Architect Guy Dreier has built more than 50 residences in and around Palm Springs, Calif., including Robb Report’s 2009 Ultimate Home. The Dreier-designed estate shown on these pages, which was completed in 2008, bears a striking resemblance to that winning property, but is far from cookie-cutter: The 9,300-square-foot retreat on 2.4 acres at the Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert fits its owner, a real estate developer, to a tee. “He is in his 60s and is very active—he flies his own jet and helicopter,” says Dreier. “One of the things he loves about this house is how easily he can jump from bed into the pool and swim laps. At night, he hits golf balls from a patch of green just off the pool onto the 18th fairway. It’s really like his own private resort.”
That resortlike ambience owes in large part to an open plan and to the pools of water—about 120,000 gallons’ worth—that form a sort of moat around the home. The pools are subtly divided so that the swimming areas can be heated without wasting energy on the reflecting pools. “Water flows through the home in every direction,” notes Dreier. “There’s a swimming pool directly off of the master bedroom, so that when you’re lying in bed and looking outside, it’s as if you’re floating over water.”
A floor-to-ceiling dual fireplace divides the main living area, which opens to outdoor patios via automated glass pocket doors. Slate and limestone swathe the alfresco spaces, while carpets of silk and wool line most of the floors inside. Dreier designed many of the furnishings, and some of them, such as the hutch in the dining room, he built in. He relied on a neutral color palette and various metals, including aluminum and steel, to create a design scheme that complements the landscape.
According to Dreier, the harmony between the indoor and outdoor areas is something the energetic homeowner particularly appreciates. In the master suite—where the owner sleeps beneath a vibrant aquarium recessed into the stone wall behind his bed—he can dream of the next day’s swim or round of golf and, upon waking, dive right in.
Home: A 9,300-square-foot Guy Dreier–designed golf estate in Palm Desert, Calif.
Community: Bighorn Golf Club, a private resort and golf community with 550 total homesites (20 of which are currently for sale, priced from about $1.7 million) and 425 homes (37 of which are for sale, priced from $1.7 million to $13 million).
Resort Amenities: Two championship golf courses designed by Tom Fazio and Arthur Hills, respectively;
a golf shop, a clubhouse, and practice facilities; seven dining venues; four tennis courts; and a spa and
wellness center with a salon and a fitness facility.