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The Hidden Frey: A Look at a Secret Gem

The recent Spring Modernism Show in Palm Springs, Calif., provided an abundance of opportunities to view Mid-century architecture and design. One of the highlights during the event's variety of tours was "Hidden Frey." Originally known as the Hollingsworth Estate, this 1966 classic Mid-century home was designed by renowned architect Albert Frey.

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Image Credits: JAMES BUTCHART


Dubbed “Hidden Frey,” the property is relatively unknown even by Palm Springs architectural historians, as it is constructed below street level, truly hidden from view. WI Hollingsworth purchased the lot where the tennis estate now resides, adjacent to the Racquet Club. Actor and Racquet Club founder Charlie Farrell did not want the eyesore of a chain link fence, commonly associated with tennis courts, in proximity to
his club, so Hollingsworth excavated the lot below street level to minimize visibility of his estate. Frey was hired to design the structure.

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Image Credit: KORT HAVENS


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Image Credit: James Butchart


The home demonstrates quintessential Frey characteristics, including a rolled roof, a cantilevered carport and an elevated pool. At just more than 1,900 square feet, the demure home fronts directly onto the tennis court —with a large outdoor entertaining space, three bedrooms and four bathrooms on a gated lot.

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Tennis court custom wall mural by SHAWN SAVAGE. Image Credit: KORT HAVENS


Restored by Thomboy Properties in time for Modernism Week, Dunn-Edwards was proud to support the efforts by providing paint for the project. Through a careful study in Frey’s use of color, the residence pays homage to his color favorites over time — from the rose hues of desert sunrises, to the yellow of the local desert wildflowers he loved. Deliberate efforts were made to ensure he would have loved the color palette. The interior main white hue is DEW340 Whisper, while the exterior walls are painted DET648 White Picket Fence and the exterior trim and posts are painted DE6377 Boat Anchor. To complete the tennis court arena, Shawn Savage painted a mural along the back wall using Dunn-Edwards paint and color, including White Picket Fence, Boat Anchor and Black.

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The living room with custom artwork by SHAWN SAVAGE. Fireplace wall painted in DET543 VERANDA. Image Credit: JAMES BUTCHART


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The master suite. Bed wall painted in DEC727 VALLEY FLOWER. Image Credit: JAMES BUTCHART


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Guest room with custom art by SHAWN SAVAGE. Bedwall painted in DE5148 PALE JASPER. Image Credit: JAMES BUTCHART


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Casita. Living and bedroom focal walls painted in DE5837 POOL PARTY. Image Credits: JAMES BUTCHART


This remarkable property is a fantastic peek into the Mid-century desert lifestyle of Palm Springs. And, as
a treat to Mid-century buffs looking to purchase an authentic Mid-century property in Palm Springs, Thomboy Properties has placed the property up for sale!

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View of pool and tennis court. Image Credit: JAMES BUTCHART


To learn more about Dunn-Edwards’ participation at other spring Modernism events, click here.