Known as the Miles C. Bates “Wave” House for its curving roof that mimics the nearby San Jacinto mountains, this mid-century home was designed by Walter S. White, a Southern California-born architect and inventor who worked for the likes of Rudolph Schindler and Albert Frey. His distinctive rollercoaster roof and other inventive construction techniques greatly influenced mid-century modern architecture in the Coachella Valley.
The Desert Wave was built in 1955 as a getaway and sculptor’s studio for Miles C. Bates, who turned it into an artistic and social hub for the Coachella Valley. Over time, a series of additions by other owners and years of lying empty threatened its structural integrity.
In 2018, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places and purchased by Stayner Architects, who set to work restoring the innovative roof system and mid-century structure. The result, a publicly accessible home of historical importance, was unveiled at Modernism Week in 2020.
The home has now been made available for vacation rental, and makes a wonderful desert getaway for up to three guests. It’s small (with only one bedroom), but it’s an exceptional space, with vintage modernist furnishings, luxury Tibor fabrics, Frette Italian linens, and two private bathrooms with rain showers.
The full kitchen comes stocked with food, drinks and treats, and next to the whiskey and amaro bar is a turntable with curated vintage records, plus a Sonos and vintage Bose sound system.
Outdoors, there’s a two-person chilled/heated cedar Ofuro soaking tub, a dining terrace, private gardens with mountain views, and native desert landscaping by the Cactus Store of Echo Park and NYC.
This holiday home in Palm Desert offers total isolation in a private mid-century escape just a two-hour drive from Los Angeles.
Photos by: Stayner Architects/Jon Anthony