Friday Five with Emily Summers

Emily Summers is an award-winning interior designer heading up Emily Summer Design Associates as the President and CEO. Since launching her design career in 1979, she’s amassed a stunning portfolio of streamlined interiors that give nod to mid-century design and modern art. In 2002, former President George W. Bush recruited her to serve on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, a position that lasted until 2006. In 2016 Summers was recognized by Architectural Digest as one of the top interior designers and architects in the world on their prestigious AD100 list. This month, the celebrated designer is releasing her first-ever book, Distinctly Modern Interiors, which features a body of her work that spans styles and periods. Along with having a home she designed in Palm Springs, her long-time membership with the Architecture and Design Council at the Palm Springs Art Museum makes her well educated on the iconic resort city. Modernism Week 2019, the Palm Springs celebration of mid-century architecture and design, comes to a close this Sunday. To mark the occasion, we invited the interior designer to share her five favorite things to do and/or see, in this Friday Five.

Courtesy: Modernism Week

1. Desert X Modernism Week Tour
[The Desert X tours offered during Modernism Week are special. They highlight those art works inspired by architecture and modernism and will end with a drink at sunset at one of the sites.]

I am anxious to see the new site-specific installations in the desert. I like to take my own tour so I can take my time. I’m excited to see Sterling Ruby’s work who has just opened an exhibition at the Nasher in Dallas.

Photo by David A. Lee

2. Modernism Week Opening Night Party: Modern Love
[Modernism Week starts with a festive Opening Night Party with cocktails and dancing at the 1962 Wexler and Harrison designed Indian Canyons Country Clubhouse.]

This is my favorite evening during Modernism. Great people watching with lots of vintage outfits. The booths from great dealers provide the best shopping in Palm Springs.

The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands

3. Tour Sunnylands
[Guided tours give visitors access to the famed Sunnylands estate, designed by renowned architect A. Quincy Jones in 1966 and restored in 2012.]

This is Quincy Jones and Billy Haines at their best. The interiors are as interesting as the architecture (admire the tropunto upholstered chair seats). Then top it all off with the magnificent Annenburg collection and gardens. Amazing experience.

Photo by E. Stewart Williams

4. Illuminated Modern Sunset Bus Tour
[The Illuminated Modern Bus Tour provides guests with a 1 hour evening view of the most significant mid-century architectural treasures of Palm Springs.]

Riding on the top of the double decker bus allows you to peak over the hedges into the more hidden architectural gems in the residential neighborhoods. The wealth of information that is given while you explore the entire mid-century scene from civic to commercial to residential. A perfect way to start your exploration of desert modernism.

Courtesy: Modernism Week

5. The Architecture of Hugh Kaptur- Palm Springs Art Museum and Design Center
I love to experience one architect in depth. This exhibition brings to life the enormous diversity of Hugh Kaptur’s work. It will also take you to the recently renovated Architecture and Design Center – a conversion of a 1960’s bank by E Stewart Williams who also did the Palm Springs Art Museum around the corner.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.