In January 2016, Annie purchased a beautiful home in the iconic Marrakesh Country Club community in Palm Springs, California. This purchase ended up being much more than just her, “pied-à-grass,” as she jokingly refers to it, but the inspiration for her new summer collection, Palm Springs. The home wasn’t move-in ready, but Annie, being a design maven, enjoyed every step of the design process, spending countless hours choosing the perfect paint colors, appliances and special touches to make her home away from the Berkshires comfortable and oh-so-chic. Read on to learn more about Annie’s year-long renovation and why she fell in love with Palm Springs at first sight.
What made you decide to purchase a second home?
After we had a horrible winter a few years back, I decided I wanted a second home someplace warm! I looked in Southern Florida but nothing felt right. When I decided to buy the home in Marrakesh, it was kind of like my birthday present to myself. I really wasn’t even looking to buy anything. I decided to spend my birthday out in Palm Springs and my friend John Gilmer sent me real estate links and at first I told him, “I’m not buying anything out in California! Are you crazy?” then I finally looked at the listings he sent me and I saw my rugs, I saw my fabric on the curtains, it was all me already! Pink and green everywhere! I thought, “Okay, I’ll go look at it.” It had me at pink! Everywhere you look it’s all so pink and pretty.
Why Palm Springs? What drew you to Marrakesh?
My friend Stephen Drucker, who is a total real estate maven, bought a home in Marrakesh after looking at over 100 properties, so I trusted his judgement and ended up buying the property that is right next to his– we’re neighbors!
Marrakesh is absolutely gorgeous. The community was built by John Elgin Woolf, the king of Hollywood Regency architecture, which is a subset of mid-century modern style. It’s set on a golf course, and I love all of the green space.
The homes are beautifully laid out; my place has two bedrooms and ten-foot ceilings. The club house is really elegantly-designed and modern and the landscaping is extraordinary. There are 14 pools! Since my home is on the 16th hole, my golf game has improved, which is great. I haven’t broken any windows yet!
I love so many things about Palm Springs but I especially love the great shopping! Some of my favorite places to shop include:
- Karen Harlowe Home (Karen happens to carry Annie Selke items!)
- Misty’s Consignments
- The Estate Sale – My go-to shop for lapis rings!
- Cargo Consignments
- Porter and Plunk
The consignment stores are just fabulous. You can find things with such character. I bought this crazy metal floor lamp for my daughter Charlotte’s room. It has these flowers coming out of it, it’s totally crazy but it has great character. It’s all about finding unique, beautiful items.
In my living room, I launched the whole scheme around these blue Moroccan lanterns I found at Cargo Consignments. They’re really too big for the space, totally over scale, but I saw them in the window and I knew right away I wanted them! If you love something, you make it work and that’s what I did. They really were my inspiration for that space.
What do you love most about Palm Springs?
Since Palm Springs is in a valley, you can see the Santa Rosa Mountains and the San Jacinto Mountains almost all around you, anywhere you go.
In the winter, you get off the plane and you can see the snowcapped mountains and then you have the green palm trees and vibrant bougainvillea — it’s just this incredible juxtaposition of color and terrain—either you love it or you don’t, but I absolutely love it.
The diversity of culture is also incredible and the emphasis put on design: interiors, antiques, art. Because it was founded as essentially an outpost for Hollywood actors, the whole area has this rich history. It’s just this haven of midcentury modern architecture, it’s almost like a time capsule and people come from all over the world to see it.
What was it about Palm Springs that inspired the collection?
The whole area is this mix of very brown desert-y colors and these bright, vivid colors of plants and flowers—bright yellow, bright pink, lush green—it’s delightfully colorful and contrast-y in a cool way. I wanted to try to capture that in my designs. Whenever I’m walking around in Palm Springs, I constantly say to myself, “It’s just so pretty!” At every turn, it’s just beautiful.
Walk us through your Renovation. What did you change?
The kitchen and bathrooms definitely needed an update—neither bathroom had been changed since the home was built in 1968. During this whole process, I added a tiny powder room (very tiny—about 40 inches wide!) – where I keep all of my happy, silly things, like my conch shell collection. We added shelving to display them. In the master bath, I removed the tub and added sliding glass doors that lead out onto the lanai.
I added a more contemporary tub, added updated fixtures and mother of pearl tile. It’s a happy bathroom!
What do you love most about your new home?
Throughout the space, I filled each room with beautiful things I’ve kept in storage for so many years that I absolutely love, like this green velvet sofa, two gold rope Hollywood Regency chairs, two beautiful Moroccan tables, an old headboard that I loved– all things that I had in my former home but didn’t want to get rid of–Kind of like the greatest hits! Oh, and my “Liberace” table. It’s gold and fabulous. It’s perfect.
Do you have a favorite room?
Well, it’s not that big (laughs)—I’m really happy in each of the rooms so it’s hard to pick just one. It’s a very personal space—I love all of it. My bedroom is bright and happy. I love waking up in it but I also love walking out into the blue oasis of my living room.
Would you ever rent out your condo?
Yes! I would definitely rent it. I’m not ready to rent it yet, but definitely in the future. Maybe next year. (Stay tuned, readers!)
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To learn more about the Marrakesh golf community that Annie now calls (her second) home, visit their website here.
Read more about Marrakesh and the community’s iconic style in today’s New York Times feature!
Can’t get enough of Palm Springs? Us either! Visit the blog tomorrow when guest blogger Katy Carrier, the author and founder of the swoon-worthy blog Palm Springs Style shares her top 10 favorite things about Palm Springs.