Meet Brandon Hoskins and Stephen Wilson of Towne Palm Springs
By Barbara Beckley
“We’re men about towne,” Brandon Hoskins says with a twinkle in his eye. That’s how he likes to describe himself and his partner Stephen Wilson. And so they are – as interior designers and co-owners of one of Palm Springs’ premiere interior décor boutiques, frequented by locals, visitors and fellow interior designers from LA to Paris.
Of course, Brandon and Steve didn’t plan on opening a boutique. Or even living in Palm Springs. But as so often happens, the magic of the desert enticed the twosome into leaving LA, and following their passion – which luckily for locals and visitors -- is pedigree architecture and interior design.
Brandon is from LA – a fifth-generation Californian -- and was a hairdresser. Steve is from Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he owned a graphic design firm. They met when Steve moved to California to work for Disney. As a hobby, the pair began buying, restoring and selling LA homes with architectural pedigrees. “This quickly morphed into being interior designers,” Brandon says. “As time went on we ended up with a warehouse full of furniture.”
They thought they were moving to Palm Springs temporarily when they arrived in 2007 to restore a William Krisel-designed home, Brandon recalls. “But we loved the desert and quickly became part of the architectural restoration community and made so many like-minded friends that we never left.”
What to do with the warehouse full of furniture? “It was a natural progression into the shop,” Brandon smiled.
So the designing duo bought – what else – a landmark 1955 building designed by iconic mid-century architect E. Stewart Williams, and in 2014 opened Towne Palm Springs.
The shop has been a hit ever since. More than 50 percent of their clientele are repeat customers. “Interior designers are the most frequent repeat customers, from LA, San Francisco, New York, San Diego and recently Paris,” according to Brandon.
Going inside the residential-style boutique, it’s easy to see that they’re doing what they love. “The thing I love most about owning Towne are the people coming in to shop – from all over the U.S., Canada and the world,” says Brandon. “It’s like a party here all the time! The shoppers enjoy meeting each other and Steve and I, and sharing like-minded love of art and design. Being a hair dresser for so long, I love meeting people.”
Brandon’s and Steve’s backgrounds in interior design, graphic design and architectural restoration give them an exceptional knack for mixing and matching. Their shop isn’t limited to vintage modernism – although there is always a fabulous collection of mid-century furniture and accessories. “We carry pieces that work together. Incorporating other periods and styles of furniture that look good with mid-century,” Brandon explains. “For instance, old farmhouse tables, and old iron lamps that were once hitching posts.”
What sets Towne apart from other design boutiques? “We’re a lifestyle shop – furniture, art, clothing.” Their line of resort menswear from St. Barts in the French Caribbean and France is Palm Springs perfect. “And we think about everyone, with a range of prices, and large and small items,” explains Brandon. Offerings range from their Towne brand scented candles for $35 to $3,000 chest of drawers, and vintage belts and leather goods. “Visitors want something small they can carry back home. They love our vintage barware.”
Where do the partners get their inspiration for merchandise? “From our friends who live here – they have such spectacular homes and décor.” And from their favorite shop in London, the Dover Market. “The Dover changes the interior of their shop all the time – not just furnishings – but new paint and new flooring, new everything.”
So don’t expect Towne Palm Springs to look the same every time you visit. But do expect good conversation, impeccable taste and professional interior design tips. “Always decorate with things you love – and it will all work together,” is their favorite piece of advice.
And, yes. Brandon and Steve also do interior designing, and continue to buy and restore pedigree houses. One of their most recent was a 1940s house in Old Las Palmas built in the ranch-style and remodeled in 1961 by mid-century architect Arthur Elrod. Their redo is featured in California Home & Design winter 2017 issue.
Towne Palm Springs | 1345 North Palm Canyon Drive | 760-464-0480
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