For design ideas, check out new So Cal homes

Written By: Kathy Price-Robinson - May• 15•07

LatmodernhomeWho would spend more money researching future trends than home developers, whose big-ticket gambles either sell quickly or sit and lose money? As a homeowner looking to remodel, you can take advantage of the developers’ research by perusing new homes and studying the colors, materials and layout. Surely, this is the future.

If you’re into the midcentury modern look, two projects come to mind, one spectacularly expensive, one spectacularly inexpensive.

The rich one first: A $6.8 million beauty in the Hollywood Hills, which Ruth Ryon reported on in Midcentury style, but wired for today in Sunday’s L.A.Times, features two islands in the kitchen, an outdoor kitchen, and wiring for audio, telecommunications and security. It also has white terrazzo floors, 12-foot-high Douglas fir ceilings, a free-flowing floor plan and exterior walls of glass.

ModernlivingModernoutsideThe amazingly affordable house: Actually, this is a whole development of homes, Modern Living Spaces, that are less than $400,000, built on an existing subdivision at the edge of Desert Hot Springs, in the Palm Springs area. Models include “The Cosmopolitan,” “The Gibson,” “The Manhattan,” “The Brandy Alexander” and “The Bellini.” All are named after cocktails and designed by local architects. Homes feature sleek, geometric shapes and lots of raw materials, in line with the midcentury mode, including concrete, metal, glass, granite, and polished concrete floors.

Models are open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. There’s a good chance you’ll find the developer, Mark Bodon, onsite to answer questions.

(Photos: Modern Living Spaces, LA Times)

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11 Comments

  1. unimpressed says:

    yeah these were a huge let down. for the quality and location, no thanks. like i want to see a huge propane tank in front of my home, or the trailer trash dog barking on the corner. Mark was less then helpful and his ideas very uninspiring.

  2. Kathy Price-Robinson says:

    Hey, sorry the Desert Hot Springs houses didn’t teach you much. And thanks for the heads-up. I went out and toured some new houses yesterday (price range around $600,000, or simply “6″ as a real estate agent would put it) and I learned quite a bit, namely that granite is still way in, ceilings are way high and living rooms are no more (in this case). So maybe it’s best to tour slightly higher-end places for ideas?

  3. bob says:

    Thanks for the info unimpressed. I”m on their e-mail list. I guess I won’t bother going. Especially when in a year you’ll be able to get a real alexander for under 300K. The market is so stale there, it actually stinks the valley up more than the Salton Sea. I mean, c’mon… it’s the friggin’ desert and it’s over 100miles from LA. 400K? No thanks.

  4. Al Underwood says:

    Well I hate it that I haven’t made it out to the edge to see these modern living spaces…but amazingly enough, here in French/ colonial Mississippi we’ve got a few mid century houses, more than a few, even some way out in the sticks! Too bad I didn’t have my camera with me…

  5. Pamela Sandland says:

    Was fortunate enough to see these homes during the first completed stage and I say pour me a cool Brandy Alexander anytime!

  6. Sherry Ray-Von says:

    Went to see these small but ideal for one very cool mod. liv. spaces May 2006. My Mom & Dad bought me one after looking at the sswell model. then chose one by looking at the availbility map., went to see it, well now yes their generous but thier not arch’s / builders, I was told we bought you the house you liked, {i had see a full color brochure, pics in line, floor plans etc. } I have a degree in designs + architechture, anyhow wow thanks i said and was told to get right out there and choose wall colors,tile colors, etc.,etc. so i did , upon ariving was somewhat geeted but a extremely un knowlegable so called designer who had not one answer when asked,(after noticing that the walls in the kitchen were painted from floor to cieling-when installing built in cust. cabn’ts- you only paint just below the splash if there is one) regarding just where were those fab slab counter top as in the model (of course my parents had allready signed the dotted line) oh weve decided to put Ikea wood rolling chopping block couter tops in and there they were all covered in plastic in the office/ entry -way”did my mom see this?” i asked ,”well she was here wasnt she, and they were right here at that time.heres that great pantry?” see the kitchen is bigger”, they said. !
    NO CABNETS W/ GREAT TOPS AND HARDWARE
    NO PANTRY- ? HUH?
    NOT ONE RECESSED LIGHT, of which in the mod there were at least 20
    HIGHER CILINGS THEY SAID 12”- NEETO ,
    “YOU MEAN NO RECESSED LIGHTING” I SAID
    NO CLOSET IN THE GUEST ROOMS? HUH?
    “WELL THERE WAS A FULLY MIRRORED ONE FROM 1 WALL TO THE OTHER IN THE MODEL!!
    “OH WE THOUGHT THIS WOULD MAKE A GREAT CRAFT ROOM”
    “A CRAFT ROOM , WHAT- YOU THOUGHT? UGG! HUH!
    NO COUNTER TOPS IN THE BATHS- EITHER OF THEM -
    YEP YOU GESSED IT LITTLE PED SINK – THATS RIGHT IKEA-AGAIN!!!
    OH AND YAH THE TILE I WAAS TO CHOOSE THAT PRETTY LITTLE PENNY TILE ALREADY INSTALLED IN TURQ-BLUE! HOW CAN I POSSABLE CHOOSE THAT SEEMS YOUVE CHOSEN ALLREADY!
    AND PAIT -”I PICK WHITE STARK WHITE, ARNT YOU A PAINTER”AN ARTIST I REPLIED, “OH WELL THEY ARE WHITE”, THEY SAID. THIS IS PRIMER I KNOW AND FURTHER MORE LOOK OUT THE BACK JUST 2-3 FT BEYOND WHAT WOULD BE MY 75,000. POOL, AND 6500. LANDSKAPING, WHAT I DONT SEE, LOWER YOUR EYES TO THE DESERT FLOOR {GARBAGE{ FOR MILES SWIRLING AND FLYING UP AND AROUND? AND SO WHEN IM SITTING OUT BY MY POOL OR HAVE GUESTS OVER HOW CAN I BE SURE A OLD NEWSPAPER, OR BUGER WRAPPER OR DIRTY DIAPER IS NOT GOING TO COME FLYING AT ME OR MINE?! THERES NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT THE TRASH AS THIS MASQUARADING DUO WALKED ME OUT OF MY WOULD BE FRONT DOOR, LESS THAN 10 FT FROM THAT POUNT WAS THIS GROWWLING, FROTHING RABBID LOOKING DOG CAINED UP OUTSIDE A RUSTY OLD TRAILER WICH HOUSED MY WOULD BE NEW NIEGHBOR,!! OK THATS IT AND NOW I SUPPOSE YOUR GONNA TELL ME YOU LOWERD THE PICE 200,000. AS WELL SINCE HALF THE HOUSE IS MISSING, AND MY MOM PAID FULL PRICE, THE SALES MEN HAD FALED TO EDGUCATE MY DEAR PARENTS AND SAVE THEM OODLES ON THE ASKING, ANYWAY I LET MOM KNOW SHE CALLED THEM , THEY SAID I WAS RUDE TO THIER BUILER & DESIGNER?
    AND TOLD HERE THEY DIDNT WANT ME TO OWN ONE? HUH?
    LIVING IN LONG BEACH, STILL PISSED,
    SHERRY RAY-VON
    INTERIOR DESIGNER/ ARCHITECHT

