Dean Martin, who would have turned 100 last year, was a singer, comedian, actor and Rat Pack partier with pals Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. In reality, Dean was more of a family man than he was given credit for, considering his stage persona as a tipsy skirt chaser. He was a teetotaller and early to bed when he wasn’t working the Las Vegas nightclubs. Dean and his wife, Jeanne, had many friends outside of the Rat Pack clan including close friends in Palm Springs who they would visit often, enjoying a complete break from show business. The friends’ house was a classic Palm Springs mid-century modern home spaciously designed for entertaining. Martin gifted them a white baby grand piano so he could play and sing for their guests at Sunday afternoon tea dances, which he and his wife hosted. The house, including the original baby grand is now for sale, asking $1.8 million.
Steeped in Old Hollywood history, the home is located in the Little Tuscany neighborhood. Local history had dubbed it The Tea Dance House. The piano became an important highlight of the home’s history, including Barry Manilow writing a song on it. In later years it was discovered that the piano bench held sheet music unbeknownst to the homeowners that was a surprise discovery as they had never known the bench opened until Manilow told them years later on one of his visits.
Cloaked in walled privacy and thick vegetation around its circumference but still with commanding views of the San Jacinto Mountains, the home is within walking distance to shopping and entertainment in the heart of Palm Springs. Sited on over a quarter-acre lot, the 2,342-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath house takes full advantage of its private setting and balmy Palm Springs climate and is designed for indoor/outdoor living with vanishing thresholds between living areas, pool-spa terrace, lawn and quick access to fruit trees. Its open, spacious interior invites family and guests to move between areas unimpeded. Crisp white walls beg for the display of an art collection and terrazzo floors throughout guarantee a low maintenance lifestyle. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls traverse the back of the house, an angular fireplace can be viewed from the dining and living areas and the large eat-in kitchen is filled with high-end appliances including a wine cooler and duel refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens. Bathrooms are eye-catching with imported tiles and fixtures and the master bath has a walk-in double shower. Furnishings, almost all of which are included in the sale, include top designers of the 20th century such as Milo Baughman and Miles Van der Rohe.
One of Dean Martin’s favorite weekend family hangouts in Palm Springs, California, The Tea Dance House, is now for sale, including the storied piano and most of the classic furnishings. Priced at $1.8 million, the home is listed by Brandi Pratt of The Agency, Beverly Hills.