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The Desert Wave: A Time-Capsule Sleepaway


The Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)A perspective drawing of the Miles C. Bates house in Palm Desert by Sigfried Knop (Courtesy of Walter S. White Archive/UCSBThe Desert WaveThe Desert WaveThe Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)The Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)The Desert Wave (Courtesy of the Walter S. White Archive/UCSB)The Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)The Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)The Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)The Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)The Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)The Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)The Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)The Desert Wave (Photo by Shana Nys Dambrot)

If you attended the 2019 iteration of Desert X, you might remember one especially unusual Palm Desert stop on the tour. The cross-platform collective Postcommodity staged a sound piece for the property — at the time, a surreal construction site. Strange because the renovations proceeded as a hard hat area happening down below, while a pristine, elegant, undulating wood roof already held perfect sway overhead.

This was the state of the Miles C. Bates “Wave” House, built in 1955 by celebrated architect Walter S. White, renovated occasionally over the years, before being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2018, and now, fully restored by Stayner Architects and reconceptualized as the perfect nearby time-travel getaway — The Desert Wave.

Known for its curving roof that mirrors the San Jacinto mountains framing the horizon, the house definitely embodies the indoor/outdoor lifestyle of the area, and the panache of the mid-century aesthetic in its art, decor, textiles, styling, and even the pre-loaded playlists. That 2019 Desert X piece was called It Exists in Many Forms and was a sound work inspired by conversations about who occupies what spaces, especially in light of how such homes have become collectible pieces in their own right — something akin to living museums.

With design partners like Modernica, native desert landscaping by the Cactus Store, original 1950’s Russel Wright china, and curated wine and champagne by Tilda Wine of Echo Park, and a rather epic shower with a glassed in cactus garden, it is in fact deliciously easy to slip into the groove of this cozy, frolicking fantasy.

And with its combination of privacy and proximity to town, plus extensive safety protocols in place including no-contact check-in and -out, deep cleans, and spacing between guest stays, this house is an engaging experience in itself as a destination to inhabit and explore, even if you never venture out during your stay.

For more information, check out the-desert-wave.com.