A year ago The Shops at Thirteen Forty-Five didn’t exist. Now, it’s Palm Springs go-to for designers from San Francisco and Los Angeles. “Interior designers are our most frequent repeat customers,” Brandon Hoskins, co-owner of The Shops at Thirteen Forty-Five, told me one recent afternoon.
Open only a year and already loyal and discerning fans – that tells a lot about this 11-boutique complex in Palm Springs’ stylish Uptown Design District.
“Every shop is different. But they all fit together with everything you need for your home: fine original art by noted desert artists; vintage jewelry, mid-century and vintage home décor, accessories and furnishings and organic bath fabrics,” Hoskins explained. "Also unique is the fact that all the shop keepers are accomplished artists in their own right, so in addition to their creative work, they sell vintage and modern items collected with an artist’s eye. Plus – it’s affordable. From $25 to $5,000. I overheard a customer saying “these are fairly priced.”
Towne Palm Springs is the first shop you enter in the iconic 1955 low-rise building on North Palm Canyon that was crafted by mid-century architect E. Steward Williams. Towne belongs to the founders, Hoskins and his partner, Stephen Wilson, who opened the complex in February 2013. “We invited several of our artist friends to join us, and voi la -- The Shops at Thirteen Forty-Five was born,” Wilson said. Perusing their carefully curated mix of art, collectibles and furniture, it’s easy to see that Hoskins and Wilson are interior designers. “We’re the source for Paul McCobb, Donghia and other mid-century designers. People who are looking for mid-century name designers will find their hard-to-find pieces here,” Hoskins told me. He recently shipped eight vintage dining room chairs (with the original fabric) by Milo Baughman to Germany. And last week a San Francisco designer bought every one of his bar carts. Contemporary art is also represented including the large vibrant photographic works of Andrew Thomas.
Samba music played softly through the sound system as I hopped from shop to shop – a perfect background for the sleek, stylish and sometimes quirky merchandise.
The Lindy shops (Lindy and Lindy 1) offers select vintage jewelry – I bought a pair of earrings for $35 and thought about a gold mesh snake necklace for $125 – mid-century clothing, eclectic home décor including a beaded basket from Africa, mid-century Japanese ikebana ceramics, gilded wood and other of the artist-owner’s works.
Vintage bow ties – now really, where can you find these – at $25 each, caught my eye at M & JJ Design. Stylized ceramic heads in all shapes, sizes and expressions by David Farnsworth are among the new works by local artists curated at the Take 3 Contemporary Art Gallery.
The Savage Home displays artifacts from Africa and Indo-China, contemporary paintings and trendy sculptures using metal engine parts. I spotted lovely Lucite furniture in several shops. Instinct – another shop – had an original Deco table for $425. Britannia, Robert Bryan Art & Design and Dawn Stein Interior Design round out the art collections.
Nandina Organics is unique to the complex – but a perfect fit – as the only boutique location of this Palm Springs-based maker of luxury organic linen products. Robes, bath towels, kitchen towels, everything this company makes feels like cashmere. Why? “We control the organic process from seed to the final product,” Laurel Thomas, co-owner with her husband, Matthew, explained to me. A pretty amazing process. Bamboo yarn spun together with certified organic cotton create their proprietary fiber. Luxe locations including the Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn and the Spa & Wellness Center at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert have used Nandina Organics for years. Now we all can. Off-the-rack bath towels are $59, wash cloths are $16.50, robes from $98.
On my way out, I asked Hoskins if I’d missed anything. “There is an additional perk,” he said. “If you’re looking for a designer, you can arrange with any of us interior designers to come out to your house for consultations.”