Party of Two

Even before their maiden voyage to Palm Springs for Modernism Week 2017, a pair of designers summed up the city with a martini-strewn mock bathroom.

Lisa Marie Hart Interior Design

A two-sided white marble fire-place over the DXV Seagram Freestanding Soaking Tub heats up the scene in this brightly appointed indoor-outdoor bathroom. The duck should tell you though: It’s only a set.

Two designers who had never set foot in the desert made a bold toast to the region’s next trend: the “party bathroom.” Dallas- and Seattle-based Pulp Design Studios capitalized on our open-minded outlook with their interpretation of the Palm Springs Modern Movement in a national ad campaign for DXV by American Standard that defines the period as 1950–1990.

In testament, the DXV portfolio of luxury bath and kitchen products named Palm Springs as one of four “Iconic Cities,” each with a corresponding influential design movement.

Design pros then brought those design movements to life in the company’s print ads that have appeared in glossy publications from Architectural Digest to Palm Springs Life. Charleston (Classic, 1890–1920), New York (Golden Era, 1920–1950), and Miami (Contemporary, 1990–Present) joined Palm Springs in daring the designers to transform an empty stage into a polished set that celebrates a place and time in design history.

This airy bath suite by Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry, co-founders and co-owners of Pulp Design Studios, leans on the midcentury modern, resort aesthetic. From the diagonal zebra-print rug to a gold duck the size of an ottoman, the environment epitomizes the design community’s jaunty point of view from the outside looking in.

“When you think about Palm Springs, you think about the lifestyle,” says Dotolo. “Palm Springs is known for its open plans, mainly for entertaining. So we wanted to re-create that in the bathroom. It’s kind of a party bathroom.”

A cocktail table tempts with a tub-side martini. A tray across the bath serves up another. Ready to ignite, a transparent, two-sided fireplace heats up the scene. Dual outdoor showers spray amid an Eden of tropical foliage. The women’s concept runs amok with open–floor plan mania, shunning doors and walls in favor of letting it all hang out. Two partitions — more decorative than concealing — honor the perforated patterns of 1960s-era breeze block. The design’s modern use of space evokes a bygone sense of merriment and leisure.


A leafy wall covering and a sunburst mirror bring the outdoors in above DXV’s Pop Rectangle Vessel Sink.

For a little laid-back glamour, they added a pink reupholstered vintage chair, their own retro cabinet hardware, and a sprinkle of decorative sunbursts and starbursts. It wouldn’t be an ode to Palm Springs without Slim Aarons’ Poolside Gossip hung on the wall. “We even wanted the tub to symbolize the pool from the photo, and the chandelier above to symbolize the sun,” says Dotolo.

“A lot of tubs fit two people, but not many fit two people quite this nicely,” she adds of DXV’s Seagram tub. Gentry believes this spacious soaker was made for Palm Springs. “Most parties start in the kitchen,” she notes, “but this party starts in the tub.”

Dotolo and Gentry of Pulp Design Studios created the “party bathroom” for DXV ads.