Archive for the ‘Renovation/Remodeling’ Category

Palm Springs Art Museum Announces Fundraiser for Inaugural E. Stewart Williams Exhibit at Edwards Harris Pavilion

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014


The board of the Architecture and Design Council have planned a special evening in support of the inaugural exhibition, An Eloquent Modernist, E. Stewart Williams, Architect, at the Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion. This special fundraiser is at the home, which is one of the last designs by E. Stewart Williams, of Architecture and Design Center founders David Lee and Mark Nichols on Saturday, April 5th, from 6:00p.m. to 8:00pm.

The Palm Springs Art Museum recently purchased a historic 1961 bank building in downtown Palm Springs and is in the process of rehabilitating the iconic building to create the new Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion.

The building, designed by renowned mid-century modern architect E. Stewart Williams, is located at 300 South Palm Canyon Drive and was originally designed to house the Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan. The building will be devoted to architecture and design and provide a space for exhibitions and programs, and includes an archive study space. A prime example of mid-century modern design, the building will provide a space for educational programming, community projects, and a retail merchandise area for unique design objects.

When completed, the A&D Center will be the country’s first historic structure to be transformed into a free-standing architecture and design museum that is housed in a modern building. The rehabilitation is an enormous undertaking, requiring both adhering to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for alterations to this historic property and bringing the building up to current 21st century building codes.

Robust fundraising efforts to support the transformation of the building are in process and the list of Founders continues to grow. More than thirty founders have already pledged support for the process, and the museum is seeking additional founders to join this prestigious group. Only 100 founder level memberships will be offered in total.  Founders memberships are $25,000 and can be paid over three years and comes with many special museum benefits including President’s Circle membership and Architect and Design Council membership. In addition, a handful of naming opportunities still exist.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $150 and available by contacting Paul Ortega at (760) 322-4818 or [email protected].

The Paul Kaplan Group is a boutique real estate firm specializing in architectural homes, vacation properties, and condos in the Palm Springs area.

If It’s Tuesday, It Must be Wine, Cheese, and Cool Architecture

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Cool Architecture

Join us for a glass of wine, some cheese and some cool architecture this Tuesday, February 18th from 5:00 to 7:00pm, in Palm Springs’ SUNRISE PARK neighborhood. We’re showing off one of our latest listings, a sexy updated and renovated Mid-Century Modern home originally built by the Alexander Construction Company. Hosted by Clay BahamThe Paul Kaplan Group, Inc.

Located at 216 N. Monterey, this fabulous 1958 Alexander has been remodeled to the highest standards. Great curb appeal with full landscaping front and rear – including mature citrus trees! Expanded kitchen with high end appliances. Dual-paned windows, updated electric, gas and plumbing and freshly painted inside and out.

Cool Architecture

Original Palm Springs Alexander Kitchens

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Here’s a flash back look at the original kitchens installed in the Alexander Construction Company’s homes in the Racquet Club Estates neighborhood, located in Palm Springs.  At the Paul Kaplan Group, we love these hidden gems that pop up when new listings hig the market-  We’re very lucky to see a time capsule of the original kitchen design in this latest listing in the Racquet Club.

Origi Alex Kitchen

Coutertops were Formica on the island, and tile on the sink and stove counters.  The center island consisted of lower and upper cabinets that were mounted on boomerang style metal legs.  The island could be moved, for when you needed more space in the dining area.  These islands are vary rare to find, as most of disappeared over the past 50+ years, as homeowners have remodeled their kitchens.  I don’t think dishwashers were included in the original kitchen design.



Original Alex Kitchen 2

A look back towards the kitchen from the dining area.

Original Alex stove

The original oven-  hard to fit a 21st century Turkey in one of these!


Original kitchen 2

The original range cook top and oven-  plust the original tiled counter tops-  and close up of the peg and grove cabinets below

   Orig alex range


For more information on Alexander homes and Racquet Club Estates, plus available mid-century homes, please visit our website at or call our offices at 760-459-1396.

Paul Kaplan Group, Open Houses Palm Springs & Cathedral City

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Open Houses Palm Springs and Cathedral City this Weekend,

December 8 and 9, 2012

Great Homes that are Priced Right!

