Featured Homes

California Dreamin’

During these cold winter months, we daydream about sunshine and swimming pools, so let this Palm Springs renovation be a welcome distraction

Surrounded by warm, coastal breezes, this transparent home lends itself to poolside lounging and top-notch entertaining, with the golf course just a few feet beyond the pool. The new owners flew in Kansas City interior designer John Rufenacht to overhaul the dated 1950s midcentury-modern home, requesting a redesign of every space.

“The purpose of this project was to make the clients’ days of rest, golfing and family time as easy as possible,” Rufenacht says. “You’ll see lots of wood, a simple color story, and an ease and comfort to using the home.”

The open concept features three level changes—the living, dining and family rooms are all on different floors. Though all rooms connect to the outdoors through accordion-style floor-to-ceiling glass doors, the living room opens directly to the charming outdoor living space, complete with a swimming pool, covered seating, sauna and dining area.

Capping its newly tiled floor is a wood-vaulted ceiling with impeccable joinery, which Rufenacht considers one of the best features of the house. The room is filled with functional furnishings and durable, elegant fabrics that speak to the room’s versatility.

Heavy-duty designer pieces include the Baker Paris sofa and lounge chairs in tufted black velvet; Century swivel chairs in an indoor/outdoor woven fabric; and Knoll’s famous Barcelona chaise, the focal point of this space.

Until summertime hits the Midwest, bask in this home’s well-designed, family-friendly entertainment area. There’s no place we’d rather be.

Why it Works

“Entertaining was a major request for this space, because family members gather here together on vacation,” Rufenacht says. “We had to make sure there was comfortable seating for all, as well as a card/game table for family time.” And in this space, designer pieces equal comfort, too. Within the strategically arranged seating vignettes, there’s plenty to sit, see and do. It’s ready to go at a moment’s notice, whether you’re inviting guests in from the golf course or preparing for a lavish cocktail hour.

This entertainment space is a visual stunner. From the ceiling to the furniture to the outdoor living, there’s never a dull design moment. It’s a space we can all appreciate—and long for—especially during this time of the year. “Colors and textures were oriented toward the masculine side, as the space will be used more for golfing moments,” Rufenacht says. Though it speaks more to the sporting crowd, there are several feminine pieces, too, including the famous Tibet print fabric from Clarence House that covers the dual-functioning Paris ottoman, plus matching decorative pillows. Orchids and polished accessories also help soften the look.

Though elegant, many of the statement pieces serve a functional purpose—you can actually sit and stay awhile—which is why almost all are covered in leather or a heavy-endurance fabric which can be spot-cleaned or simply wiped off. It’s a room that likes nice things but doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Get the Look


1. Stay consistent with style, but trade in black for the blue of Lillian August’s Wright modern sofa for Hickory White, available to-the-trade at KDR Designer Showrooms.


2. From Ethan Allen, the Surveyor’s tripod floor lamp blends antique nickel and mahogany finishes to pay homage to vintage surveyor instruments.


3. Grab a pair of the lounge-worthy Cooper return swivel leather chairs from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams that rotate 180 degrees then return to the forward position on its own.


4. Providing flexible but firm seating, this Jaipur Living pouf, available through Tran + Thomas Design Studio, is a knitted pouf with alternating antique white and caviar rectangular shapes.

miw_jensrisom5. The Jens Risom walnut revolving top game table at Retro Inferno showcases its competitive advantage with a Lazy Susan top, or lock it in place for extra dining space.

miw_cassina-241-prive-chaise-lounge6. If you’re looking for a statement piece outside of Knoll’s Barcelona couch, the Prive chaise longue by Cassina—in grigio caldo or muschio—will fit just right. Find it at Museo.