Home Sweet Modern Home: Mid-century Masterpieces For Rent

If bullet planters, Nelson platform benches, Eames lounge chairs, slate rock, clerestory windows and dry heat set your heart a-beating, you might want to consider renting one of the following mid-century modern homes in Southern California next time you need to 'get away'.

Designed by such legendary architects as Rudolph Schindler, Albert Frey, William Cody, William Kisler, Frank Lloyd Wright and John Lautner the following homes are available as vacation rentals. Terms and prices vary - a lot. But one thing's for sure... they are all über hip.

Madras Oasis by William Krisel

This classic mid-century designed home by the famous Alexander Development and Architect, William Krisel, was built in 1958 with beamed ceilings and butterfly roof featuring floor to ceiling glass blend in breathtaking symmetry and clerestory windows. The home was recently refurbished for today’s living including three bedrooms in 3,018 sq footage of indoor space. Landscape Architect, Steve Martino created a garden poolside-pavilion in the recent renovation.

Martino’s landscape canvas includes a 52-foot long wall in the back yard seen through the glass front-door of the home. The wall has a high-voltage color including a fireplace surrounded with desert flora of succulents and palms for a sunset feeling. The geometry of the backyard landscape with sculptural plants is set against the rugged backdrop of the mountains with beds of thorny ocotillos, strappy yuccas, and agaves.

Sleeps six, three night minimum. Rates are $1,195.00 per night from Oct. 1st - May 30th and $835.00 per night from Jun. 1st - Sept. 30th, go here for more information.

A smaller, less expensive Alexander House by William Krisel

Part of the 1950s tract housing built by the Alexander Construction Company, this airy three-bedroom is owned by Chris Menrad and was recently renovated under the direction of the home's original architect, William Krisel. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen and swimming pool.

$295/night; vrbo.com/8740. Or contact Chris through this site.

William Cody House

A sprawling three bedroom (each with private bath) is situated in Palm Springs amid a garden with citrus trees. The home is equipped with a full kitchen and a swimming pool. A private chef and other services are available at an additional cost.

Palm Springs architect William Cody designed this house, which includes original (albeit reupholstered) furniture by Arthur Elrod and a bathroom clad entirely in Carrara marble.

Two-night minimum. $1,400/night; 760/323-4848, escape2palmsprings.com.

Twin Palms by Stewart Williams

Frank Sinatra's Palm Springs home has four bedrooms (each with private bath), a full kitchen, cabana bar and a piano-shaped pool.

Designed in 1947 by Stewart Williams for Frank Sinatra and his first wife, Nancy Barbato, Twin Palms is a spectacular example of mid-century contemporary architecture in the heart of Palm Springs’ Movie Colony community. Located just around the corner from residences once owned by Al Jolson, Jack Benny and Cary Grant, this luxury vacation rental estate boasts both luxury and historical significance.

In this desert oasis, no house is complete without a pool. The one at Sinatra's place is shaped like a piano and comes with a cabana bar.

The home was also witness to some of Sinatra’s most memorable bouts. One of the most outrageous was when Frank threw then-wife Ava Gardner’s possessions onto the driveway after she appeared at the house in an attempt to catch him with Lana Turner. You can still see the chip in the sink where Frank threw a bottle in a rage.

Concierge services are available for an additional fee. Three-night minimum. $2,600/night; 877/318-2090, go here for more info.

The Russell House by Albert Frey

A mountaintop one-bedroom in Palm Springs comes with majestic views of the city and an infinity-edge pool designed by Swiss-born architect Albert Frey, who studied under Le Corbusier in Paris.

Three-night minimum. $1,925/night; 877/318-2090, beaumondevillas.com.

The Seth Peterson Cottage by Frank Lloyd Wright

Located less than an hour from Madison, Wisconsin, this serene, one-bedroom cottage was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1958. The house, which overlooks Lake Mirror, comes equipped with canoes.

The centerpiece of this design, one of Wright's last commissions, is the massive stone fireplace. Among the rental amenities: firewood. Two-night minimum, reserve well in advance. $275; 608/254-6551, sethpeterson.org

The Roth Residence by Rudolph Schindler

Built in 1946 by Viennese-born architect Rudolph Schindler, this three-bedroom Modernist hillside residence in Los Angeles has stellar views of the San Fernando Valley.

