William Holden

Staying Power

This midcentury home in the Deepwell Estates neighborhood of Palm Springs has had multiple owners over the years, yet it remains closely associated with Academy Award-winning actor William Holden.

Lawrence Karol Real Estate

William Holden
The backyard boasts a 55-foot by 21-foot pool along with stunning views of the San Jacinto Mountains.

You could call it “a brush with celebrity” or “famous by association.” However you look at it, there are homes throughout Palm Springs that steadfastly retain the name of their well-known occupants long after they’ve moved: Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s honeymoon house, the East Alejo Road home of Frank Sinatra, or the Dinah Shore house (although you could argue its star power has increased exponentially now that it’s owned by Leonardo DiCaprio) to name a few.

Among this esteemed group is the William Holden Estate in the Deepwell neighborhood. The actor owned the home for about 10 years before moving to Southridge in 1977. (Tippi Hedren lived in the house from 1990 until 1996, and while she is a goddess among Hitchcock acolytes, she doesn’t quite match the broad appeal of Holden.)

Built in 1956, the property has five bedrooms (all en-suites) and 5.5 bathrooms spread over 4,449 square feet, including two detached casitas, and is on the market for $3,700,000.

Walls of glass and 47 pivoting doors and windows take indoor/outdoor living to a new level.

The home’s current owners are Rodrigo Vargas, an interior decorator who owns Rodrigo Vargas Design, and Erik Storey, an executive with Universal Studios who oversees new programming for the SyFy Channel.

The couple undertook a two-year renovation of the house, taking it back to its original footprint, but with modern, structural updates and amenities such as custom marble and new appliances, fixtures, and windows and doors — the home has walls of glass and 47 pivoting doors and windows.

The home, built in 1956, has classic midcentury lines.

“It [has] the quintessential midcentury lines with post and beam construction and tongue and groove ceilings,” says Kathryn Tomasino, realtor/Luxe Director of Bennion Deville Homes, who has the listing along with realtor Bob Crebo. “At almost an acre, the lot is very unusual with the home situated towards the front and an expansive park-like setting with the pool/spa in the back. The original fireplace is classic midcentury.”

“The interior design is elegant midcentury with monochromatic furnishings and high-end fixtures,” adds Crebo. “The interior features contemporary amenities for convenient living.” (The furnishings are available outside of escrow, although all of the bedroom headboards, nightstands, and shelving are built-in using contemporary materials.)

Homeowners Erik Storey (left) and Rodrigo Vargas in their modern, up-to-date kitchen with their daughter, Pilar, and their greyhound, Camila. All of the appliances are Miele and the countertops are Starfire back-painted glass.

Outdoor features include a large backyard with dramatic views of the San Jacinto Mountains — and Vargas and Storey buried the low voltage wires so the view is unobstructed. “An outdoor, raised fire pit surrounded by Carrera marble creates an excellent venue for relaxing nights,” notes Tomasino. The yard also features a 55-foot by 21-foot pool along with a separate spa off the master bedroom.

The fireplace in the living room is original to the house.


Camila enjoys the pool and mountain views while lounging in the glass-walled master bedroom.

1323 South Driftwood Drive, Palm Springs, contact Kathryn Tomasino, 760-333-9990, or Bob Crebo, 760-799-5746, of Bennion Deville Homes.

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Staying Power was last modified: March 12th, 2017 by Lawrence Karol