Love Notes

News like this shouldn't be whispered

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Who’s on 1st?

Since 2001, online marketplace has built its brand by connecting dealers with collectors. Cristina Miller, head of U.S. dealer relations, is first to acknowledge that the site’s 13 Coachella Valley retailers have helped propel that journey.

“Palm Springs was one of the first cities on board, so the dealers have a special place with us,” she says. “Many are my personal favorites. They offer incredible examples of the midcentury modern vein, a style that remains one of the most searched for on the site and one of our strongest sellers. The pieces they offer, from Hans Wegner to Milo Baughman, are an extraordinary reflection of this period of American optimism, which is thriving on the site. These dealers perform very well and actually represent a greater portion of sales than their number would suggest.”

Local businesses find a global audience on 1stdibs, which now spans 17 countries. More than 2,000 shops showcase their wares by invitation only. Several vendors have relocated to Palm Springs from larger cities, knowing they could supplement a brick-and-mortar business with online sales.

As a show of support, 1stdibs stepped up to become a Modernism Week sponsor as of 2015. “Our Greater Palm Springs dealers’ legacy partnership is noted and appreciated,” Miller affirms.

Here is a list of local shops on 1st Dibs:

•  a La MOD Inc – 844 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
•  Christopher Anthony Ltd – 803 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
•  Colin Fisher Studios – 68929 Perez Rd, Suite M, Cathedral City
•  Flow Modern – 768 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
•  Heather James Fine Art – 45188 Portola Ave., Palm Desert
•  Hohmann Fine Art – 73-660 El Paseo, Palm Desert
•  Joannes Lucas – 68845 Perez Rd H27-28, Cathedral City
•  Melissa Morgan Fine Art – 73040 El Paseo, Palm Desert
•  Porter & Plunk – 3500 E Tachevah Drive, #H, Palm Springs
•  Prime Gallery Llc – 108 South Indian Canyon, Palm Springs
•  Towne Palm Springs – 1345 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
•  Studio 111 – 68-929 Perez Rd. Unit J, Cathedral City
•  Ventura – 463 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs


photo courtesy of

Large Sputnik chandelier by Emil Stejnar from Prime Gallery LLC on


White House Treatment

Is that fresh, new fabric you’re wearing, Sunflower Suite? Why yes, it is, confirms Sunnylands Director of Collections and Exhibitions Anne Rowe on behalf of this tastefully flamboyant furniture. (It fills the room where Walter Annenberg and Frank Sinatra used to watch movies.) The Game Room’s sunflower-print pieces have just arrived from New York City where, Rowe explains, the gurus at Fret Fabrics redressed them with the same care they’ve shown our nation’s landmark.

“The Annenbergs loved luxurious, first-cabin fabrics. Over the years, they recovered pieces of their collection of William Haines furniture as needed. To maintain Sunnylands in excellent condition, we have embarked on a fabric replication program with the historic consultants and textile experts at Fret Fabrics.”

Offering work exclusive to the trade, designer and principal Julie Kaminska and associate Bob Bitter specialize in textile restoration for museums, fine estates, and prominent institutions all over the globe. Years ago, Kaminska even worked directly with the Annenbergs’ decorators.

“If they ask for gold we’re giving them platinum, bringing it back to what originally would have been done in that period and doing it correctly so it is livable and usable,” Bitter explains. “It’s an incredibly unique place. Not enough people know about it.”

Rowe adds that the pair has discreetly established a working relationship with White House curators and other historic homes. “I believe they recently provided the fabric and trims for the window treatments in The Blue Room as well as soft furnishings for other iconic White House rooms,” Rowe shares. “We are working with them to analyze our fabrics, replicate them with strict historic accuracy, and provide ‘attic stock’ for future needs. Then we are reupholstering furniture as the newly printed fabrics are approved for color, texture, and feel.”

So that’s how a 50-year-old grand dame estate keeps up appearances.


photo courtesy of gibbs/smith, publisher

Dan Chavkin's Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern.


Now You See It

In 2008, photographer Dan Chavkin began scouring the valley for a local anomaly: remarkable vintage homes largely unknown to the general public. His new book Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern (Gibbs Smith, 2015) satisfies the curious with a visual introduction to architectural relics seldom seen.

People acquainted with the local desert modern circuit may be newly educated inside the Lavie Residence designed by William F. Cody in 1973.

“I have seen and photographed quite a few Cody-designed homes. This one in the exclusive Eldorado Country Club is certainly one of the most unique,” says Chavkin. If he were to choose one for himself, however, you’d find him unpacking in the Tennis Club neighborhood’s Gould Residence (Dean Davidson, 1965). “Modest in size and layout, it feels a bit like a glorified pool house — in a good way,” he says. “It is midcentury modern simplicity at its finest.”


Richard Read Interiors Showroom.


Love Notes

We have a crush on the new Paul Kaplan Group office. An espresso bar, a communal puzzle work-in-progress, and a retail component enable potential homebuyers to pick up an early housewarming gift for themselves.

This is modernist real estate shopping that literally sells the midcentury lifestyle even before you tour the homes.

Hugs and kisses to the Richard Read Interiors showroom on El Paseo. Fox fur throw, abstract artwork, and reclaimed wood furnishings … you really know how to make a girl feel at home.

Get ready to spend the night with The Junipero. The boutique accommodations inside this Spanish Colonial compound for 12 take a breezy spin through the Mediterranean. An airy design by Jaime Kowal of The Amado fame blends Greek Island blues with white linen. Opened late last year, this is one sexy breath of fresh air. Its seaside style suits the climate as well as any, yet is rarely explored.


photo courtesy of paul kaplan group

Paul Kaplan Group office.




Sunnylands Center & Gardens, 37977 Bob Hope Drive, Rancho Mirage; 760-202-2200,

Fret Fabrics;

Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern by Dan Chavkin; 800-748-5439,

Paul Kaplan Group, 1117 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs; 760-459-1396,

Richard Read Interiors showroom, 45120 San Pablo Ave., Ste. 2G, Palm Desert; 760-773-6611,

The Junipero, 2120 N. Junipero Roa., Palm Springs; 760-537-0053,

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