Vacation Rental Amenities include: Wi-Fi, 3 LCD HD flat screen TV’s each with a DVD player, DirecTV satellite with premium channels and an HD digital recorder; Bose iPod sound dock; Central A/C, 4 digital wireless telephones and unlimited local phone service; one Weber gas BBQ grill and one Weber charcoal BBQ grill; Kenmore high-capacity washer and dryer; and a queen-size raised Aerobed. Rental Rate: $2,295 per week. Daily: $327.86. Seven night minimum. Cleaning Fee: $250. Fresh linens & Towels: $15 per week per person.
Refundable Security Deposit: $1,500. Seven-night minimum. $328/night. vrbo.com/133464 or email Cindy, Jim or Erin at vacationrentals@gressingergroup.com

Got deeper pockets and want to stay a little longer? Consider leasing one of the following mid century modern masterpieces.

The Polin House by John Lautner

Following a painstaking renovation, this fully-furnished lease offers the quintessential Lautner living experience. From its hidden Hollywood Hills site, Lautner's plan creates a cineramic experience within the views. Surfaces and systems have been restored to museum quality standards, and all is furnished and equipped with the finest accoutrements.

The residence incorporates two bedrooms, two baths, a den, carport, and expansive grounds into a private retreat among the towering trees. Living here will invigorate, refresh and constantly inspire. $9,3000. a month, contact them here.

The Bonnet House by Richard Neutra

This highly-published example of early modernist architecture has been tastefully restored & renovated to 21st century standards without sacrificing authenticity. Impeccable kitchen & bathroom fixtures (incl marble, top-end hardware & apps, HDTV Plasmas) make this a luxurious rental. Available furnished as photographed at $6,9500/mo. Located in the Hollywood Hills, gated access w/ security, surrounded by bamboo & pvt gardens. Canyon, sunset & city lights views. Go here for more information.

Please note that prices quoted here are concurrent with when this post was written and may have since changed.

sources: architecture for sale, vacation rentals by owner and beaumonde villas


Stephen Coles said...

Excellent post, Laura. I really appreciate the time that must have gone into this compilation.

Laura Sweet said...

Thanks Stephen!
It's so nice when someone notices and acknowledges the amount of work that goes into a post.
laura :)

Susi Johnston said...

And the work was well worth it! This is a great compilation of tempting rental properties for design-sensitive visitors to the areas where they are located.

You might be interested to see a fantastic site from Australia, UltimateHides, that lets out architectural masterpieces by the likes of Tadao Ando. I just stumbled on it a few weeks ago.


I think that staying a week or more in a house designed by a great master must be one of the best ways to understand their work, and benefit from it.

Laura Sweet said...

Great find Susi!
I'm adding it to my links right away!

susi johnston said...

Yep . . . the idea of staying somewhere that gives you more than just a clean bed and a bowing bellhop is dear to me.

Since people spend so much on vacation digs, they should spend where it offers something to take home with you . . . a better understanding of what makes a beautiful and appropriate place for living in. It makes the vacation more than a veg-fest. It becomes an edifying experience that lives on after the flight home!

ultimate hides said...

Hey there, thanks for the comments & the link to ultimate hides. I'm glad you like the site - I set it up a few months ago to promote great architecture and design to holiday makers & it's growing every day! I'd love to include some of the properties you have on your blog as well so will get in contact with them ... the Lautner house is just amazing! Great work!

ilan peer said...

this is really nice,
thanks for all the work you put in,
i really love to see these houses, rare pics in my point of view.

Laura Sweet said...

ilan, that's a very nice thing to see and I'm genuinely appreciative. Thanks!

Lisa said...

I can't believe you can rent a (beautiful) house Frank Sinatra lived in. I wonder how many former celebrity houses are up for temporary use by we mere civilians. Very cool.

Great article!

kitchen table said...

Unbelievable post. Imagine you can now rent where Frank Sinatra live before. I am sure staying in that place is a great experience. You will the essence of Frank Sinatra in that beautiful house.

jaco rentals said...

These looks like such beautiful homes! I would love to spend some time at one of these places when I go on vacation! That would just be awesome! Thank you so much for sharing pictures and everything. It really makes me want to go on a vacation!

krzystoff said...

that's brilliant, never realised you could rent these places -- I wish I'd taken the opportunity to do it when I was living in CA -- maybe one day...

Katie said...

It is crazy that you can rent celebrities homes in the Palm Springs area. I love the Mid Century Modern style of so many of them. It's also crazy to think how many celebrities have or have owned Palm Springs real estate. My agent from Patrick Stewart Properties actually has Sonny Bono's house on the market, I wonder if that will ever be a house you could rent.

Robert said...

It is great to see other great mid-century modern homes! We also have a fully restored 1956 Sarasota School home by Gene Leedy which we rent. Would it be possible to share pictures of our home on your blog..VRBO.com/309160 Our home is featured on the cover of Sarasota Modern by Rizzoli Publishing. Thanks!

ryan jones said...

wow! what an awesome place to stay for a lifetime.. in every corner of the house is amazing. thanks for showing it us. flats to rent in London

C'mon people, it's only a dollar.