Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In the early 1960s philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg purchased 200 acres of land in the Palm Springs desert with a vision to create their interpretation of "Camp David of the West", as what would become known as Sunnylands. In the recently released hardcover book, Sunnylands: America’s Midcentury Masterpiece, we are treated to the ultimate insider's view into the early beginnings of this majestic modernist estate, with details, drawings & designs from architect A. Quincy Jones and interior designer William Haines, to the extensive personal color photographs, intimate accounts & handwritten notes from the illustrious set that graced the rooms & grounds --  a who's who of diplomats, business executives, society icons & Hollywood celebrities.

My additional take away thoughts from the book's comprehensive scope include recognizing a style undercurrent to Sunnylands that strikes a balance between fine and familiar. Forward thinking architecture, exquisite art & furnishings and formal entertaining juxtaposed by a relaxing sanctuary focused on anticipating and accommodating the needs of every guest. I found this contrasting sentiment and attention to detail extended to the design of the book's cover.....  The cover has a sort of raised padded feel. I instantly associated the design as a tie to the featured photograph, the important William Haines designed 8 foot custom tufted style contemporary sofa placed in the master bedroom. Yet, when you remove the cover jacket the padded texture is actually created by a quilted bright yellow whimsy floral fabric that was selected for and used throughout the guest wing.

Sunnylands: America’s Midcentury Masterpiece, is an absolute treasure and testament in honoring an important living relic of our nation's history. I highly suggest adding this title to your design library.

*Sunnylands is now open to the public, tour info here.

**I have The Vendome Press to thank for extending me a copy to preview.

Images The Vendome Press

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