OASIS IN THE DESERT: THE JUNIPERO
Photography by Jaime Kowal
Palm Springs entrepreneur Jaime Kowal and her team behind The Amado, a popular boutique accommodation attracting discerning guests from around the world, have unveiled a new property called The Junipero, offering a desert getaway with tranquil design vibes and top-notch details. Kowal fills us in on the making of The Junipero:
Palm Springs Style: Can you tell us a little bit about this project and the history of the property?
Jaime Kowal: The Junipero is located in Chino Canyon, within walking distance to the Palm Springs Uptown Design District. The main house was built in the 1940s in a classic Spanish Colonial style, and there are three separate studio apartments on the property as well, providing a total of six beds sleeping 12 people. The property is located in a quiet neighborhood with a private, gated yard filled with lush vegetation, mature citrus trees and spectacular views of the San Jacinto mountains. Guests have access to over 18,000 square feet of outdoor lounging space. Everything has been newly renovated, both indoors and out. There is a beautiful, brand new pool designed for volleyball, an inviting hot tub that heats to 104 degrees within 10 minutes, a dining pavilion with fans for hot summer nights and heaters for chilly winter nights and a large fire pit. There are a number of chaise lounges, hammocks and hammock chairs…the entire property was designed for relaxation and privacy.
PSS: How would you describe the vibe of The Junipero?
JK: The Junipero is a relaxed compound providing a quintessential Palm Springs backdrop for groups of friends and loved ones to come together and celebrate the good things in life. We’ve integrated large-scale works of original photography and art throughout, integrated natural and organic materials for a warm welcome and paid careful attention to the details. As they say – the devil’s in the details. All of the kitchens are fully stocked, there are interesting coffee table books to flip through, we’ve purchased lightweight Turkish towels for poolside lounging, the pool deck has low slung chairs so you can hang out all day dipping your toes in the water…it’s all about enhancing our guests’ experience, anticipating their needs and surpassing expectations.
PSS: What were your inspirations in designing the space?
JK: The design draws influence from a Mediterranean color palette of turquoise and blue, juxtaposed with Moroccan textures, towels and tiles, shaken and stirred against a bright and sunny Palm Springs backdrop. The house is filled with light, and a wall of sliding glass doors in the dining room enhances in the indoor/outdoor lifestyle experience. I had fun painting all the doors a slightly different shade of blue, picking up all the subtle colors of the gorgeous custom wallpaper I used in the dining room. It looks like a giant brushstroke and provides a great backdrop for conversation. The wallpaper is really organic so I used a very strong, geometric brass chandelier to add a bit of structure to the room. I love playing with the tension in a room. The effects can be subtle but powerful.
PSS: Are there any mantras or credos you try to adhere to when working on commercial projects?
JK: I always think about the ultimate experience for our guests who will be enjoying the property in a myriad of ways. What are the celebrating? Why are they coming together? What are their needs? What does that look like? How can we add a pleasant surprise element to their day?
PSS: Do you have a favorite area or room on the property?
JK: This is a really special property and I have a number of favorite areas. Sitting in the hot tub at twilight watching the night sky darken behind the mountains while the fire pit blazes just a few feet away is a delicious experience. The outdoor dining pavilion seats 12 people and is a great backdrop for a community meal with friends. I love the hammocks too.
PSS: Any favorite pieces of furniture or décor?
JK: I have so many favorite pieces…this property was really a treat to design. I used super graphic and colorful Aelfie rugs from Brooklyn throughout the rooms for visual punch and worked with a local artist and designer Andrea Vincent to create custom pillows and bolsters from vintage fabrics for the beds. I am in love with the enormous Roost Basket Cloche hanging pendant in the living room of the main house. I used Rebecca Atwood linen and screen-printed pillows throughout, and there are incredible brass and wood One Forty Three lights in all the bedrooms. I selected a number of Eames chairs from Design within Reach in the dining areas, and DShop has the most incredible brass chandeliers that I used in the breakfast nook and dining room, which completely elevate the space.
PSS: How does The Junipero differ from The Amado?
JK: The two properties are similar in a number of ways – they were both originally built with a number of fully self-contained suites surrounding a pool and outdoor living area. They both sleep 12 people and have been renovated extensively to provide all the modern conveniences and comforts that travelers expect while still maintaining their original architectural feel and influence. Ultimately it’s the architectural styles that differ – The Junipero definitely has a more Mediterranean feel versus The Amado’s midcentury modern design.