This week features properties that are new construction, newly renovated or are turn-key for vacation rentals. It’s an exciting group of homes and we hope to see you there. Call Paul at 760-459-1396 for more information or additional listings.

For all the Palm Springs open houses this weekend, click here or visit


What not to do to your mid-century home in Palm Springs

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

In Palm Springs, we are privy to living with some amazing mid-century architecture by some ingenious period architects.  Palm Springs didn’t get the title for being the Mecca of mid-century architecture, for nothing!  My passion for these homes, is one of the reasons  I formed The Paul Kaplan Group, to specialize in architectural real estate.

However-  once in a while a house comes on the market that makes us mid-century aficionados cringe, and affirms our belief in the importance of Historic Preservation.

Below, is a home built around 1960 by the Alexander Construction Company in Racquet Club Estates, designed by the icon of mid-century architecture, William Krisel.

The house USED to look like this, from the original Alexander Construction Company brochure:


Open House Sunday, November 25 from 11 to 1 pm

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Hip and Chic Sunrise Park Modernist Remodel, Great Vacation Rental Potential, Open House (more…)

Which way should my house face in Palm Springs?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Clients of mine, recently re-sent me an email I sent to them, regarding helping them decide whether or not they should buy a particular mid-century house in the Palm Springs Racquet Club Estates neighborhood, back in 2009.   Having lived in this neighborhood and having sold about 100 homes over the years with The Paul Kaplan Group, I’ve learned a lot about the pros and cons of house orientation.  They thanked me again and said this email explanation did help them decide on their house- and 3 years later, they agree that what I said was true! (thank God!!) Here’s the email:

“I’ll give you my two cents about views from what I’ve learned over the years and experienced.
If you’re on the West side of the street, you do have a direct mountain view from your back yard. However, you’ll be looking at the view thru the power lines. If you’re on the East side, the front of the house has an amazing view and from the back yard tanning deck, you’re looking at the view without the wires in the way. The way this house sits, you don’t see the wires from the house when looking in the back yard, because you really don’t look up.
On this house (if it was restored to the original) the clerestories in the three bedrooms would capture the western mountain view dramatically- it almost looks like framed art. Additionally, many people have created courtyards in the front of the house to take advantage of the view and sunsets.
Regarding living here full time as you eventually plan, orientation becomes even more important. Every orientation has an advantage. I can tell you from personal experience, a West facing view in the spring & summer is not so great…the afternoon sun is so intense, you rarely ever get a chance to actually LOOK at the view because the sun is always in your eyes. Additionally, with the heat, your pool will cook, and it will be uncomfortable to lay out in the back yard. Otherwise, you can build a huge overhang (like the house on Starr) to block the sun- but then doing that, you lose the view anyway because it will be blocked.

Planning Your Palm Springs Racquet Club Estates Views

Also, in Palm Springs Racquet Club Estates, if your back yard faces West, you’ll get more wind during the windy season- with it facing East, the house will block some of that wind and make it a little more tolerable. What many people have done with an East facing back yard, is build a courtyard in the front yard and open the bedrooms in the front. There’s a huge set back from the street, so there’s plenty of room for a courtyard on this house.”

Hope this helps!!  If you have any questions about buying a home in Palm Springs, its orientation, wind, or anything else, please drop me a line or give me a call at 760-285-8559.  The Paul Kaplan Group is a local boutique real estate company, that knows Palm Springs and provides the education you need that you can’t necessarily find about a neighborhood, on the internet!  Hiring a local expert can help you make the right decision about your home purchase.

Home prices on the rise!

