Colorful Kitchen Makeover Inspiration – Palm Springs

Palm Springs, California — known for its colorful, retro vibes — has become a trendy inspiration for homes in California and even elsewhere in recent years. Think: avocado greens, shades of orange, cacti, shag rugs, and furniture in mod shapes.

Bob Copani’s 1979 home, located in the Coachella Valley city, was anything but colorful, though. That was especially true in the kitchen, an all-white corner of his apartment which itself was basically “a very white box.”

“Even though it was blindingly white, I saw the potential,” Bob says. He wanted to change the house to match its ’70s roots. “I wanted to decorate this place like it might’ve looked when it was built,” he says. “Palm Springs is all about the mid-century look, so it was a no-brainer for me.”

That meant, in a word, color — and lots of it. By the end of Bob’s redo, there was hardly any white left.

From the avocado cabinets to the shag rugs throughout the entire place to the mural on the kitchen wall, Bob’s place is now much more alive. “I wanted to walk in my door, put a record on, and smile,” he says.

Plus, his project “cost pennies” because it was important to him to use secondhand items, found objects, and crafted items.

Bob painted the orange square faux tile kitchen backsplash himself, and he also put up the wavy wall mural in the dining room using wallpaper from Photowall.

The floating cabinets under the kitchen window were from a neighbor doing their own kitchen remodel. Bob grabbed the cabinets they were going to toss out and repurposed them, then added a shelf he modified from a big box store. Voila! Extra kitchen storage, plus a place to display the prickly pair cactus while giving it lots of light.

Now, Bob’s new space is totally groovy and totally true to the apartment’s ’70s roots — all the way down (er, up) to the popcorn ceilings. “Yes, I love my popcorn ceiling,” he says. “I could’ve removed it, but why? I love the shadows on the ceiling.”

Bob encourages others to have this same mindset when it comes to keeping what they love, even if it’s not mainstream. “I’m most proud of not buying into trends or looks of the moment,” he says. “And I’m proud to inspire others to do the same.”

His other advice for future DIYers? Take time to see how the light hits the space, and think about what will feel right to you. “Take your time, sharpen your vision and your desires, buy secondhand when you can, don’t rush into anything, and do what you love,” he says. “I love the after because I come through my door every day and just leave the cares and concerns of the world behind me. Your home should make you feel good (it does), should be a reflection of you (it is), and should make guests comfortable (it definitely does). So, win win win.”

Sarah Everett

Editorial Assistant

Sarah is Apartment Therapy’s editorial assistant. She recently completed her MA in journalism at the University of Missouri and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Belmont University. Past writing and editing stops include HGTV Magazine, Nashville Arts Magazine, and several outlets local to her hometown, Columbia, Missouri.

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