THE KAUFMANN HOUSE, PALM SPRINGS, CA
The idea of simplifying at home and living a slow life hits a real cord this time of year, doesn't it? Gone are the temptations and obligations of the holidays, and now I bet it is pretty quiet right now. The kids are at school and house guests have gone. The house is still with just perhaps a little snow or rain falling quietly. There is a lot of beauty in this stillness, in which the house doesn't ask anything of you today. The freedom to just be, just exist in the environment that you have creating is necessary and so meaningful. Homes can give us a respite from the outside, from technology and digital culture, and the treadmill of work, if you let it.
One house that gives us inspiration through simplicity is the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, California. PS, as its called by the locals, is an eclectic mix of desert landscape, boutique hotels and restaurants, artist population, and modern architecture like this residence. Richard Neutra built the Kaufmann House in 1947 in a winding street not far from downtown. The architecture is all about natural materials, glass, light and nature. Transparent walls make rooms seem to spill outside and the minimal furnishings allow the light and space to flood indoors. The reduced color palette is beautiful. The main color comes from wood which casts a warm brown hue through the rooms. Most other colors in the home come from the warm desert landscape of yellows, stone, and foliage. There is a beautiful, soulful, and slow luxury about this confluence of elements in the home. It's the very definition of simple, slow living.
There is much that we can do in our homes as inspired by The Kaufmann House. The interiors are clean and streamlined. The textiles are simple and made from natural materials. And as always, the landscape, peaking through a window, makes for a beautiful view. As a designer, I look at the way textiles are used in an interior, and here they take a backseat. They are really minimal, but you can be sure, I think, that they are made from the finest natural materials with color and texture as focus in the design. Textiles at home can be simple and quiet, but extraordinarily beautiful and meaningful in their own right. In fact, sometimes these quiet but quality pieces become your most coveted treasures.