Turkel Design

On the Home Front: Winter 2019

News worthy of more than a whisper.

Lisa Marie Hart Home & Design, Real Estate

Turkel Design

A Big Fab Pre-Fab

After building 100 pre-engineered homes around the world, the founders of Turkel Design have finally built one for themselves. Joel and Meelena Turkel’s Axiom Desert House is greater than the sum of its pre-fab parts. At 2,110 square feet, the three-bedroom, three-bath home transitions from breezy great room to pool-and-spa courtyard, with a modern window-seat lounge set cleverly in between. They adapted the design from one of the firm’s 11 standard home plans, tailoring it to the Palm Springs climate. The public gets its first (and only) look this month during Modernism Week, as it was selected as one of two featured homes. Thereafter, this replicable model becomes a family home for the work/life partners and their two young daughters as well as a living-learning lab for Turkel Design. These MIT grads are on a mission to expand “architecturally impactful, systems-built living that is simple, elegant, and predictable.” But they’ve also proven that international talents continue to find the desert a viable place to build a business, experiment with an efficient use of materials, and produce important design.

Turkel Design


Dunn Edwards


sWatch It

Have you announced your color for 2019? Seems like everyone else has. While Benjamin Moore has heralded its Metropolitan AF-690 (an icy cold gray that oozes sophistication yet feels emotionless), Pantone adopted the vibrant yet mellow Living Coral, and Dunn-Edwards went with a rusty hue called Spice of Life. The latter gets my vote, evoking images of Red Rock Canyon, a row of brownstones, and The Little Red Hen. The marketing video about the company’s winning color is as slick as wet Saltillo tile — and may inspire a signature hue of your own.

Masters of Doors
and Drawers

A kitchen redo is, at its core, a cabinet redo. Newly opened on El Paseo, Thomas Johnson Custom Cabinetry and Architectural Millwork is a luxury-driven boutique showroom with a team that employs 3D technology and client-based interactive design to customize cabinets from premium materials. Appliances, stone, and millwork enhance the overall concept.

Thomas Johnson Cabinetry


Echo Rancho Mirage


Hear the Echo

A great-looking home in any time period comes down to its architect. That’s the theory behind Echo, a new enclave breaking ground in Rancho Mirage. Award-winning architect Sean Lockyer of Studio AR&D designed the collection of nine homes in four floor plans; the first two will be completed this fall. “The word ‘Echo’ relates to something previous in a more contemporary architectural style, reminiscent of an idea, revisited in a fresh way,” Lockyer says. His “bold–world architecture” blends traditional materials and construction methods to distinguish homes developed by desert natives Byron and Eric Smith. After extensive travel for the Smiths’ golf careers, the brothers returned with a passion for international architecture and launched the project with insights from their father, Bob Smith, a civil engineer who founded MSA Consulting 40-plus years ago. This echo sounds promising.