Written by Kim Mays, Monogram content strategist
Each year in February, Palm Springs, California hosts Modernism Week—a festival to celebrate midcentury modern design, art, architecture, fashion, and culture. This year, Monogram, along with Cambria natural stone surfaces and Ivy interior design business management software, hosted an event at the Kirk Douglas Estate, one of the homes on the local mid-century modern architecture tours.
The event kicked off the home remodeling project, which includes a new kitchen featuring Monogram products. The remodel will be revealed on the tour in February of 2020. Conversation and cocktails were offered along with a discussion panel moderated by Michela Abram, former CEO of Dwell and current CEO for MOCA+. The panel featured the owner of the Douglas Estate plus several prominent designers in the modernism realm:
- Diane Bald—Owner of the Kirk Douglas Estate (along with husband Michael Budman) and driver behind the remodel.
- Joel Turkel—Architect, designer and entrepreneur and principal of Turkel Design, who owns another Modernism Week featured home, a living lab Axiom Dessert House.
- Trina Turk—Fashion designer whose 11 signature boutiques span from Palm Springs to New York.
- Barton Jahncke—Architectural designer who works as a historical restoration advisor to sensitively maintain architecture’s original intent while subtly integrating new technology.
- James (Jim) Tyler—Award-winning architect who worked with famous California modernist Craig Ellwood in the 1960s-1970s. Tyler currently works on restoring and conserving mid-century modernist designs by Ellwood and Pierre Koenig.
A video version of the discussion panel can be found on Facebook, thanks to Ivy Design, where you can take in the full conversation in its entirety. The owner, Diane Bald, discussed how the home restoration has been going and explained how the original designer, Donald Wexler’s son had seen the house and felt his father “would have been happy with what we’ve done here.”
Barton Jahncke discussed how GE Appliances have been a part of some of his restorations from the beginning and into today. For example, in another mid-century house in Malibu, the old cooktop had to be replaced. “The original kitchen was Hotpoint, which is [a] GE [brand]. It was stainless steel. Fortunately, Monogram decided to produce a cooktop that is stainless steel… so you’re able to almost transition into today and keep that same aesthetic. So, it’s new and functions better.”
Architect James Tyler explained how modern architecture came about with its focus on creating something new that hadn’t ever been done, but that could be done in a simpler way than a lot of the more ornate and detailed architectures of the past. He also detailed his inspiration for panels for the Monogram column refrigerator that will be incorporated into the Douglas Estate kitchen and revealed in 2020. His sketches were on display, but for a sneak peek at his inspiration, he added “The refrigerator was more ‘what can you do that is really part of the modern architecture?’ and to me, that has always been glass. Simple and unobtrusive.”
We loved being a part of this event and part of the upcoming kitchen renovation. We hope you’re as excited as we are to see the final design at next year’s Modernism Week 2020.