SoCal artist Josh Agle.
PHOTO COURTESY MODERNISM WEEK
Swing open the 10-foot chartreuse-lacquered doors at the Shag House, and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped inside a painting by celebrated Southern California artist Josh Agle, aka Shag, complete with midcentury modern motifs, black cats, and Tiki iconography.
The classic Alexander house in Palm Springs’ Little Beverly Hills neighborhood was originally designed by Palmer & Krisel. Orchestrated by branding and design specialist John-Patrick Flynn, Shag’s customization extends to the paint, tiles, furnishings, and fixtures inside and out.
During Modernism Week, Feb. 15–25, fans can hobnob at a swanky Shag cocktail party as if becoming one of the dapper characters from his paintings. We caught up with the artist to learn more about the large-scale, livable project.
Each room has a different theme.
How did this incredible opportunity present itself?
The house came about when John-Patrick Flynn, who had built several short-term rental properties in Palm Springs, approached me about designing a house based on my art. He had found an investor, Brandon McBurney, who was looking for a midcentury modern fixer-upper. They proposed that I would be the lead designer on the project and effectively gave me final say on the outcome of the house.
Did you have carte blanche when it came to design decisions?
I had carte blanche on designing the Shag House, but the investor did have some features he really wanted: a spa adjacent to the existing pool, an en suite bedroom addition, and a dining room addition. I thought those were all good ideas, so I incorporated them into the design.
Do you have a favorite room?
My favorite “room” is a covered outdoor lounge with a free-standing fireplace and round fireplace hood like you see in my paintings. There’s also a round bar with a round roof [seen above]. It feels the most like the interior of one of my paintings.
What’s it like seeing your work come to life on this scale?
I’m still having a hard time processing it. I’ve been so close to this project for so long that I focus on the little details and haven’t stepped back to look at the big picture. I do see people’s reactions when they see the house, and that reminds me how unique and out-of-the-ordinary the project is.
Aside from the outdoor lounge at the Shag House, what’s your favorite spot to get a drink?
At the moment, I like Le Fern, an unassuming bar at the Caliente Tropics Resort. The fact that it’s walking distance to my home in Palm Springs probably influenced my decision.