Trixie Motel: a Colorful Palm Springs Mid-Century Icon Reborn
09/12/2022 | Marni Mervis |
A Pink Palace in Palm Springs
Set amid the bustling vibe of downtown Palm Springs is the Trixie Motel. Formerly known as the Coral Sands, this 70-year-old-pink palace was recently rehabbed by its owner, Trixie Mattel, a television personality and drag queen, along with Dani Nagel, designer and founder of the entire four-month project was chronicled in the new Discovery+ show, Trixie Motel. The property had great bones, explains Nagel, but it definitely needed work. Old, outdated electrical, kitchenettes and bathrooms, brown shag carpeting, and a neglected pool area were just a few of the motel’s problem areas before the team got to work.
As seen on Trixie Motel, host Trixie Mattel gets to work demolishing the hotel to turn it into the Trixie Motel.
The project marked Nagel’s first design project of a commercial, public-facing space and provided a blank canvas for her to showcase both her love of color and her knack for pushing design boundaries to match property owner Mattel’s distinct personality. “I think, in general, interiors are going in a more colorful direction. “For so many years, they were desaturated and minimalist. Now, people want spaces that express themselves, and the Trixie Motel is a literal physical embodiment of who Trixie Mattel is,” explains Nagel. Channeling notes of , the aesthetic for the Trixie Motel started first and foremost with the color pink—the perfect pink, that is. For Nagel and Mattel, that perfect pink paint color was Dunn-Edwards Sweet Sixteen (DE5079), which was used for the motel’s entire exterior. “We really poured over the color … we tested a bunch of them,” says Nagel. For the duo, getting this hue right was one of the most important decisions, as the exterior set the stage for the rest of the motel. Nagel explains that they found Sweet Sixteen to be the purest pink, and one that struck the perfect balance in color temperature.
After. The Lobby.
Before. The Lobby
For the Trixie Motel’s interior, the color pink also played a defining role in the overall aesthetic. Despite the use of multiple color palettes for inside this adventurous property’s different spaces, all were tied together with Dunn-Edwards Forgotten Pink (DE5120), a light blush pink. “I thought it was really cool to have one color to tie the color story together throughout all the rooms,” Nagel notes.
The hotel has seven guest rooms, a lobby and bar, a check-in area and a pool. Of tackling such a large project during the pandemic while meeting a Pride opening deadline, Nagel says the motel renovation had plenty of challenges. But despite running into construction and supply chain challenges left and right, she explains, “We really did fit the renovation into the four months they talk about on the show.” The Trixie Motel construction team was incredibly nimble and was quick to pivot whenever they could, or find replacement materials when needed. In fact, one of those instances provided one of Nagel’s favorite behind-the-scenes moments that never quite made it to air. “For the Yeehaw Cowgirl Suite, we had to do a pivot on the flooring.
We ended up going with a vinyl wood floor, and they had David Rios, our project manager, test out the floor’s durability by dancing on it in high heels. That was a really funny scene,” reminisces Nagel.
Dunn-Edwards Color Palette by Room
Queen of Hearts
Oh Honeymoon After
Oh Honeymoon Before
For more mid-century Palm Springs paint colors, check out our exclusive Poolside Gossip Color Collection, a palette of paint colors inspired by Palm Springs’ iconic 1960s and 1970s home styles.