Inspired Oasis

The aura of luxury living that resonates from this desert beauty in Rancho Mirage, Calif., is definitely not an optical illusion.

May 01, 2003



Reflecting the beauty of its California desert location, this custom home's outdoor entertainment area features a saltwater pool as its focal point. Although they look completely natural, the stunning gardens were carefully created using mature palm trees, more than 160 garden lights and more than 1 million pounds of boulders positioned to enhance the homeowners' privacy. The home's exterior features a combination of rough-finished, smooth and raked stucco.


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The aura of luxury living that resonates from this desert beauty in Rancho Mirage, Calif., is definitely not an optical illusion. The $3 million custom home in one of Southern California's hottest resort/retirement communities provides its empty-nester owners with the ideal environment for relaxing, entertaining and making the most of an enviable location.

The home's 1-acre site provided builder Jim Foxx with plenty of flexibility when choosing the orientation of the 5,037-square-foot residence. "The home's most important spaces face toward the mountains to the south and southwest," says Foxx, to capitalize on views of the Coachella Valley and San Bernardino National Forest. These key spaces include the master suite, living and family rooms and kitchen/breakfast area.

The three-bedroom home features an open floor plan with limited use of interior walls designating the transition between rooms. Instead, an angled wet bar serves as an interior focal point and creates the visual separation of space between the formal and informal zones.

Similarly, the triangular island in the kitchen becomes the perceived boundary of the meal preparation zone and the family room. This open arrangement encourages interaction between someone working in the kitchen and those who might be in the family room or breakfast area.

Occupying its own wing, the master suite functions as a self-contained retreat and includes a completely outfitted kitchenette, laundry facilities and his and her bathrooms. The homeowners use the smaller secondary bedroom next to the master suite as a home office.

The guest suite at the front of the home provides visitors with a corner fireplace, a sitting area, a juice bar, a compartmentalized bath and a large walk-in closet. Sliding glass doors in the main bedroom provide direct access to the outdoors and a private patio.

Covered outdoor living space echoes the asymmetrical shape of the rear elevation and allows the homeowners to enjoy the arid climate. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls are actually pocketing doors that disappear within the walls on demand. Space heaters, ceiling fans and electronic sunshades maintain a comfortable environment in the outdoor entertaining areas, which include a saltwater pool with a beach-style entry, a spa, a shower, fire features and an entertainment center.

With two master bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen, laundry facilities and a two-car garage, a 1,600-square-foot detached guesthouse accommodates two couples or visiting children and grandchildren.

"This separation of space creates a very comfortable environment for everyone," Foxx says. "The family can come and go as they like during the day and then gather together in the main house for dinner."

The home was completed in March 2003.

Style of Home | Desert contemporary

Location | Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Total Square Footage | 5,037

Estimated Market Value | $3 million

Builder | Foxx Homes, Palm Desert, Calif.

Architect | Prest/Vuksic Architects, Palm Desert

Interior Designers | Fedderly and Associates, Palm Desert; Leigh and Associates, Palm Desert

Custom empty-nester residence

Major Products Used | Appliances: Sub-Zero (wine storage, refrigerator drawers, icemaker, undercounter refrigerator in wet bar), Dacor (dishwasher), KitchenAid (trash compactor, dishwasher, microwave), Wolf (wall oven, range, exhaust hood, barbecue), DTcor (warming drawer), General Electric (refrigerator, washer, dryer) | Countertops: granite | Lighting Automation: LiteTouch | Cabinetry: custom maple | Plumbing Fixtures: Grohe | Electronic Sunshades: MechoShade Systems | Doors: T.M. Cobb | Home Controls & Automation: Tandy Telelink | Windows: Fleetwood | Exterior: stucco

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