Modernist houses for sale in sunny California

Few places capture the public imagination like California. The Golden State on the American West Coast is the stuff of myth, movie and modernism; and these modernist houses – which are currently up for sale – could be just the excuse to make the move

Cree house with car
Cree House in Cathedral City is up for sale
(Image credit: TBC)

Cree House, Cathedral City

Living room with fireplace

(Image credit: Lance Garber)

Cree House is one of the lesser known works by acclaimed California architect Albert Frey. The man behind Palm Springs classics, such as Frey House II, Loewy House and the Tramway Gas Station with its famous ‘flying’ canopy, created this hidden gem around 1955. Having worked with Le Corbusier and influenced by modernist teachings from Europe, Frey worked on this private residence in Cathedral City, which was left neglected for years and fell into disrepair before it got restored to its former glory for Palm Springs Modernism Week 2019. Elements such as the exterior and interior wall panels, the fluted fiberglass deck pieces, kitchen appliances and cabinets have been preserved and remain part of this Desert Modernist house. 

Price: $1,975,000

520 West Via Lola, Palm Springs

Swimming pool with chair on the side

(Image credit: Neue Focus)

Located in Old Las Palmas, the historic heart of the famous desert city of Palm Springs in California – a place of pilgrimage for midcentury modernism enthusiasts – this home was built in 1954. The house, created as a clean, crisp composition of white opaque and semi-transparent glass brick surfaces and volumes, is a well known landmark, having starred as a location in many films over the years, including the iconic Ocean's Eleven. The property was later given a refresh by designers James Callahan and, more recently, Jon Piper. Expansive living spaces, four bedrooms and the obligatory Palm Springs open air deck and pool area, make for the perfect escape to enjoy the region's pleasant weather and rich history. 

Price: $2,695,000

The Allan F Daily Residence, Glendale

Parking with garden

(Image credit: Cameron Carothers)

This California gem is designed by midcentury modernist architect Clair Philip Earl, and originally built in 1954. The Daily Residence occupies a high point on the rolling hills of Los Angeles' Glendale, and specifically in the modernist haven of Whiting Woods. Spanning ample outside space and 1,885 sq ft, the home features distinctive low forms with large overhangs that allow residents to enjoy the garden and entertain outdoors, while being protected from the intense Californian sun. The roof also extends to produce a carport for the new owner's car collection. The garden has been landscaped by local horticulturalist and designer Kathleen Ferguson. 

Price: $1,389,000

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).