Built in 1947, the pristine three-bedroom home is nestled into a large lot with a backyard pool and guest cottage. A striking midcentury, the home sits tucked away on a gated, oversized lot in the tree-lined Chandler Estates neighborhood. Architect Leonardo Chalupawicz redesigned the home in 1997, and it recently underwent another transformation in 2020 by its current owners, Nicky Buerger, an interior designer and stylist, and Steve Clarke, a creative director at an advertising agency.
For the remodel, the couple sought to “create a serene yet practical environment,” while retaining the original midcentury aesthetic. To optimize natural light, the couple fine-tuned the 2,300-square-foot home with an open, free-flowing layout. Upon arrival, a generous foyer leads to a sun-filled sitting area, and the kitchen and living room lie just around the corner.
Exposed beams span the merged living spaces, complementing the refinished hardwoods and wood-framed French doors that line the back wall in the dining area. Original redwood beams and vintage plywood were repurposed to make new furniture—including bookcases and a bench—to create a connection to the home’s past life.
The home’s three bedrooms are located away from the living areas. The primary bedroom suite offers pool views, a fireplace, dual walk-in closets, and a spa-style bath. The two-and-a-half additional baths are outfitted with designer finishes and original glass blocks that channel daylight.
In the backyard has a lush lawn along with a swimming pool and secluded guest cottage, which features a bedroom, bathroom, and well-equipped kitchenette. By infusing warm, soft textures throughout the property, the cottage has a tranquil, restful space that flows seamlessly from indoors to out.
Based on the Axiom 2110 and featuring the Turkel Design signature post-and-beam construction and an open great room breezing out to a private courtyard, the 2,080-square-foot Axiom Desert House draws from the lifestyle and culture of Palm Springs—seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor living while incorporating innovative and energy-efficient products and systems throughout.
Recently completed in February 2019, Axiom Desert House, Featured Home at this year’s Palm Springs Modernism Week—turns heads as a stunning, systems-built jewel that is now the private residence of designers Joel and Meelena Turkel, as well as a Living Lab for Turkel Design. The home’s open plan, indoor/outdoor flow, and thoughtful use of sustainable materials are a testament to modern prefab, celebrating transformative design that is simple, elegant, and replicable.
Many cultures feature houses with rooms grouped around a private courtyard: this is a take on that venerable tradition. Passing through a flat-roofed entry, the space expands as you encounter a high, beamed ceiling, sloping upward to 12 feet. This is the great room – 40 feet in length, it opens directly onto the walled courtyard through glass panels that slide away into hidden pockets. An especially admired feature of the room is a 4-by-12-foot window-seat extending into and overlooking the courtyard. This too has operable glass panels that tuck away into pockets: a charming place to lie down—even sleep—“half-in, half-out.”
Master suites occupy both ends of this “L” shaped home, each with private access to the courtyard; an ideal arrangement for a shared vacation home, in town or out. While being careful to ensure privacy, the outward facing walls stop short of the overhanging roof, bringing in balancing light and capturing expansive outward views. A custom daybed in the living room becomes part of the outdoor furnishings when the Marvin lift and slide doors are open. (Click to view video)
The children’s room features fold-away bunk beds and an Oslo Sofa wall bed system (not shown) by Resource Furniture
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