  7. Not a Designer but Appreciate it. says:

    Hey Sherry Ray-Von,
    Where were you trained? Did they teach you any grammar or spelling in ANY school you have attended? I have a hard time believing that you are trained in anything. I couldn’t make sense of 85% of what you were trying to say. I’m certainly not defending the Modern Living Spaces project, I’ve never even been there and don’t plan on it either. Anyone who’s been in the Coachela Valley knows that Desert Hot Springs and B-Bar Ranch, or whatever it’s called, is a hot, windy, trashy mess.
    If you want to post some long, drawn out opinion piece online, learn how to articulate some sentences and SPELL CORRECTLY so you don’t seem like a complete uneducated fool! Idiot…

  8. TERRI TYNDELL says:

    IT IS SO SAD THAT THERE ARE FOLKS (WHO ARE MIDCENTURY- ENTHUSIASTS) WHO WANT TO SEE A COMEBACK IN THE OLD MODERN ARCHITECTURE FROM THE 50′S TO EARLY 60′S ERA,. ARCHITECTS, BUILDER’S AND DESIGNERS CAN’T SEEM TO REINTRODUCE THE VERY CREATIVE, TASTEFUL, AND UNBORING DESIGNS OF YESTERYEAR. I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE, AND I WOULD LOVE FOR THE WHOLE MIDCENTURY THING TO BE APPRECIATED FOR WHAT IT IS…..TIMELESS, CLASSIC, AND THE COOLEST ERA IN DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY! LET’S MOVE THESE DESIGNS FORWARD INTO MORE THAN JUST A DESERT. THEY BELONG IN NEW REGULAR SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOODS TOO!
    TERRI TYNDELL~INTERIOR DESIGN

  9. Bob says:

    Good LORD, Sherry Ray Von!
    You sound like one hell of a mental case.
    BLAHBLAHBLALLBAHLBLBHLBLBLHABLHABLHABLHBLAH!

  10. maribel says:

    Bob: ” I guess I won’t bother going. Especially when in a year you’ll be able to get a real alexander for under 300K.”
    Is this for real? Where are these located? Thank you.

  11. Leslie says:

    I have to comment on some of these remarks people are making: These homes are what they are: modern homes different than your boring cookie cutter, Spanish tile roofed home, apparently built with quality construction, BUT a little outside of any big city, and that is why they are affordable. The comment from the individual who said they were in a “price range around $600K” must have visited another project since these homes have never been more than $419K at the peak of the market in ’05. and now are around $380K.
    If people who claim to be into the “real” Alexanders would really do some research into what they are getting into with a purchase of one of these old homes they’d find a typical 1200 square foot cramped home with very thin walls, in which all wiring and plumbing typicaly need redoing. Even if they reach $200K I would not buy one.
    They don’t build them like they used to, and that is a GOOD thing!
    I do know someone who lives at B-Bar-H Ranch, and that makes me more knowledgeable about the area than your average person who just passes through. There are about 3 homes in the area which are as people described – scary dogs tied up outside, etc. but if you want to focus on the 1% of the neighborhood which is negative as opposed to the 99% that is just amazing then that shows you are just asking for a Utopia which just does not exist anywhere outside of your imagination!

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