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Thunderbird 8 House

Nestled in the picturesque Thunderbird Country Estates in Rancho Mirage, California, lies a stunning mid-century modern home that has undergone a remarkable transformation. Dubbed Thunderbird 8, this 1952-built property has been beautifully restored and updated to meet the demands of modern living while maintaining its original charm.


Thunderbird

Country Estates

Thunderbird

Country Estates

The clients, who split their time between Hawaii and Rancho Mirage, purchased the property from Robert Barry’s granddaughter in 2019. The original Barry Estate, built in 1952, had remained in the Barry family for nearly seven decades. Previous owners included notable figures such as Congressman Robert Barry, who hosted prominent guests like Dwight Eisenhower and Betty and Gerald Ford. The property’s guest room was affectionately dubbed “The Ford Room” during the project.


Thunderbird

Country Estates

The initial challenge faced by the design team, led by Jill Lewis Architecture, was to rectify the low ceiling height in the main living area, which obstructed the breathtaking mountain views. Raising the roof became the largest gesture in the scope of work, allowing for an effortless indoor-outdoor connection to the rear garden.


Thunderbird

Country Estates

The clients, who value their privacy, sought a modern, elegant, and comfortable home with “masculine” finishes that would complement the original 1952 bones. The design brief focused on creating a peaceful and elegant retreat that would stand the test of time. To achieve this, the design team edited the palette to a pared-down collection of finishes.


Country Estates

Country Estates

The renovation involved significant changes, including the addition of a large sliding/stacking door, restoration of the original entry sequence, and the creation of a floating desk surface suspended from a black metal screen. The former chopped-up side entry and tiny kitchen were combined to form a spacious kitchen and built-in banquette with dark, serious tones and textures.


Thunderbird

In the bedroom wing, two small rooms were merged to create a proper principal suite, complete with a dramatic and spacious dressing area featuring moody, warm black fluted walls. The landscape was reimagined to include a generous green space for the clients’ two Norwich Terriers, Mr. Pua and Hoagy Carmichael, surrounded by citrus trees and a poured-in-place concrete border.


Rancho Mirage

The project’s biggest challenge was navigating the construction process during the COVID-19 pandemic, which presented unforeseen difficulties in tracking allowed construction activities, holding face-to-face meetings, and sourcing building materials. However, the design team’s flexibility and philosophical approach enabled them to overcome these obstacles.


Thunderbird

Thunderbird

The Thunderbird 8 project serves as a testament to the power of thoughtful design and renovation, breathing new life into a mid-century modern classic while honouring its rich history.

https://www.thecoolector.com/thunderbird-8-house/
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