By Katy Carrier // Photography by Lance Gerber
It all started with a chair. When Daniel Krog first laid eyes on the 1961 Palm Springs home that he would ultimately purchase with his husband Adam Bonnett, he immediately knew that a Warren Platner lounge chair belonged there. The sculptural chair, with graceful lines in steel and upholstery, was originally designed by Platner for Knoll in 1966, and eventually guided the design direction of the entire home. Krog, an interior designer and opera singer, embarked on the project with a purist approach, focusing solely on the 1960s and eschewing anything that fell outside of the decade—particularly the 1950s kitsch furnishings that so frequently fill the rooms of midcentury modern homes.
Above: A Platner lounge chair and side table in the primary bedroom, with a vintage oil painting and prints.
Bonnett, a Disney Channel executive, largely let Krog do his thing, save for some early criticism about the decision to acquire exclusively vintage 1960s art for the home. Nearly every sculpture in the home is by William Bowie, whose work is characterized by Krog as more collectable than C. Jeré, and Carl Bray landscape paintings bring a desert sensibility to the space (Bray was a Coachella Valley-based painter of local scenery). The vintage pieces brought home by Krog were initially met with skepticism from Bonnett, but “now he constantly comments that the ’60s art and sculptures make the house,” says Krog. “I just smile and agree.”
Above: The home’s main living room, opening to the pool. Bracket sofas by Edward Wormley are upholstered in Knoll’s classic bouclé and the chairs and side tables are by Warren Platner; sculpture on the cocktail table is by William Bowie.
Above: A vintage landscape painting hangs over a Bertoia chair and George Nelson table in the office.
All of the furnishings sourced by Krog fall into the categories of vintage original, period restored or licensed original, with represented designers including Edward Wormley, George Nelson, Pierre Paulin and Harvey Probber. And inevitably those Platner chairs made their way into the home, with a pair in the living room and one in the corner of the primary bedroom.
Above: The primary bedroom.
Above: A Harvey Probber console with a vintage painting and Pierre Paulin chair in the home’s “orange guest room.” Vase with orange fish is Bitossi and the lamp is by Bill Curry for Laurel Lamps.
Above: The home’s “orange guest room.”
Krog credits his studies of the different eras of music with helping him develop his love of modernism. “If Eames is the Mozart of modernism, then Platner is the Beethoven,” he imparts with a smile.
Above: The home’s original travertine bar, with dark oiled walnut barstools by Cherner. A multicolored 1965 painting hangs across from the piano, which is from Yamaha’s Conservatory Series and a rare find in white, as most white pianos are of the quality intended for decoration rather than serious play.
Above: The kitchen, with Bertoia barstools at the travertine-clad counter. The hardware is vintage reproduction from the era.
Above: The primary bathroom, featuring the original sunken bath and finished with 2×2-inch tiles specially sourced by Krog to match those popular during the 1960s.
He studied the design of the era with an intensity that led to sourcing period-specific—and rare—2×2-inch porcelain tile for the kitchen and bathrooms. The home’s original travertine was retained on the bar and fireplace, and new terrazzo flooring befitting the period was incorporated throughout the home. The ornately-carved original front double doors stayed, with the handles restored and re-chromed, and a vintage 1960s doorbell was procured by way of eBay.
Above: The living room fireplace features the original travertine surround.
Above: The home’s second living room, located between the kitchen and the dining area, with an Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture sofa and tables by Saarinen, with a Nesso lamp by Giancarlo Mattioli for Artemide. Mint green chair by Pierre Paulin, wood credenza is vintage Florence Knoll and the dining table is the six-star series by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen. Chandelier is vintage Lightolier.
Above: The home’s front entrance, with the original carved wood doors.
The home’s architectural design is attributed to Hal Levitt, who is perhaps best known for the houses he designed for Hollywood’s elite after starting his design practice in Los Angeles in the 1950s. Krog knew of Levitt’s design work in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills, but it was this home—one of only a handful of Levitt designs in the desert—that helped him develop a better understanding of Levitt’s legacy.
Above: The home’s “green guest room.”
“Levitt was really tuned into how different rooms related to each other and their relative scale,” says Krog. This balance was something that particularly appealed to Krog’s design sensibilities, and very few changes were made to the footprint of the 3,000-square-foot home, apart from a reconfiguration of the primary bath.
Above: Vintage George Nelson Modern Management Group desk and credenza in the home’s office, overlooking the pool. Vintage desert landscape paintings by Carl Bray and others hang on the wall.
Above: Restored vintage Brown Jordan furniture on the terrazzo patio.
Nearly every room features large glass doors that open to the kidney-shaped pool and surrounding patio, which is filled with an impressive collection of vintage Brown Jordan furniture that looks like new after being re-strapped and powder coated.
Above: The primary bedroom, with a French midcentury rattan headboard and vintage walnut bedside tables by Brown Saltman. The lights are licensed original Verner Panton Moon pendants.
Krog’s strict adherence to the era’s design successfully avoids veering into time capsule territory. This is a testament to the relevance of 1960s design in present-day Palm Springs living, and certainly attests to the staying power of a Platner chair.