The Sunnylands house in Palms Springs is much more than a home.
Dubbed the “Camp David of the West,” this magnificent 25,000-square-foot house on 200 acres of land has played host to eight presidents, one queen, two princes, multiple prime ministers, dignitaries of all stripes and of course celebrities galore.
Recently it was included on a “California Bucket List” compiled by the Los Angeles Times, one of a select few “Essential experiences and adventures in the Golden State.”
Hell Frank Sinatra got married here.
But the real star of the show at 37977 Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage these days in the design itself.
Indeed, even amidst the treasure trove of mid-century modern classics in Palm Springs, the Sunnylands historic house stands out. Completed in 1966, the home was designed by famed architect A. Quincy Jones and decorated by interior designer William Haines and his partner Ted Graber for their clients Walter and Lenore Annenberg.
From the outside, you may first be impressed with the sprawling scope of the estate: a main house, guest quarters, three separate guest cottages, a private nine-hole golf course and multiple man-made lakes.
Jones designed the house at least partially under the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic architecture concept. It melds perfectly into the surrounding desert-mountain landscape.
Next, your eyes may be drawn to the iconic pink roof. Venturing inside you’ll see a continuation of this classic Palm Springs color scheme, all bright pinks and yellows.
These colors permeate the stucco interior walls. Glass walls are prevalent as well, along with eleven-foot lava-stone walls imported from Mexico.
There’s marble flooring. Geometric coffered ceilings. Sparse rooms decorated with long sofas that one observer compared to vintage cadillac convertibles.
Everything seems low to the ground, from the structure itself on the outside to the furniture on the inside.
The Sunnylands house will be prominently featured later this month as part of Palm Springs’ annual Modernism Week, held every February. But there are opportunities for the public to visit throughout the year as well. Access to the grounds and the newly established visitor center, known as Sunnylands Center & Gardens, is free during open hours.
There is a wonderful cafe in the garden setting where coffee, tea, and light lunch items are served.
There are also tours of the grounds (45 mins/$20) and a bird-watching tour (90 mins/$35). For those interested in design, there’s also a tour of the home itself, running 90 minutes for $45.
Enjoy this classic of mid-century modern design during modernism week, February 16-26, 2017 (expect big crowds), or any other time of year.
For more information check out the Sunnylands website at http://www.sunnylands.org.
We also invite you to peruse our furniture selection, very much in the mid-century modern tradition, at seedfurniture.com.