Palm Springs Life Magazine’s Carol Crotta takes a look at the low-key and casual 1925 Spanish bungalow legendary film comedian Harold Lloyd built for himself and his family in Palm Springs’ Movie Colony area. The home was recently put on the market for $3.29 million. 

The author notes that Lloyd might not recognize his weekend getaway these days, since the original three bedrooms have swelled to five, with six full bathrooms, including an unusual master bedroom/his-and-her baths/office combination in place of the original kitchen, plus an underground 1,000-bottle wine cellar and tasting room. An additional two-bedroom, two-bath detached casita occupies part of the still-spacious yard. The estimated original 2,000-square-foot house (no one can find the original plans) has swelled to 5,100 square feet. 

The current owners, a Canadian businesswoman of Taiwanese heritage and her Swiss husband, bought the house in 2004 and extensively remodeled it over a two-year period.  They even enlisted the aid of a Taiwanese feng shui master to oversee the redesign so that human environments harmonize with nature in a way that enhances a person’s “chi,” or life force. Feng shui affects not only the placement of furnishings within a space, but the structure itself, including entrance points and the location of certain rooms within the house. This posed a considerable challenge to Palm Springs designer Steven Cheroske of Steven Cheroske Design when he was hired for the project by the Taipei-based couple. Steven recalls in the article thinking “oh no, are we getting into this? My original design had a beautiful flow. When you throw in feng shui, it gets unusual.” 

And as it turned out, the feng shui master’s changes indeed were significant; such as moving a turreted front entrance by the living room that Cheroske had designed to the other end of the house, by the kitchen and dining room. The master also moved the kitchen and dining rooms to the opposite end of the house, the site of the master suite, which he switched to the kitchen and dining areas. Cheroske was loath to give up the turret, which he needed for balance, and used it to enclose the stairway to the wine cellar, creating another turret for the new entrance. He did relocate the kitchen, dining, and master suite rooms as the master indicated. 

The author also explains that the owners, who travel extensively, like an eclectic, ethnic, and Asian mix of furnishings, and decorated the house accordingly with a real mix of Balinese, Indian, Chinese, and Moroccan carved doors and cabinetry. Cheroske invested in deep color, including a warm gold, earthy terracotta and brilliant chartreuse, to complement the carved wood and richly hued couches.

Still, he says, the house “can easily be transformed to a more traditional Spanish,” befitting its 1925 roots. “It’s been maintained beautifully,” Cheroske notes. “It’s like putting more jewelry on somebody. You take it off, and it’s still what it is.” 

To read Carol Crotta’s original article and view the accompanying pictures, courtesy of Palm Springs Life Magazine, please visit: http://www.palmspringslife.com/east-meets-west-2/