To better match her clients’ transitional style, interior designer Barbara Hyde Evans replaced elaborate furniture and ornate architectural details with simple lines and a neutral, desert-inspired palette.
The living room of this renovated Palm Springs house features gorgeous views of the surrounding desert hills. Interior designer Barbara Hyde Evans chose a chaise lounge with a cutout in the back to create a sense of openness in the room.
“There was nothing cohesive about this space when I first walked in,” says interior designer Barbara Hyde Evans, founder of Seattle’s Hyde Evans Design, of a 9,000-square-foot house just outside Palm Springs that she was hired to renovate. “The cabinetry was ornately detailed, there were big, fussy chandeliers, and every room had a completely different ceiling treatment.”
According to Hyde Evans, the elaborate architectural detailing décor was left over from the previous owners, who had traveled extensively throughout Europe and brought back a very specific, Old World design sensibility—one that did not suit her clients. The couple live primarily in Seattle but purchased the desert property eight years ago to serve as a sunny escape during winter months, and a place to gather with family.
In the living room, a new, simple cast limestone fireplace replaced an ornate version that didn't match the homeowners' style. The coffee table is the Marcel model from Luca Studio, the lamps behind the sofa are from Arterios, and the art above the fireplace is by Brandon Reese.
As she does for all of her clients, Hyde Evans put together a lookbook featuring different styles of architecture and interiors to get a sense of the homeowners’ likes and dislikes and start to get a sense of the aesthetic direction of the project. The images the couple favored showed minimal, neutral interiors—the exact opposite of their home.
“They liked super-simple shapes, clean lines, and soft colors,” Hyde Evans notes. “I would call it a modern Mediterranean style.”
A row of Thomas Hayes Bascis barstools tuck into the spacious kitchen island. The custom blackened-steel hood was crafted by Technique Designs, and the backsplash is honed Calacatta.
It would be a challenge—in addition to reshaping most of the rooms (the former owners had embraced circular footprints throughout), the design team replaced finishes, flooring, and furniture (the clients had purchased the home fully furnished). The kitchen was taken down to the studs and designed anew, with a relocated butler’s pantry tucked in the back. “We touched every room in the house,” Hyde Evans says of the two-year project, done in collaboration with local contractor DeWitte Construction.
Changes started with the front door—the formerly elaborately carved piece was replaced with a slim, elegant custom metal-and-glass pivot door that sets the tone for the entire residence. An Ironware Fiona chandelier hangs in the entry, its dark color complementing the dark beams of the vaulted ceiling.
A compact butler's pantry is tucked behind the kitchen.
The home’s showstopper, the formal living room, features another vaulted ceiling, and a view of the pool and the craggy hillside just beyond. Desert flora brings in a subtle background of dusty green that enhances the tans and beiges of the room. A series of arched ceiling beams—once stained red and embellished with large wood spikes—was shorted and stained near-black to create a pleasing contrast to the furnishings and tap into the classic Mediterranean aesthetic.
The home's previous bar was sunken into the space. Hyde Evans tied the new one in with the kitchen by using the same material palette.
The kitchen, which formerly had a stove in the corner at an odd angle, is now an open, spacious place to gather, with a large central island topped with a slab of gray-colored Quartzite.
“We had to completely tear out every bit of the kitchen,” Hyde Evans says.
A pair of Ironware Fiona chandeliers hang above the island, and a neat row of Thomas Hayes Basic bar stools provide a front-row seat to all culinary action. Before the remodel, the flooring in the house was tile, which the homeowners didn’t care for, so Hyde Evans suggested using a medium-toned engineered wood throughout to bring a sense of warmth and create a cohesive base for the furnishings and finishes. Around the corner from the kitchen is a bar that matches the island, with built-in shelving backed in an elevated honed Calacatta marble.
Very little color was used in the interiors, but in the dining room, Hyde Evans upholstered a set of A Rudin armchairs in blue velvet. The reclaimed pine table is from Petersen Antiques & Design.
When it came to the dining room, Hyde Evans suggested retaining the arched entry and round footprint. “Originally, there were a lot of arches throughout the home,” she says. “When there are too many, they lose their uniqueness. We kept shapes in the dining room, and they work because they aren’t in every room anymore.”
A wine cellar sits just off the dining room, its formerly dark interiors replaced with simple oak racks and marble walls. A metal-and-glass door allows guests to look into the nook, and when opened, the cellar feels like an extension of the room. “It’s just a little gem,” says Hyde Evans. “We designed the doors to match the front door. It creates a cohesiveness.”
In the primary bedroom, a Burton James Layton Curve sofa adds dimension, while white linen drapery panels and matching roman shades provide privacy. Floor-to-ceilin glass panels open to connect the interiors to the patio.
The primary bathroom once again brings blue into the color scheme, with stone mosaic tiled in the Cartman pattern from Ann Sacks. A built-in vanity is rift-sawn oak with a honed calacatta marble top, and the tub is a Waterworks Arcos freestanding model.
Luxurious neutral tones and textures continue elsewhere in the house, from the cinema room to bedrooms, to the office. According to Hyde Evans, one of the biggest challenges was the primary bathroom. “It had a giant built-in tub,” she says, “and even the shower was arched and curved!” The space is tranquil and spa-like, anchored in a material palette of stone mosaic tile from Ann Sacks and honed Calacatta marble. A new walk-in shower is roomy enough for two, and the Waterworks Arcos freestanding tub embraces the curved motif in a modern way.
“The project was a huge transformation,” says Hyde Evans, “but it fits better with both the setting and our clients’ personal style.”