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10 Ways to Invite Palm Springs Modern Style Into Your Backyard
Long cherished as a weekend escape from the urban jungle of Los Angeles, the desert oasis of Palm Springs is a virtual Mecca of Mid-Century Modern architecture and design. The movement we now think of as “Desert Modernism” could only have taken root and bloomed in this particular time and place, thanks to an unexpectedly fertile environment for innovation.
In response to the area’s famously intense climate and dramatic topography, the architects of the day—including Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Donald Wexler—used unexpected materials and new post-war construction techniques to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living spaces. The result was a stark, sophisticated aesthetic that’s still SO relevant.
Furniture, textile and accessories designers answered this asceticism with brash colors, playful patterns and sleek, organic shapes—creating a marvelous marriage of sanctuary and surprise. Luckily, you need not own a Neutra home (which range from just under $2M to nearly $10M) to invite Palm Springs Modern style into your life. Here are 10 ways to get there!
1. SIGN OF THE TIMES
Set the tone with Modernist house numbers that allow your color choices to peek through the negative space. Bonus points for boosting your curb appeal with matching stencils.
Palm Springs Address Plaque | $62.10
2. BENCH WARMER
A striking and ultra-modern take on an American classic, this crowd-pleasing picnic set is durable, lightweight, and even meets MR 4 LEED qualifications for sustainability.
Rambler Picnic Table | $8,500
3. SWINGERS WANTED
Straight outta Sleeper, the Bonsai is basically a hanging planter for humans—and is virtually guaranteed to be the only place your guests EVER want to sit. Trust us.
Cacoon Bonsai Hanging Chair | $250
4. ORGANIC ORB
Put the fun in function with these colorful planters designed to add brilliant pops of color wherever you want ‘em! Made from durable high-gloss fiberglass in a variety of shades.
Fiberglass Pebble Planter | $ 1,200
5. LIGHT MY FIRE
We’re absolutely burning for this wild, whimsical take on the traditional backyard fire pit. Standing a full seven feet tall, it’s inspired countless gatherings and a few magazine shoots.
Bonfire Outdoor Fire Pit | $3,450
6. FLIGHT OF FANCY
Why shouldn’t your feathered friends live in luxury, too? Invite avian guests to linger—and hopefully nest—with this minimalist birdhouse made from recycled materials.
Beekman Bird Feeder | $114
7. ROCK WITH YOU
This isn’t your grandma’s rocker—unless granny was holding court at Brat Pack pool parties. Equal parts durable and darling, this little burst of backyard joy is also VERY comfy.
Acapulco Patio Rocker | $465
8. TAKE THE PLUNGE
Sure, traditional diving boards are already pretty retro. They’re also pretty ugly. Raise the stakes on your backyard pool game with this waxed Brazilian hardwood beauty.
Tom Sawyer Diving Board | $2,344
9. BRIGHT IDEA
As festive as an evening of Cuba Libres and Celia Cruz, our popular fiberglass Bullet planter comes in three sizes and a rainbow of colors—perfect for groupings inside or out.
10. DANISH DELIGHT
When Danish Modern meets Desert Modern, good things happen—and this breezy backyard staple is living proof! All-weather woven fiber + UV-resistant cushions = durable delight.
Kingston Wheeled Sunchair | $1,470