Entry Hall Bench

With its pristine midcentury architectural specimens and a culture that attracts design lovers and preservationists, the Springs already felt like home. “We thought about where we wanted to be when we retire, and since many of our friends already have second homes here, it felt like the right place,” explains Roger.

Exterior - Before

“No one had lived on the property for more than two years, and everything but the bougainvillea and palms had died,” recalls Roger.

Exterior - After

After successfully securing ownership of the “Brady-Bunch-turned-half-baked-Mediterranean” property, as Roger describes it, Roger and Michael immediately refreshed the down-at-the-heels garden by implementing proper irrigation systems, rolling out a fresh new green lawn, reviving the 21 neglected shaggy palms with a proper arborist trim, and resurfacing the plaster pool in a chic and durable pebble finish.

In the pool area, the new owners shook up the natural-toned oasis with pops of yellow and orange on the furniture and accessories, including shocking pink towels and beach balls. They also revived palm trees, giving the grounds of their home a rescue treatment, too. In the entry hall, vanilla white walls with dark chocolate trim and Mission-style furniture offer crisp contrast to the couple’s freewheeling fabric and accessories. The orange Mission-style doors—a welcome update of the previously dried-out wooden ones—hint at the home’s cheer. 

Living Room - Before

The living room's dark walls and uninspired mantel demanded an update.

Living Room - After

The design duo took a practical approach as they tackled the dark and dated interior of the 2,400-square-foot house. First, they updated the electrical system, adding light fixtures in bolder, brighter colors—including some rewired vintage finds—in every room. They also addressed decoration, replacing all of the dirty, incongruous wall and ceiling colors with repeat coats of fresh vanilla paint tastefully accented with slim lines of dark chocolate at the baseboards and around windows. Then they painted the exterior in the same vanilla and chocolate combination to bring the house’s Spanish references forward in a modern way. “We touched every surface on this house, inside and out, except for the Spanish tile roof and floors,” Roger notes.

See more of the living room on the following slide.

Living Room Couch

Vintage 1970s fake-flamed lamps, rescued and rewired to full functioning glory, stand at either side of the faux suede sofa and loveseat from Grace Home Furnishings. The bright velvets and trims of pillows made from old Suzani textiles were found on Etsy and bring color and comfort to the open-plan living space. A paisley rug from Oriental Weavers provides swirls of color and a springboard for the room’s color direction.  

Sitting Area

The same high-contrast approach applies to the custom floor-to-ceiling cream linen curtains bordered with a dark brown band along the hem. The simple curtain design is used throughout the house to create a seamless wall-into-window covering with the bonus of the dark brown “baseboard” hems camouflaging any up-swept dirt bound to trail in through open doors.

A pair of brown-and-orange velvet wing chairs flank a fully functioning bar cabinet and stand opposite a 1970s-era Mediterranean settee upholstered in the Brunschwig & Fils hot-pink-and-orange fabric that inspired the palette and playful decor for the entire house.  

See details on the following slide.

Vintage Lighting

“Every choice we made was with the thought of ease, durability, and second-home living,” Roger points out. The wall-into-curtain backdrop also allows the wilder tangerine and fuchsia colors and exotic patterns to take center stage in the living and dining areas. Durable pieces upholstered in bathing-suit friendly fabrics plus just enough tongue-in-cheek vintage lamps and accessories can induce an I Dream of Jeannie or The Brady Bunch chuckle.

Dining Room

To tie into the crisp contrast of the new ivory-and-espresso background palette, Roger and Michael also made sure to choose or re-color most mid-toned wood surfaces in the furniture to an updated, almost-black shade. “It looks more modern,” says Roger. 

The Spanish colonial-style space offers sturdy cane-back dining chairs from Noir upholstered in Kravet fabric. The heavy-duty yet elegant “Casteli” round dining table from Dovetail holds bright orange “Chalice Gourds” vases from Emissary. The designers updated the plain linen lamp shades with stock velvet ribbon in bright orange, making the store-bought “Stelle” chandelier from Feiss look more custom with minimal fuss.

Casual Breakfast Area

Says Michael of the classic ’70s hot-pink-and-orange palette of most of the fabrics, “I’ve always loved this old Brunschwig & Fils pink-and-orange fabric, but it wasn’t right for any of the projects I was doing. When we got this house, I was so excited because I could finally use this fabric. It became the inspiration for the whole house.” The orange spice-and-mocha “Zenobia Linen” fabric by Brunschwig & Fils has a place of pride in the center sitting area of the house, upholstering a vintage 1970s Mediterranean-style settee paired with a midcentury Moroccan brass-topped table. The flamboyant pieces hint at the playful exotic notes found throughout the house in Suzani textiles, old matador and flamenco dancer oil paintings, and jewel-toned genie-bottle decanters.

A 1960s faux-rattan flip-top piece from McGuire serves as the casual kitchen dining and game table. Vintage Savonarola iron-and-brass chairs are re-covered in orange faux suede. The house is accented with soulful finds like a hand-painted chess set from the 1940s.

Covered Outdoor Patio

The designers culled vintage pieces from local haunts, online sources such as Etsy, eBay, One Kings Lane, and First Dibs, and combined them with trusted new pieces from their usual vendors. “We have a lot of resources at our fingertips,” admits Roger. Their tireless work ethic, passion for preservation, and ingenuity in making vintage finds work in new ways to keep a second-house budget in mind were all factors in their warp-speed three-month realization of the major renovation.

Retro Vibe for Entertaining

“Our mission was to enhance the house’s two key design elements—the ’70s and the Spanish architecture—and use the best of both worlds. We like to call it Modern Montecito with a ’70s Groove,” he laughs. By the look and feel of the party-ready atmosphere—the revived palms swaying, saline pool beckoning, and icy refreshments within arm’s reach—mission is accomplished and rescue complete.

Master Bedroom

The “Montecito Bed,” upholstered in vintage Suzani, lends vivid turquoise, terra-cotta, and fuchsia to the otherwise peaceful master bedroom.

(Almost) Everything Goes

Old-house aficionados who love a good before-and-after project, Michael and Roger recently purchased another Palm Springs house they deem even more ideal than the one featured here. That’s good news for us, too, because many of the decorative items shown on these pages are up for grabs as Michael and Roger prepare to move. A special Before & After Tastemaker Tag Sale begins January 22, 2014, on One Kings Lane. To see more photos of the house and to start shopping, visit their website.


Homeowners and designers Michael Ostrow (left) and Roger Stoker with their chocolate Lab, Grace.

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Colorful Home with Retro Style

A tired Palm Springs home is revived with groovy style

Written and produced by Darra Baker
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Michael Garland

Master Bedroom

The “Montecito Bed,” upholstered in vintage Suzani, lends vivid turquoise, terra-cotta, and fuchsia to the otherwise peaceful master bedroom.

Bed (“Montecito Bed”); bed fabric (vintage Suzani); blue pillow (“Gainsborough Velvet”/Pool #64538, from Schumacher); Suzani pillow (custom, vintage Suzani): Grace Home furnishings, gracehomefurnishings.com.
Trim on blue pillow: LesBonRibbon, etsy.com.
Bedspread (“Diamond Stitch Quilt”/Natural); terra-cotta bed cover (“Emerson Quilt”/Brick): Villa Home Collection, villahomecollection.com.
Mirrored night chest (“Jayne Accent Chest” #24086): Uttermost, uttermost.com.
Turquoise lamps (“Raindrop Ceramic Lamp”): Lamp Works, 847/367-2500.
Paint (“Swiss Coffee” #DEW341): Dunn-Edwards Paints, dunnedwards.com


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