Historic hotel bungalows have a timeless allure that dates back to the turn of the 20th century, when they were first introduced to accommodate families in need of more space and privacy. Today, three Californian properties are bringing the traditional Hollywood hideaway to life.
The mid-century modern desert resort of Palm Springs is expanding to include 24 new whitewashed one-bedroom bungalows – in addition to its 25 existing units – as well as a new swimming pool. Los Angeles-based designer and owner Steve Hermann (who has worked on homes for Vera Wang and Larry Ellison) is the mind behind the four-acre property. Originally built in 1952 by architect William F. Cody, each of the houses has its own unique character and feel – which Hermann sought to keep intact when adding in-room fireplaces, outdoor showers, pine ceilings, large glass walls facing the San Jacinto. mountains and vintage chairs.
The historic bungalows here are very different from when Hollywood royalty reserved the little pink houses for honeymoon purposes (Elizabeth Taylor, for six of her eight weddings), filming (Marilyn Monroe in “Let’s Make It Happen”). ‘love’), to go into hiding after divorce (Gloria Swanson) and live (Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich have each moved in for over a year). Only three have been fully completed, the other 18 will follow. The residential vibe is the same as when the Bungalows were built in 1915 – but amenities have been updated with a contemporary California vibe. Unlike the old palette of cream, beige and salmon, there is now a warm range of rust, pink, green and gold. The new furnishings are still very 1940s, and some design cues have been inspired by some of the iconic venue’s most notable guests.
The Santa Monica estate was also a sought-after haven during the heyday of cinema for Hollywood luminaries from Jean Harlow to Greta Garbo. Its 31 secluded bungalows, outfitted with lush gardens and private patios, were first introduced in 1938 as a home away from home – and are the only luxury suites of their kind in West Los Angeles. Los Angeles-based designer Michael Berman, known for his understated modernism, transformed the bungalows into a Malibu beach house that meets a “modern surfer” feel, with natural mid-century modern wood furniture; geometric wall coverings; and pops of bright, beachy color.