The Desert Sun’s Rosalie Murphy takes a look at DeeAnn McCoy and Jackie Thomas, and their company, Thomboy Properties. Local experts say Thomboy Properties is one of the best in the Palm Springs renovation world. Their motto for the houses they buy…"the uglier the better." Then they tear them apart, bring ultra-modern furniture and wallpaper into classic mid-century modern houses and pull vintage accents back in to design.

Six years ago, Mc Coy and Thomas moved here from Portland. McCoy owned an advertising company and Thomas was a director in Nike's marketing department. Despite the start of the Great Recession, they moved to their William Krisel-designed condo in Canyon View Estates.

Their next purchase was the former estate of actor Chuck Connors on South Camino Real, along the Indian Canyons Golf Resort course. The 2,700-square-foot house was bank-owned and in bad shape, but McCoy and Thomas said they saw potential in its architecture — a front-loading pool, a promising floor plan and a gentle gable roof. After renovation, the house sold just three days after it was listed.

"The girls," as they're known locally, have now renovated 16 houses in Palm Springs, which generally sell for more than $1 million afterward. Potential homes tend to come from family members of homeowners who can no longer take care of once-lavish estates, often before those houses hit the market.

McCoy credits at least part of Thomboy's success to tightly controlled budgets. She said they buy carefully, almost always in South Palm Springs, especially in the Indian Canyons, plus the occasional home built by the popular mid-century Alexander Construction Company. Then, they allot ample contingencies for "surprises" during renovation.

Since architecture is what led McCoy and Thomas to this venture, when they buy a house, they start digging into its provenance. Often, they find that their homes were built by mid-century architects like Stan Sackley, who were contemporaries with designers like Donald Wexler and Hugh Kaptur but haven’t achieved the same level of twenty-first century fame.

Since redoing a Stan Sackley house last year, Thomboy Properties has renovated five homes, managing as many as three projects at once. The last one was a 3,600-square-foot house with soaring 14-foot ceilings on Sierra Way, which hosted five different Modernism Week parties in February. Before-and-after pictures reveal an overgrown landscape and closed-up interior; the Thomboy renovation reclaimed a front-side pool, created a usable backyard and restored the house's open floor plan. The house features a split-level dining and living room, a fireplace, wiring for solar panels and floor-to-ceiling glass on both the front and the back of the house. Design risks included emerald accents throughout the house and lots of bold wallpaper, McCoy said. Fixtures, appliances and paint came from partnerships with Bosch, Kohler and Dunn Edwards. It's been on the market for about three weeks, asking $1.65 million.

This summer, "the girls" are planning to take a break. But if the right house finds them — one of those unlikely properties with inimitable architecture, despite closed-up windows or patio furniture in the pool, they might snatch it up for their 17th remodel.

To read Rosalie Murphy’s original Desert Sun article and view the accompanying pictures, courtesy of The Desert Sun, please visit: