Dorothy Willetts founded Willetts Design & Associates to shape the places where aspirations come to life. With an artist’s eye for detail, Willetts is able to create spaces that elevate her client’s ideas and needs to perfection, being both classy and comfortable. With private home and commercial projects across the country including many high-profile clients, her vision extends beyond interior design to fashion and lifestyle, knowing that each decision can enrich day to day experiences.
One of Dorothy’s most recent projects was a 40,000 sq. ft. island-inspired luxury compound in Coachella, CA. Known as the ultimate Palm Springs getaway, Zenyara is an incredibly spacious & luxurious property with a host of amenities. From the man-made beach to the state-of-the-art gym and 4-hole golf course, Zenyara is the ultimate playground for travellers and has welcomed many high-profile guests including Bella and Gigi Hadid who relaxed at the luxury spot during the Coachella music festival. Combining sophisticated European design with the simplicity of desert living, The LuxPad explores how Dorothy Willetts injected this desert oasis with her world-class interior design style…
Project Name: Zenyara
Floor Area: 40,000 sq ft. under roof, 22,200 sq ft of air-conditioned space
It’s an island-inspired luxury compound with South Pacific, Caribbean, and Asian influences seen through both the exterior and interior design choices. The 37-acre project, a ground-up new build, includes not only 40,000 sq. ft. of living space, but a tennis pavilion, two outdoor bars, a petting zoo, a 12’ deep lake with canals, 1,100 producing date palms, and a 4-hole golf course.
Situated around the lake so that each room has a full view of the water, the intersection between the interiors and the exterior becomes blurred. In order to not compete with the views I chose a subtle colour palette while accents of red prevail throughout the home. The proportions of the furniture pieces were carefully designed so as to not disappear into the expansive rooms. Found objects, such as corn mill grinders, Chinese floats, Kuba clothes, and ceramic urns were repurposed and reimagined as art. And any custom artwork, like the 21’ long carved wood panel was designed by me specifically for the project.
Creation / planning process
I work very intuitively. After meeting with the client and seeing the architectural plans, it was obvious that the home and the views were going to want to be the main focal points, so the furnishings would have to be subtle and not get in the way of the architecture. I had very little time to plan and implement so I relied heavily on vendors I have a history with and could count on to follow through with custom designs and delivery dates.
How it went?
Couldn’t have gone better! Everything fit perfectly, looked fantastic and the client is extremely happy. We’ve actually just been nominated for this year’s Gold Nugget award for the private residences over 8,000 sq ft category.
Favorite room / part of the project and why?
Because the spaces are so large, the ceiling in the living room is 37’ high, I love one area that I created in the Master suite. It feels cozy and intimate despite the size of the room and the high ceilings.
Any issues / problems you had to overcome during the project?
Yes! The size of the rooms meant that I had to customise most of the furnishings so that they be proportionate to each room. And of course, the incredibly expedited time schedule meant that this was a project were we had no time for mistakes!