The Desert Wave
Palm Desert, California, United States
- Luxe Living
- A property with a high level of craftsmanship in architecture and design, as well as comfort.
- A standalone unit of accommodation
- In areas of stark beauty and arid landscapes
A California Desert Gem
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.
A California Desert Gem
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 available 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 house has a full kitchen, 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 a private mid-century escape just a two-hour drive from Los Angeles.
Read an interview with model and co-founder of Canyon Coffee, Ally Walsh, following her visit to the Desert Wave, in our magazine here.
In addition to being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Desert Wave is on the Register of the State of California, and is a City of Palm Desert Historical Landmark.
It has won numerous awards including a Preservation Design Award from the California Preservation Foundation, and a Design Citation from Docomomo, US (as part of its prestigious Modernism in America Awards). It received a Design Award from the Los Angeles AIA, a Best of Design Award for Preservation from the Architects Newspaper.
In 2021, it has received a Best Residential Preservation Award from the Southern California Development Forum, and the Restoration Award from the Palm Springs Modern Committee.
It has also appeared in prestigious publications including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Architectural Digest, Dwell and Wallpaper.
The property is 20 minutes to the Empire Polo Club, 10 minutes to Indian Wells Tennis Garden, 5 minutes to shopping districts, and 5 minutes to Whole Foods and restaurants. Recommended activities include hiking and mountain biking, exploring Joshua Tree National Park and the nearby Living Desert, golfing, museums and theatres. The owners provide a guide to the house on arrival, as well as suggestions for local activities, stores, and eateries.
Palm Desert, Riverside County, California, USA. Nearest airport: Palm Springs International (20 mins).
Best time to visit
Fall through spring
Here’s what you can expect during your stay:
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Hot Tub
- Cedar soaking tub available year round
- Smoke Detector
- Fire Extinguisher