Lifestyle Renovating

Home Design Trend: The Palm Springs Style

The Palm Springs Aesthetic: A home design trend that makes us think of cacti, California and rock ‘n’ roll…

Rising to trend over the last few years, the Palm Springs aesthetic has made a comeback and it’s not going anywhere. Aiming to embrace the desert surroundings, many modernist architects of the 1920’s looked to embody the essence of the arid Californian landscape through their designs. Palm Springs style brings with it a sense of retro nostalgia, but does not compromise on clean modern lines and functionality, which is one of the reasons it is so well loved. Recently Molenaar + McNeice’s very own Daniel Mulholland  sold a Palm Springs inspired home at 9 Balfour Street, Fairy Meadow, which has sent us nearly to Coachella and back searching for more homes in this style. Read on to find out the best tips we’ve discovered to turn your home into a California desert oasis.

1. Landscaping

Mirroring the geographical aspects of the desert, the Palm Springs home is often accompanied by flora like succulents, cacti, and, of course, palms! The accompanying ground cover consists of pebbles or gravel, which is super easy to maintain and saves you time mowing grass on your weekends.


2. Colour Palette

The ultimate goal of the Palm Springs home design trend is to allow the natural surroundings to take centre stage, creating a seamless sense of indoor/outdoor flow, and the colour palette is no exception. Often following a neutral colour scheme in order to mimic the desert, crisp whites and neutral earthy tones are predominant. That being said, the usage of pops of pastel colours is also used for a retro-motel inn aesthetic; think splashes of undefined and bushing flamingo pink and that iconic teal.


3. Breeze Blocks

Breeze blocks got their name for their functionality—to allow airflow in hot climates. Originating in the 1930’s, breeze blocks were primarily used for privacy, functionality, and fencing for desert or cyclone-prone regions for protection. Decorative cuts in the blocks allow for natural light while also providing shadea reason for their prevalence in the middle of the Californian desert. Sydney architect Sam Marshall from Architect Marshall weighed in on the repurposing of this classic retro rivival; “The burgeoning reappraisal of their value seems to stem from a recognition that, in a changing climate, our buildings need to be more resilient — less dependent on mechanical systems for cooling and ventilation and built to last.”

Functionality, personality and just downright cool – it isnt Palm Springs without this feature.


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“The recent resurgence of the breeze brock mirrors the growing recognition of the modest masonry block’s design possibilities.”

– Brett Ward, Brickworks

4. Use of Natural Materials

The desert modernism of this home design trend is complimented by interiors featuring natural materials. To accent your space, try sticking to natural materials and mixing textures for an elevated look. Try incorporating natural timber decor, pottery, mid-century recycled vintage furnishings, stone, mid-century and natural rattan rugs.


5. Feature Front Door

Last but not least, the front door feature is the one spot in this design where you can get a little wild with your colourchoice. A playful colour pop, contrasted to the stark white and neutrals can be the perfect balance of modernity and fun. It’ll have you saying “hey siri, play ‘Hotel California‘”. 


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