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Pretty in Pink in Palm Springs

Design Trends

Nestled along the desert landscape of Palm Springs, Calif., sits a vividly colorful pink home. With expansive views of the Palm Springs scenery, the single-level, stucco home, owned by Bill Nicholson, is a modern home with many windows to showcase the desert view, as well as a second-floor suite above the kitchen.

Color consultant Ron Scharfe, owner of RS Design, was hired by Nicholson to create a color palette for his home based on the color design principles of world-renowned architect Luis Barragan. Barragan, a Mexican self-taught architect and formal-trained engineer, was known for his studies and use of
color, light, shadow, form and texture. Nicholson, a fan, had the opportunity to visit Barragan’s residence in Mexico and was inspired to re-create this vision for his property in Palm Springs.

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Several challenges lay ahead for Scharfe when working on the home’s color palette. First, when the home was initially constructed, there was a vivid pink color painted on the structural metal posts. However, over time, these posts had been painted over many occasions. Scharfe scraped down through years of paint history to reach the first layer, then looked for a color match at Dunn-Edwards. Through his research, he found that Rouge (DE5116) was a perfect color match, then add Dusty Cedar (DE5115) and OK Coral (DET436) as
complementary accents. Scharfe said, “These three hues look amazing as a color palette whatever time of day given the intense sunlight in Palm Springs.”

DE SpecsSpaces Swatches 3 Colors 1

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The next challenge for Scharfe was where to place each color on the home’s exterior. “The house has many angles and, given the sunlight in Palm Springs, I had to be very aware of shadows and lines. I didn’t want the
colors to blend into each other as the sunshine changed. I used OK Coral for an accent wall in the back where the outdoor entertaining happens. There is also more landscaping going on around the OK Coral-colored wall, which adds some wonderful contrast. The back of the house is where all three colors come together and just look ‘fun’ and ‘conversational.’”

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And the outcome? “My client (Nicholson) is very happy with the results and how it has changed the
house into what he was looking for –– a house that he is enthusiastic about, inspired by Luis Barragan, and that has a “wow” factor to it. The neighbor across the street calls it the “love house!”

RS Design

Ron Scharfe, color consultant and owner of RS Design, specializes in color consulting for interior and exterior design, among a variety of color-consulting projects. He studied under Leatrice Eiseman,
executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and international color guru, and he graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago.

To learn more, visit

Photo Credit: Robert Barragan