These New York–based modernists appreciate openness and flow as well as a California-cool historicism and sense of color.

All photos by David Blank

American decorating fantasies come and go, but in Palm Springs, they seem to linger for a while and leave some exotic traces behind. Designers Brent Leonard and Sean Webb, the two halves of FORMARCH, were duly inspired — and intent on avoiding the pitfalls of past styles in their renovation of a circa 1964 modernist villa. “We were trying to create a luxurious yet uplifting, happy and light feeling without relying on mid-century cliches,” Leonard says. Cue the sexy Italians — Giovanni Offredi’s undulating 1970s lounge chairs for Saporiti in sunbaked ocher — a few vintage treasures and a Mannerist-style painting, surely a rare find in the California desert. Not a cliché in sight.

Seen here in perfect harmony with the Mannerist-style painting hanging over the sofa, “the coffee table cum planter cum pirate-ship wheel  — it’s obviously open to interpretation — is an element with which we have a love/hate relationship,” the FORMARCH partners playfully admit.

Design philosophy?

“One moves toward light in our interiors, and we carefully consider how to celebrate, and temper, the ways in which light activates a space and promotes overall well-being.”

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