Feature Friday: Elrod House, Palm Springs, CA

Architect, John Lautner designed this iconic Palm Springs home for one of my favorite Interior Designer's, Arthur Elrod. You  may recognize this home from photo shoots, television and most famously, the 1971 James Bond movie, Diamonds are Forever. More recently, I was watching Iron Man 2 and thought that Tony Stark's house looked a whole lot like the Elrod House - not so sure if it was in fact the Elrod House or just an inspired design? Anyways, Palm Springs is a mecca for Mid-Century design and the Elrod House sits at the top of the list for phenomenal rule-breaking and game changing design. 

The living room is probably the most recognizable and spectacular area of the home - A 60' wide circle enclosed by 25' wide retractable glass curtain walls form the space and a conical dome roof tops it off. The glass curtain walls will retract with the simple touch of a button - how cool is that? This feature is by far my favorite!

Lautner built the home into the rocky mountainside and incorporated the natural material and landscape into his design. He embraced not only the native landscape but also the extreme desert climate. He included design features which allowed the view and plenty of light to flood in while the sun's intense heat was kept out. The conical domed roof has alternating petals which are angled and designed ever-so to optimize the most light while providing shade to the house.

On the main floor, a long curved wall separates and hides the kitchen away from the circular living room.


"The generous master bedroom (originally only of only two in the house) features a bar and refrigerator tucked behind walls of exotic wood, with carefully matched grains. Elrod was a wizard at organization, wanting everything in its proper place, and Lautner obliged by filling multiple closets with row after row of pullout Lucite drawers. The closets are lined with cork so that jewelry or other accessories can be pinned up.

The sunken tub in the master bath is exposed to the outside, with only a glass wall standing between the T-shaped tub and a tidy row of bamboo. The area is unprotected but private, thanks to the remote site and the natural screening of a boulder."

The pool deck has sweeping views of the valley and the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio Mountains. Can you imagine waking up and sippin' your coffee on this deck? Such a dream, such a dream.

A guest house and servants quarters can be accessed by a spiral staricase from the pool deck, which was added 2 years aftern the main house was built. From what I understand, not much else has changed since the home was built in 1968. The owners of this home have done a pretty great job of maintaining its original glory and thank goodness! I am hoping one day I will buy this beauty and call it my own... or I can be satisfied with just a tour.


  1. Are public tours available at Elrod House?

  2. Not that I am aware of but if anyone knows please let me know! I believe the house is currently occupied so I would imagine it only being open for extra special events... maybe PS Modernism Week will give us a tour!