Exterior Design

Desert Modernism – The New Design Style Inspired by California’s Landscape

Emerging post-World War II, Desert Modernism is known for its seamless accentuation of Southern California landscape. Design attributed include low-slung roofs, clean lines, expansive glazing, and earthy materials. All the while meeting a mountainous backdrop, its popularity is no surprise in modern home design.

E Stewart Williams, Hugh M Kaptur, and Charles E. DuBois are some of the architects whose work still graces Palm Springs today, showcasing the peak of indoor-outdoor living with an innate sensibility towards the arid and stark desert landscape.

To understand more about this discerningly cool style, Livingetc spoke with a handful of designers who have worked closely with this defining aesthetic. And according to Livingetc, here’s what they had to say:

In a bid to make this style feel like it was an inherent part of the environment, architects drew inspiration from the surrounding landscape.

‘Desert Modernism blends architecture seamlessly with the desert landscape, emphasizing simplicity, minimalism, and climate-conscious design,’ says Lauren Lerner, the CEO and Founder of Living with Lolo, based in Scottsdale, Arizona. As a result, a minimalist, neutral color scheme of natural desert hues, simple forms, and clean lines took precedence.

‘There’s not a lot of colors and it’s very sparse and harsh,’ says Henriette. Tapping into the elements to create a symbiotic indoor-outdoor feel is the crux of this look. ‘They were trying to create something that looked like it belonged with the landscape.’

Read More