Located on a hill in the Mesa neighborhood of Palm Springs, this unusual home brings a bit of Santorini style to the California desert. The four-bedroom, three-bath structure was constructed in 1977 by architect William Nicholson by using steel frames and concrete around giant balloons to create a bulbous roof with dome-like rooms.
Nicholson is perhaps most famous for a similarly constructed home south of San Francisco called the Flintstone House, a loud orange and purple painted building that has caused local outrage for its oxidized steel dinosaur sculptures in the yard. But this more soothing Palm Springs home was Nicholson’s last project as an architect; Palm Springs Life Magazine reported in April 2019 that Nicholson was so upset that no one wanted to purchase his unusual creations that the architect stopped designing houses.
Dan Valentino, a local real estate broker and self-taught designer, saw potential in renovating the cave-like house with the Greek islands in mind. During an 18-month overhaul, he moved closets, rerouted stairs, added windows, and revamped the filled-in swimming pool. The result? A bright and airy 3,000-square-foot retreat that balances a plethora of white with Indigo blue and reclaimed wood.
The living room features wood French doors that lead out to a refreshed patio and pool area, while the dining room and kitchen uses salvaged wood and blue and white accent tiles from Greece. In the master bedroom, barn door floor mirrors serve as closet doors and a fireplace adds coziness. Other perks include a 10-foot fire feature, multiple patios, and a turret-like reading nook with panoramic views. Love what you see? 400 West Camino Alturas is on the market now for $2,975,000.