Located in a bowl-like valley that is surrounded by mountains, this Palm Springs residence has a renewed connection to its desert surroundings. The restored landscape opens views to the mountains beyond and incorporates audible water elements to ease the heat and dry climate.
When Hoerr Schaudt was hired, two decades had elapsed since Michael Taylor, California’s grand master of late-twentieth-century interior design, redid both the house and garden for prior owners. Overgrown plantings had smudged the 1980s landscape’s crisp edges, blurring boundaries between gregarious and intimate spaces, and obscuring wonderful views of the starkly majestic Santa Rosa Mountains. The clients were eager to preserve Taylor’s legacy while layering interiors with the richer palette of the Impressionist and postwar contemporary art they collect. With their blessing, Hoerr Schaudt took a similar tack in the garden. The design team offset the dazzle of the travertine with radiant greenery and incandescent bloom, sometimes even matching the hues of leaves and petals to pictures hung in a room that overlooks them.
For visitors, discoveries begin inside the front gate. There, a travertine-carpeted dogleg slows footsteps to a ceremonial pace; high walls, a citrus allée, a sculptural bench, and stone antiquities point the way and amplify anticipation. Our team saved the climactic revelation for the far side of the residence, where we removed an intrusive garden parapet to insert a gracious axial stairway. This bold stroke opened a dramatic through-line linking the pool, terrace, house, and front walk. Two stone Buddhas face each other from the opposite ends of this enfilade, reminding all who pass through to reflect on the peace that surrounds them.