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The Nook of Vista Las Palmas Loves its Mid Century Modern Roots and Looks to the Next Century

Written by Cindy Marie Jenkins on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 at 1:37pm.

When Nook Sales Experts match a buyer with their dream home, the only thing as important as architectural style is the neighborhood. That’s why we’re bringing you the #NookNeighborhoods series, where every Wednesday you’ll find cool history and culture to make sure you don’t overlook an area that could have the best nook for you.

I remember standing in the Museum of Modern Art, fresh out of college and ready to conquer the artistic world, seeing an exhibit. I felt in shock, as I realized that I could have opened my Art History book and pointed to the same pieces. That’s when it hit me: who decides what is “modern” art? Isn't it simply the last half of the twentieth century, as I thought? The last century? Or is it a certain set of years? Spoiler alert: it’s the latter.

That was the first time the distinction between “modern” vs “contemporary” came into my life, and it applies as much to architectural styles as it does to visual art. The term “Modern” is, by definition, the period of time post-WWII, where new ideas were unleashed and flooded into America. According to HGTV, “Characterized by flat planes, large glass windows, and open space, these homes -- built from 1945 to the 1980s -- featured simplicity and an integration with nature, encouraging residents to explore the world in new ways.” Mid Century Modern still rules as one of our favorite lifestyles, but new times require innovation. That's why we're thrilled to be on the cutting edge and take part as elite areas like Vista Las Palmas in Palm Desert began leaping into “Next” Century Modern, as a way to sustain their Mid Century Modern heritage but upgrade materials and slightly shift the sensibilities.

Vista Las Palmas has always held its own as the center of the celebrity personality, the “Beverly Hills” of Palm Springs, and mid-century modern played a very specific role in their lavish parties. In the 1990s, when the area saw a bit of a cultural drought, Spanish tile and fake adobe were unthoughtfully placed on homes in a misbegotten effort to revitalize the neighborhood. It took the Vista Las Palmas Neighborhood Organization and remodelers to take the historical vision into the next century. After all, residents and snowbirds alike adore Vista Las Palmas for the seclusionary feel and connection with nature that is just a fifteen-minute walk to downtown. Part of the appeal continues to be that neighbors don’t just wave hello; they invite you over for a poolside dinner. You don’t have to find a place to meet. You enjoy each other’s homes. All renting facilities even have strict policies that if you’re reported for one noise infraction, you lose all renting privileges in the area.

But what really is Next Century Modern and how does it life up the already popular nook of Vista Las Palmas? It is new construction designed in the mid-century modern style, with higher ceilings, 21st-century electrics, insulation, and plumbing, plus even more expansive rooms. It is the future for our favorite architectural style, not limited to a retro feel or vintage furniture. Yet these two sister styles can cohabitate; one does not cancel out another. It can only enrich a nook like Vista Las Palmas, always on the brink of what Modernism is and can be.

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