After dazzling design mavens and modernists each year with his show-stopping Modernism Week Showcase Houses, Palm Springs designer Christopher Kennedy once again finds a way to challenge himself and engage fans of modernism.
For the 2016 Modernism Week Fall Preview Oct. 21-23, Kennedy dramatically departs from his trademark over-the-top opulence featured in his previous Modernism Week Show Houses.
This year sees the debut of Christopher Kennedy Palm Springs Pad and Idea Home, a return to the basic principles of modernism — that less is more and that there is elegance in simplicity.
This is first time Kennedy curates a project for Modernism Week’s Fall Preview; tours start Oct. 21. Kennedy’s personal style and design evolution are evident during the public invitation to his new home — a scaled down townhome he designed for himself and his husband, David Clark.
“The square footage is not that great a difference — 1,800 down from 2,200. It has the same number of rooms but smaller in scale,” says Kennedy, whose forthcoming book, Making Midcentury Modern, is the first in a series to be published by Gibbs-Smith. It’s due for release during Modernism Week in February 2017.
The stairwell heading down to the first floor of the condo at the 48@Baristo development in Palm Springs.
Kennedy noted that the smaller footprint helped him realize he didn’t need as much “stuff,” and helped him examine what’s important. “Most people have so much stuff; I have friends and clients that have multiple storage units of stuff they don’t need,” he says. “And, honestly, so did I!”
His new townhome at 48@Baristo was built by Palm Springs Modern Homes in 2006 and designed by the Los Angeles firm DesignARC.
Kennedy’s approach to the design of this Idea Home is to demonstrate that you don’t have to sacrifice good design in order to make a smaller carbon footprint. “It’s been fun for me; I like high-end features but most of us do not have that type of budget. And partnering with ATGStores.com offered a universe of great design elements at a variety of price points,” he says. “Mixing high and low was half the fun!” (ATGStores is affiliated with Lowe’s but is an online marketplace.)
Kennedy also incorporated cutting-edge technology such as a Sonos sound system throughout, as well as energy-smart fixtures and appliances. “I also increased the home’s energy efficiency by installing extra insulation and accordion doors leading to the pool, which enhance the indoor/outdoor connection — another tenet of modernism,” he says.
“ATGStores.com sells nearly everything, yet their offerings are wonderfully curated. For the public it’s a great opportunity to get some fresh ideas, raise funds for a good cause, and have fun.”