Collection by Aaron Britt

Borrego Springs: McKenzie Residence


This spring, I had the chance to visit the tiny town of Borrego Springs in the middle of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego County, California. I was so taken with the place and its stunning mid-century design that I wanted to bring what I learned, and some of the people who taught it to me, to Dwell on Design. On Sunday, as part of an hour of programming about design in the desert, architectural historian Bill Lawrence and architect Trace Wilson took the stage to describe the place that means so much to them. In the course of their presentation, they showed a number of photos by an artist with a strong connection to Borrego Springs, Judy Parker. I want to share a handful of photos Parker took of one of the most inspiring houses I saw in Borrego, the McKenzie residence.

When I visited the McKenzie residence for a party it was approaching dusk.
Here's what you see from the road: a long white wall that pretty much blocks the house off from the streetscape.
This photo is taken standing perpendicular to the pool.
Here you can see the carport just on the other side of the exterior wall.
Even though you're hunkered down in the courtyard, views of the Anza-Borrego mountains are still plentiful.
Once you step in through the large sliding door you're in the living room and kitchen.
Two corridors run down either side of the house.
Vases, pottery, and art objects line the built-in cabinets that run down either side of the house.
Off of one bathroom there's a small desk and library.
Here's a Platner chair again at the end of the hall. To the left you can see the two steps up to the sleeping platform.
Here's the dining table that sits front and center.
Here's Doug, the man of the house, fixing something in the kitchen.
Doug and Stacey were excellent hosts when I visited.
Here's a full-on view of the kitchen and dining space. I love the clock on the wall at left.
A comely trio of Dansk candle holders.
Finally, here's a shot of the house from the other side.