By Brittany of Delight in the Desert
The weather in Phoenix is finally cooling down after a scorching summer and my husband Leo and I are approaching the final stages of transforming our backyard space of our new home, a Mid-Century 1961 Ralph Haver! We bought this in the beginning of summer and started renovating the moment we received the keys. We’ve now shifted our focus onto our backyard oasis. I want to share a bit of history about our unique Mid-Century home by a famous architectural designer and our vision for our backyard space – inspired by Palm Springs!
Palm Springs Inspiration
In 2017, Leo and I began a honeymoon adventure that forever changed our perspective on design and architecture. Palm Springs, with its iconic Mid-Century-Modern (MCM) charm, captured our hearts and ignited a passion for bringing a touch of that desert oasis vibe to our own home in Phoenix. We spent part of our honeymoon at the Parker Palm Springs Resort, a Mid-Century icon that had recently received a face lift by interior designer, Jonathan Adler. We also enjoyed driving around the neighborhoods where we discovered many colorful doors and beautiful MCM architecture. We like to go back and visit almost every year!
Join us on a journey to create an MCM paradise right in our own backyard.
Mid-Century Home Search and Purchase
Our love affair with Mid-Century architecture didn't end in Palm Springs. We were thrilled to discover that Phoenix boasts an array of Mid-Century homes, ready for renovation. After years of dreaming, our MCM home dreams came true, and in June 2023, we became the proud owners of a 1961 Haver-designed gem in central Phoenix. We decided to give it the name, “The Desert Cove”. Fun fact: we purchased this home from the original owners and we discovered the initial advertising from when this home was built!
Ralph Haver's Legacy
Ralph Haver, an architect in metropolitan Phoenix, left a lasting mark on the city's landscape. His designs ranged from churches and schools to malls and custom homes, but he's best known for his modern contemporary ranch homes. Today, Haver's creations are cherished by designers and DIY enthusiasts alike, thanks to their signature features like low-sloped rooflines, clerestory windows, and floor-to-ceiling walls of glass. Haver's vision was to craft comfortable and affordable homes with stunning design, and we're excited to be part of that legacy.
Renovations to the Desert Cove
Before moving into The Desert Cove, we started on a journey of minor interior renovations. We exposed the concrete floors by removing tile, remodeled a bathroom, bid farewell to popcorn ceilings, and gave the interiors a fresh coat of paint. But our biggest project awaited us in the outdoor space. As the temperatures cooled, we knew it was the perfect time to work on our back patio, a place where we plan to make memories year-round. We also plan to update the pool area with pops of pink and white tile, resurface the pool, add breezeway blocks to disguise the pool pump, and improve the lush landscaping with modern white rock and round concrete stepping stones.
Palm Springs-Inspired Patio with Paddy O'
My vision for the patio is to capture the timeless charm of Palm Springs with a modern twist and lots of pinks and blues. I recently discovered Paddy O’ Furniture and fell in love with the Patriot Collection as it has hints of Mid-Century design. I was very impressed with its quality and that its frames are made here in the U.S.A from recycled milk cartons. The collection includes Bliss Cushions, which are water- and fade-resistant, and available in 13 different colors.
Picture this: Spa-colored Bliss Cushions against crisp white frames, complementing the lush backdrop of our pool area and harmonizing flawlessly with the pops of pink we're planning to introduce. Our first step is to remove the existing Saltillo tile from the covered patio area, and replace it with a fresh concrete slab, leaving ample space for us to add a delightful mix of tropical and desert plants along the block wall.
One of the focal points to our renovation will be restoring the slats to the covered area, painting them in a clean, refreshing white, and crowning it all with a generous open skylight to transform the space into a captivating outdoor atrium. To furnish this inviting area, we're eyeing Paddy O' Furniture's Patriot Collection – the Patriot low-back sofa, loveseat, and club chairs, accompanied by the Asheville coffee table in white. These pieces will be accented by a vibrant, colorful outdoor rug and a selection of playful, patterned pillows.
And to infuse a touch of whimsy and nostalgia, we can't forget the disco ball. Because every Mid-Century paradise needs a bit of sparkle and fun.
With Paddy O' Furniture as our design consultants, we're on our way to creating a Palm Springs-inspired patio that's both a retreat and a conversation starter. As we dive into this transformation of our patio, we invite you to join us. Whether you're a fellow MCM enthusiast or simply seeking inspiration for your own outdoor space, we hope our adventure inspires you to step into the past and create your version of paradise in your backyard.
Brittany of Delight in the Desert is a content creator based in sunny Arizona. Together with her husband Leo and their mini Sheepadoodle, Lambchop, they recently purchased a 1961 Ralph Haver home in Phoenix that they are currently renovating. You can follow Brittany on Instagram @delightinthedesert and www.delightinthedesert.com.