Here’s the home of U.S. interior designer David Jimenez in Palm Springs, built in 1957. It goes against the zeitgeist at the moment to like something quite so exuberant and maximalist, but it’s just so very sunny and happiness inducing. Love the limited colours used around the place to hang it all together, the way objects are displayed so beautifully together, and odd carefully placed bit of graphic textiles. Ace.
I want to front this up by saying that you can’t buy these unless you live in the US or Canada or have one of those clever shipping accounts. But here are some nice graphic posters by Blue Art Studio which celebrate 20th-century design classics in groovy illustration form. I like the Dieter Rams (Braun supremo) one with all its turntables, dials and switches, and the homage to Eero Saarinen’s the-future-has-arrived TWA building at JFK airport. The eye exam one with all the chairs is for uber design nerds only.
Alongside my Spitalfields silk-weavers’ house, wee Highland cottage and Venetian palazzo, a John Lautner-designed house in Los Angeles is on the long list of homes that I own in my dreams. Thankfully one’s up for sale, according to the LA Times: Hatherall House was built in 1958 and is as sexy as concrete, brick, glass and steel can get, with a huge circular living space/control room overlooking the pool and the San Fernando Valley. Its current owners spent 18 months restoring it before they moved in 10 years ago, and have clearly remained sensitive to Lautner’s original vision for high drama and simplicity in equal measure. The house has its own swanky website to aid the sale (here), which may be necessary given that the price is $1.595m. Jeepers.
The US National Trust for Historic Preservation’s last two major acquisitions were Modernist houses – Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois (1951) and Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, completed in 1949. Both experiment with the ideas of continuous open space and the use of a shed-load of glass to unite structure and surroundings. It turns out that New Canaan is lousy with mid-century modern houses, and a website has now been set up to amalgamate info about them and highlight their threat from possible development. This one, New Bremer House, an ‘upside down’ house designed by Eliot Noyes in 1951, is one of my favourites. It’s a shame not to be able to nose around inside them for real (even tours for the Glass House are all but sold out for 2009) but I spose people have to live in them, and if no one wants to live in them, they may not survive.