In 1925, the Humphrey Birge family – owners of the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company – built a Spanish-style estate at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. The property was eventually sold to the influential Ruth Hardy who turned the estate into the 20-room Ingleside Inn. There was something distinctly unique at this Inn. You didn’t call for a reservation; you had to be invited. If Ruth didn’t think you met her social standards, there was …“no room at the Inn.” In 1975, Melvyn Haber – who frequented Palm Springs for respite from life in New York – came upon the Inn while strolling around town. He fell in love with the Ingleside and bought it, completely renovating the property while also creating the now famous Melvyn’s Restaurant and Casablanca Lounge.
In 2017, DFAF, Inc., Painting and Decorating was hired by Asaro Builders – the contractor for the Inn’s new owners – as part of a team that would completely restore and revitalize the guest suites and the storied Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge. Interior rooms and exterior walls were repainted after the wall surfaces, fireplaces and tile were updated, and full-bath remodels completed. We worked with the design team to replicate the original authenticity of the property while giving it a new sense of luxury with modern amenities for guest comfort.
Designated as a historical Palm Springs property, there were some very old surfaces for which we had to keep the old familiar feel of the place without sacrificing the quality of paint job, so we had to balance our prep work to ensure it would be long-lasting without making it look too new. Over the years, the original owner had many murals painted over the exterior of the building. Sadly many had decayed beyond restoration, so we had to paint them over in the name of updating the overall look of the place. DFAF owner, Kersteen Anderson, was a bit sad about this since I am a trained fine artist and could appreciate the work that went into these pieces. Older parts of the hotel still have doors with the original hardware left from the 1920’s, so we lovingly cleaned and freshened them to put the finishing touches on the restoration to ready the Inn for the New Year, 2018.
It’s been a real honor and pleasure to be included in the renewal of a property that has such a historic place in Palm Springs culture, dining and hospitality.