Midcentury modern homes are feted for their indoor/outdoor connections, but the Morse Residence in Palm Springs takes this to a new level with its sunken living room pool that opens onto the garden.
The unusual feature was requested by its original owners, Los Angeles couple Claire and Teddy Morse, who conceived the three-bedroom desert retreat as their party home.
The couple also enlisted not one but four major design forces in its construction. They commissioned architects William Krisel and Dan Palmer and the Alexander Construction Company to design the Palm Springs property before bringing in celeb-favourite Hal Levitt to redesign its interiors for entertaining once building work was underway.
The Morse Residence’s owners Gary and Joan Gand told Dwell: ‘Claire wanted to be able to walk into the pool without going outside, so Levitt integrated stairs from the sunken living room directly to the pool.’
Its free-flowing living room and garden are the highlights of the California dwelling, which has views of the San Jacinto mountains from its faux-turf lawns – originally installed to avoid high-heels sinking into the ground and pesky grass stains.
After buying the home in 2013, the Gands undertook a complete restoration of the Palm Springs property, scooping a Preservation Award along the way. Original features include polished white terrazzo and white stone walls, chromed malm fireplaces.
Now their work is complete, and the couple has already earmarked another Palm Springs home to restore next. Consequently, they’ve listed the Morse Residence for sale with Scott Histed Bennion Deville Homes for a cool $4.5m.