fun.”
When Sigurdson purchased the 1953 residence 2 1/2 years ago, Carrara and the pair’s signature “glam factor” were nowhere in sight. “It looked like a log cabin,” he recounts. With cedar panel walls, a river rock fireplace, terra-cotta floors, and a dead, dry backyard that had never seen a pool, it was a midcentury property by technical definition that grievously lacked all the pizazz the term implies. “I was so embarrassed to show it to people,” says Sigurdson, who glimpsed immediate potential for carefree, resort-style living — even when others could only see a 1950s architectural ugly duckling.
So he set out to completely reconfigure the floor plan. He placed windows and doors where there were none, going so far as to add clerestory windows and a tongue-and-groove ceiling — mod design elements that resonate in a ’50s-era home that never enjoyed those quintessential facets. In the kitchen, a custom floating bar fills in for a formal dining room table, doubling as a spread to serve cocktails and appetizers. “It’s a dining bar. Who cooks?” shrugs Sigurdson.
Most notable is his smart separation of the dual master suites, where occupants can meet in the living room and saunter outdoors. “I don’t even know how I had the vision when I first walked in,” Sigurdson says. “But I was able to create an Alexander-style midcentury home. It’s not built by Alexander, but it was redesigned to have similar features.”
The former front door now opens into a marble master bathroom; the new front door is just a handful of paces from the back patio. The flow draws guests outside, and often right into the saltwater pool plunked down like a liquid centerpiece in the massive backyard.
Yes, every party pad has a pool. But this one features a spillover spa and a wide tanning shelf that runs the pool’s full length — a colossal underwater sun deck. “We wanted to create almost a runway,” Sigurdson says, “where you can put your lounger right in the pool.” The 1-foot-deep submerged “catwalk” claims nearly half of the pool as a decadent group-lounging ledge for sunning, splashing, drinking, reading, and general chilling out from dawn till dusk and then some.
Once Sigurdson designed and restructured the living arrangements, the Hollywood Home duo designed the interior spaces together.
“Brass and Lucite are two of our obsessions,” Sierra says. “I think we say ‘Lucite’ more than anyone else we know.” A brass display filled with Lucite and barware stands sentry by the entry, setting the tone for both the décor and Hollywood Home’s style. On the walls, Behr’s Whisper White paint mixes with pure desert sunlight to lend luminosity. Sigurdson’s favorite part of the home is actually the light itself — the synergy between the well-planned lighting they added and the natural light that streams in like a welcome guest.
Ms. Audrey Hepburn is immortalized on a Twister-style canvas in one bedroom, while a timelessly cool Sean Connery hangs out in the living room, ready for the next cocktail, escapade, or action-packed adventure. Though separation is a strong point, the home feels like one big playroom in the best way possible. Among the vintage finds and an eclectic assortment of things they love, many furnishings are their own custom Hollywood Home designs.
Sigurdson and Sierra met and became friends at Pepperdine University in Malibu before teaming up as interior design partners in a business that evolved organically from Sierra’s background in real estate and Sigurdson’s experience in retail management and merchandising.
The pair symbolizes a true local movement, and the home represents more than just another pretty house on a remarkably revitalized stretch of Sunny Dunes Road. You’ve likely noticed: The L.A. set isn’t merely passing through for a little privacy and pool time; they’re leaving their urban addresses and concrete-chic digs behind, setting up shop, and hunkering down to embrace the community and the lifestyle.
All the same, not everyone can stick around. That’s why this getaway home boasts all the amenities necessary to control the light, temperature, pool, and security remotely. “It’s a very functional house that you can walk away from and feel safe,” Sigurdson says. “And you can stage it from L.A. on your way here. That way, you can just roll in and have fun.” Finishing touches to this fun factory include an outdoor shower, circular fire pit, and outdoor dining table.
Sierra was born and raised in Spain and then moved to L.A.; Sigurdson grew up in a small town in Oregon, eventually spending 18 years in L.A. “I felt like I was in the next half of my life,” he says about the move to the desert. “From the people to the design and the architecture, I felt a good, positive energy here.” In fact, he lived in the house as much as he could while he worked on it. “I would wake up early in the morning to drive back just so I could sleep one more night in the house. I would yearn to come back, and now I’m here.” Ready to glam it up.