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

As we ease out of the great recession, Real Estate is having a come back here in Palm Springs and across the country.  Open any newspaper these days, and you’ll see a report about housing prices starting to increase.  Per the following, prices nationally are up 2.7%.  As the general public gains more confidence with the economy, more people are seeking out real estate to take advantage of low prices and low interest rates, in Palm Springs, and many other cities across the US.  See below for the latest study:

Home rise for third consecutive month in May

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 2 percent on a year-over-year basis in May 2012 compared with May 2011, according to CoreLogic’s May Home Price Index report.  On a month-over-month basis, home prices, including distressed sales, also increased 1.8 percent in May 2012 compared with April 2012. The May 2012 figures mark the third consecutive increase in home prices nationwide on both a year-over-year and month-over-month basis.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices nationwide increased 2.7 percent on a year-over-year basis in May 2012 compared with May 2011. On a month-over-month basis excluding distressed sales, the CoreLogic HPI indicates home prices increased 2.3 percent in May 2012 compared with April 2012, the fourth month-over-month increase in a row. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

More info

If now is the time for you to purchase a home in Palm Springs either as a primary residence, vacation home or rental property, give us a call a The Paul Kaplan Group.  We’ll be happy to discuss our current market conditions and assist you with makig a smart real estate investment in Palm Springs.  760-285-8559

Palm Springs in the summer- Love your air conditioner!

Monday, May 14th, 2012


Keep cool this summer and remember to perform annual maintenance on your air conditioning units now, before the real heat hits and A/C contractors become busy!

There are a few things that most homeowners can do themselves to help maintain their air conditioner:
Ensure the filter is clean or replaced regularly. Disposable filters are inexpensive and should be replaced once per month during high use periods.
Trim back plants so there is at least one foot of clearance from the A/C unit – this allows proper air flow, reducing motor strain.
Sand and other debris can get sucked into the condenser coils. To clean the coils, first disconnect the power to the A/C and then use a garden hose to spray the coils clean.
The best advice you can give your clients is to have an annual maintenance service performed by a professional air conditioning technician. Always ensure the following items are included in the maintenance service:
Condenser – check pressure, oil motor bearings, and current electrical draw; tighten all hardware and visually inspect wiring and condenser coils.
Air Handler/Evaporator – Visually inspect wiring and oil motor bearings; clean or replace filter, tighten all hardware, inspect condensation drain, pan, pump, and auxiliary pan; clean drain system, and check that evaporator coils are clean and free of damage.
With proper maintenance, the air conditioner should run smoothly for years. However, should the unit break down due to normal wear and use, your home warranty company should repair or replace the covered parts and components – saving your hard-earned money and keeping your home cool during the heat of summer!

Palm Springs Real Estate – A Mid-Century Remodel

Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Racquet Club Road Estates

Palm Springs Real Estate is alive and well.  People who share a passion for mid-century architecture, have recently been flocking to the desert.  Many are ready to take on restoration projects in historic neighborhoods.  Mid-Century homes are the famous icons of Palm Springs Real Estate. The town is often referred to as the “mecca for Mid-Century” with many homes ripe for renovation.

I myself, decided to take on a Palm Springs Real Estate architectural project.   After three months, a lot of heartache and sweat, mostly by my General Contractor, I’m finally finished with my renovation.  The home home is located in Racquet Club Road Estates.  The house was built in 1960 by the Alexander Construction Co.  The firm is famous for their innovative modern tract Palm Springs Real Estate developments and mid-century home designs.  The architecture firm that designed these homes, was Palmer and Krisel.  They created new modern  neighborhoods, yet used a  basic same floor plan.  They altered the roof line and orientation to create a unique diversity and variety in their neighborhoods.  This design is most notable in the Racquet Club Estates neighborhood, built around 1960.

The main goal of this remodel, was to open the house up to add more light and airiness to the design.  I wanted to accentuate the indoor/outdoor aspects of the home’s layout.  Palm Springs Real Estate celebrates outdoor living.  Thus, I decided to open up the walls in the living room with sliders and clerestory windows, to capture views of the pool, and glorious mountains.  The Racquet Club Estates neighborhood features some of the best mountain views in Palm Springs-  The clerestory windows that were added, capture peak-a-boo views throughout the living areas.

Here are a few pics of the final product:


Have you thought about dabbling in Palm Springs Real Estate?  For more information on Palm Springs Real Estate,  this home or other mid-century homes in Palm Springs, please visit our website at  We specialize in mid-century properties, from fixers to beautifully renovated homes, whatever you pleasure.  Come discover the excitement going on in the Palm Springs Real Estate market.