This Stunning Desert Home Has Been Given a Second Life by an LA Trendsetter

The Colorful Designs of Dazey Desert House Pop Against the Sandy Background

Written by: Jennifer Pellerito
Photography Provided By: Danielle Nagel Dazey Desert House

Dream a little dream of the Dazey Desert House in Palm Springs. Teeming with playful colors and patterns, the rental home is the interior masterpiece designed by Danielle Nagel. As the entrepreneur who started the wildly popular clothing company, Dazey LA, Nagel recently dipped her toes into a new endeavor: interior design. 

The Dazey Desert House is the first product of Nagel’s culmination of creative talents. Originally designed by notable architect William Krisel, the home vibrates style at its core. 

“It was pretty much turn-key when we got it,” says Nagel. “We loved the orange door and the orange accents. It’s so in-line with my super colorful clothing line.”

A butterfly roof that brings in an abundance of natural light is the icing on the cake. The supporting windows gradually grow in size as the roof curves up at a triangular incline. “All these details that were just beautiful, simple and clean really made the space unique and functional,” Nagel raves. The home’s thoughtful design, rooted in modernist history, felt like an instant fit to Nagel, whose family is from the area.

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Originally, Nagel and her boyfriend, Phillip Butler, had been looking to purchase in Los Angeles, but when the pair was in town for Modernism Week last year, the idea to invest in a reasonably-priced vacation home came to life. 

“It was just the cutest house I had ever seen,” Nagel says. “All the architects are household names in this community. It’s like owning a piece of art.”

The house is rented out for vacationers to enjoy, but it also serves as a photoshoot space. Nagel’s knowledge from photographing her own clothing line has informed her design, allowing her the insight to keep the space cohesive—while also dynamic enough for separate shots.

Sprinkled with eclectic, old and new furnishings and décor, the Dazey Desert House is every midcentury lover’s dream come true, and then some. “Midcentury design—there’s nothing like it. It was an era where they put so much thought and care into all of the details,” she says.

Nagel describes how she took a step away from the norm and infused a harmony of deep oranges, reds and blues into the design. The color theme makes its way through each room as a unifying thread, along with geometric motifs reflected in starburst mirrors and casual mud cloth throw pillows. The end result is an energetic space bursting with optimism, yet still enough room for a subdued respite from the all-encompassing desert heat.

The wall in the Dazey Desert House engages every visitor in an alluring dialogue. The visual interchange between pattern, shape and color enriches the space with pleasant chatter that makes you want to join in on the conversation. After just one glance at Nagel’s design, you’ll be convinced that walls do, in fact, talk.

The eight pieces of artwork that comprise the Desert House’s gallery wall were originally created by Nagel’s late grandmother. As a special tribute to her, Nagel made the gallery wall the standout feature of the home; it’s the part of the house that always prompts a discussion, she says. How did Nagel create such an eye-catching gallery wall? We uncovered a few of her tips.

Step 1: “Establish a loose theme. For example, [in the Dazey Desert House] they’re all portraits of women and florals. I specifically picked these pieces because they all had a similar color story. So, they’re all tied together by their colors and the subject.”

Step 2: “You want to make sure you get art in different sizes to give some variety, Otherwise, your gallery wall is going to look pretty sterile and boring!”

Step 3: “If you want to mix it up, you could definitely have an art print thrown in. I would just say to make sure you have at least a complementary piece to tie it all together.”

Step 4: “Make sure you lay it out on the ground the way you want it to be and photograph it before you put it up on the wall. It’s also helpful to measure the distance between [the frames]. You’re already putting so many holes in your wall, so it helps to get it right.”

Step 5: “If you have Photoshop skills, I actually took a picture of the arrangement on the ground, and then I superimposed it on the wall to make sure I liked it.”

Step 6: “Try to keep it within a square shape—but also have some pieces stick out a little bit. For example, if you have a piece sticking out a little bit on the top right, you should probably have a piece sticking out on the lower left just to balance it, but also make sure it’s not too perfect-looking.”

Danielle Nagel
Dazey Desert House

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