The Christopher Kennedy Compound at Villa Golightly
The sign of a good interior designer is the ability to design for anyone, and create a perfect space tailored to his or her client. It’s truly amazing when you can have over 20 designers doing that in one house, and having each room seamlessly flow together. This year, I got the opportunity to go to Palm Springs for Modernism Week and visit the Modernism Week Show Home: The Christopher Kennedy Compound at Villa Golightly. Needless to say, I was in designer heaven walking through the 6,500 sq. ft. home, especially since I took 650 photos on my iPhone! (Excessive? I think not!) But since sharing all those photos and my thoughts on each room’s design (which includes a whopping total of 25 spaces) would be enough to fill a novel, here are the highlights with my favourite five spaces.
DESIGNED BY Kate Spade New York
“Her rooms are mix-and-match affairs of hand-currated pieces acquired from travels near and far. She loves to layer all things sublime, sumptuous, and exquisitely formed (and hide the rest in a cabinet). Creatvity and cleverness are her most valuable assets. She’s not afraid to make mistakes. Behind every door, colour and humour abound – as do fresh flowers, (almost) always. Her motto: buy what you love and you’ll never go wrong. – This is Kate Spade New York Home”
First impressions last a lifetime, and this house’s first impression will certainly last that long in my mind. I personally love everything Kate Spade. It’s so fun and whimsical, but at the same time still appearing elegant and timeless. At this entry is certainly no exception. From the bright and sunny yellow double front doors, to the simple white and grey striped wallpaper layered with colourful artwork, with a touch of glam in the mirrored console table there’s so much goodness going on. My personal favourite accents in this little space are the two prints hanging above the front doors, and of course the serious jewelry hanging from the ceiling.
DESIGNED BY Kelli Ellis
“Kelli Ellis is internationally recognized as a Design Psychology Expert, Artist, Licensee, Speaker and Author of the best-selling book ‘Do I Look Skinny in this House?’ In addition to IDI, she also holds a BA in Marketing, a Law school education from Western State University, and a liberal arts education from the University of London. Kelli has been published in numerous national publications showcasing an outdoor rug collection, two tile collections, an art glass collection, and a successful art line. Kelli began a TV career on TLC’s ‘Clean Sweep’ to starring in HGTV’s ‘Takeover My Makeover’, ‘Move or Improve’, ‘Celebrity Holiday Homes’, and recently on ‘House Hunters Renovation’. Kelli stars in her own show on the Design Network, ‘Design Therapy’.”
This was my mom’s favourite room in the house for sure. As she was walking through the kitchen, I kept hearing her squeal with shock and glee about all the goodies. “Two dishwashers?!?!” or “Look at the size of this fridge!!” This kitchen definitely packed a big punch, and I can only imagine what a dream it would be for a chef (or someone who actually cooks). There is lots to drool over in this kitchen from the marble apron sink, two dishwashers, two extra large fridges, a very spacious island, and tons of gold accents. What’s not to love? It certainly got my mom’s stamp of approval (and mine of course)! The kitchen is fit for entertaining, especially with all the wine storage, which was probably my favourite part of this kitchen. Plus you can’t go wrong with fabulous pineapple canisters.
DESIGNED BY Natasha Minasian
“Growing up an artistic youth with an interior designer for a mother, it is only natural for Natasha Minasian to find herself as one of Southern California’s brightest design professionals. A Los Angeles native, Minasian has become known for creating balanced environments that reveal themselves in subtle layers. After attending the Interior Design Institute in Newport Beach, California, Minasian began to quietly establish herself as a fresh talent along Orange Country’s storied Gold Coast. With an eye that views function as being a space’s cornerstone, she weaves her signature love of white into creating ethereal spaces that bring a modern edge to classic design. In addition to helming her eponymous design firm, Minasian – along with Pamela DeYoung Kellogg – owns and operate two Trade showrooms in Southern California: Costa Mesa-based Estate of Design and San Diego’s Designers Resource Collection.”
Kelly Golightly is a fashion and lifestyle expert for the modern day Audrey Hepburn, so what better design decision than to combine her office with her cloffice, creating the perfect combination to be inspired and get some work done. I am incredibly envious of this space! I wish I had an office this size, yet alone a closet this size (there’s also ANOTHER bathroom just for this space, you can see more images below)! And I wouldn’t mind it if I got this closet, and the whole wardrobe inside it. I love how form follows function in this space; with oodles of storage done with open cabinets, glass doors, lots of lighting, and beautiful artwork and accessories there’s lots to look at and be inspired by while sitting at the simple yet gorgeous glass and acrylic desk.
EAST GUEST BEDROOM
DESIGNED BY Sarah Sherman Samuel
“Sarah Sherman Samuel is a Los Angeles based Designer, Art Director, and Content Creator. After earning her BFA in design, her career started in advertising before she found her niche in suface & product design while working at an LA based fashion paper product company. There she served as creative director developing products, and their pattern-based artwork, for their line of stylish paper goods at Target. During her 5 years there, she was honing her personal aesthetic and in 2013 decided to break out on her own to share her unique design point-of-view through her blog and line of products. A colour and pattern expert, Sarah is known for effortlessly combining styles to create distinctive spaces, coveted products, and drool worthy images that have been shared and repined by millions of Pinterest users. Additionally, Domino Magazine, Lonny, Glitter Guide, and Refinery 29 all agree that Sarah’s instagram account is a must follow.”
When can I move in?! I absolutely love this dreamy guest bedroom. To the point that if this were my room, I would see absolutely no need to ever leave. I have so many favourites in this room, I’m not even sure where to start. How about how big, and spacious, and light-filled this room feels? Or how fun it feels with the graphic pink agate inspired wallpaper? With such a large space, it lends itself so easily to creating two different zones: the sleeping area and the lounging area. Neither zone competes with the other - instead they’re completely balanced. I love the bedside set-up, with everything being oversized from the large nightstands, to the oversized mirrors, and finally to the giant lamps. And can we take a moment to appreciate these lamps?! I’m dying over the scale of them, and the texture of them. And then opposite it, there’s a fabulous sitting area that could really be taken away from this bedroom as is, and function as a beautiful stand-alone living room. My favourite piece by far is the amazing wood octagonal coffee table. We’re so used to seeing round, or square, or rectangle; so it’s nice to have a fresh shape tossed into the mix. There’s so much layering of textures, and finishes, and shapes, and accessories in this room, I just can’t get enough of this space!
DESIGNED BY Christopher Kennedy
“’A golden state of mind’ describes Christopher Kennedy’s philosophy towards interior design, and life. With a belief that surroundings should inspire, and that good design impacts our lives for the better, Christopher creates interiors and products that are refreshingly exuberant. Combining Get Set nostalgia with California modernism, Christopher’s work has been featured in Dwell, California Home + Design, Luxe, California Homes, Traditional Home, and The Los Angeles Times. From his base in Palm Springs, this prolific designer also creates an eponymous furniture line, candles, bedding, artwork for Wendover, and pottery for Habitudes. He is the author of two books: ‘California Modern’ and ‘Making Midcentury Modern’; the latter debuts this Modernism Week.”
Designing one large space can feel incredibly daunting for many people, which is why I like to determine different zones for each function the space needs to serve. That is exactly what Christopher Kennedy did when designer this expansive and airy back terrace. The long space is pillared with two different living spaces on either end, with a full dining area in the center. There’s also a smaller outdoor bar complete with bar cart and swivel lounge chairs, as well as bar stools with a large window that opens up to the interior bar located in the lounge. And as if that wasn’t enough, there are two smaller living spaces scattered in the space, ideal for more intimate social gatherings. You could do some seriously fabulous outdoor entertaining in this terrace, and what better place than Palm Springs where the sun is always shining to do it.
Highlight of the day: Christopher Kennedy just happened to be sitting on this beautiful terrace that he designed, selling his new book “Making Midcentury Modern”. I had to have it! He even wrote a nice note and signed it for me. So naturally I immediately devoured the whole thing once I got home. I felt a little like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City: “When I first moved to New York I bought Vogue instead of dinner. I just felt it fed me more.”
Meet all the Tastemakers that made this gorgeous show house happen, and check out some photos from the spaces they designed below.
LIVING ROOM DESIGNED BY Barclay Butera
DINING ROOM DESIGNED BY Christopher Kennedy
POWDER ROOM DESIGNED BY Keith Forner
WEST HALL DESIGNED BY Cynthia Spence
WEST GUEST BEDROOM DESIGNED BY Joy Cho
WEST GUEST ROOM BATH DESIGNED BY Meg Caswell
WEST PATIO DESIGNED BY Jean Liu
KLAUS' OFFICE DESIGNED BY Michel Boyd
MASTER BEDROOM DESIGNED BY Trellis Home
MASTER BATHROOM DESIGNED BY Maya Williams
KELLY'S CLOFFICE BATHROOM DESIGNED BY Dee Murphy
POOL AREA DESIGNED BY Gray Malin
LANDSCAPE & FLAMINGO NEST DESIGNED BY Sammy Castro
POOL BATH DESIGNED BY Salvador Camarena
CHANGE ROOM DESIGNED BY Kristen Turner
FAMILY ROOM DESIGNED BY Kelly Lee for Kelly Golightly
LOUNGE DESIGNED BY Grace Home Furnishings
ATRIUM DESIGNED BY Cynthia Spence
THE BUBBLE BATH DESIGNED BY Dawn McCoy
LAUNDRY ROOM DESIGNED BY Rachel Cannon