Posted by: Waheeda Harris | March 27, 2012

Do you ever wish you could time travel?

I certainly wish I could go back in time – to see how people really lived, how they travelled and what they could see.

Certain destinations make you wonder about the past, like when I was in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, trying to picture a small city without any towers or shiny glass buildings.

Or when I was in London on a rainy day, picturing the narrow streets of a city brought to life by the words of Charles Dickens.

But when I recently went to the desert city of Palm Springs, with all its swinging mid-century architecture and design, I wished I could go back a few decades to see what it was like in the late 1950 and 1960s when the Hollywood elite and the wealthy started building unique homes.

I wanted to see the cars, the clothing and the overall style – which we know revel in for its unique snapshot of the past, but at the time was the cutting edge, and bucking the establishment of housing construction and interior design.

It’s easy to appreciate the practical ideas that became the backbone of mid-century design – the simple lines, the distinct materials and the unique use of colour. In Palm Springs, the desert’s effects on the 1950s/1960s design aesthetic was seen in the use of concrete, the occasional bold colour and the distinct textiles.

At The Parker Hotel, the design by Jonathan Adler takes guests back to the past, despite it being a recent plan. And when I saw this fireplace area, I wanted to be lounging in Courreges or Halston, waiting for Don Draper to show up to buy me a cocktail.

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  1. Lovely! Hotels are definitely one of the best ways to feel like you’ve entered a different decade.

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