Darlings of the Desert
American architect John Lautner loved the climate and light of Southern California, aiming to meld his works with the landscapes they're built into. This marvel of a hotel is one very sexy example.
Another modern take on the American West, this home has a fun musical pedigree: it was elegantly restored by Eighties mega-band Devo's co-founder. Stay for the floor-to-ceiling glass and views of Mt. Eisenhower.
With a hat tip to Buckminster Fuller, this angular and orb-like dwelling looks out onto spectacular desert, mountain, Joshua Tree and Coachella Valley views from virtually every angle, among five acres of privacy all to yourself.
For those in search of an authentic Wild West experience, consider this 1954-built homestead in Morongo Valley. It sits on 2.5 acres of open desert, midway between Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs.
It's always nice to have a home on the National Register of Historic Places. This 1955-built getaway made the prestigious cut; and with its geometric forms and masterful restoration, it's easy to see why.
Modernism buffs consider the Sandpiper to be the finest mid-century townhouse complex in Coachella Valley. This William Krisel-designed home within it – cream hued, clean-lined, and cooled by breeze blocks – helps make a strong case.
A low-slung, sand-hued stucco form glints golden in the sunlight, over at another home within the Sandpiper. Krisel designed it as well, epitomizing his vision to make places that were "tropically beautiful and beautifully work-free."
For more mid-century and other homes in the California desert, start exploring here.