** sadly, the 111 mall has gone out of business, so this post is now just for nostalgia's sake. ps- john, we miss you! call us!
maison21's final super "secret" palm springs' source for fabulous finds, is of course, like the rest, no secret at all, but i'm surprised to find how many decoristas within driving distance of palm springs don't know about it yet. i suppose that's a good thing for maison21, but at the risk of hurting our own business, and far worse- the risk of someone else finding a treasure THAT WE DESPERATELY NEED FOR OUR OWN HOME, the secret is this: when maison21 is in the desert, the very first stop he makes on his way into town (and usually the last before he leaves again) is the 111 antique mall.
the 111 antique mall is in the most unlikely of locations, tucked into a half-empty mini-mall on the corner of racquet club and palm canyon- the first major intersection as you arrive in palm springs on highway 111. you'll know you're in the right spot when you see the carls jr in the corner of the parking lot. please note- if you visit the 111's website via the link, the cathedral city location listed has recently closed (a good thing- means the palm springs location has even more stuff, and you don't have to make the schlep out to c.c., unless you want to visit maison21's other "secret" sources out that way).
the 111 mall is run by maison21's two favorite johns in the desert- no, not what you're thinking, as maison21 is FAR too old to be a rentboy- we're speaking of john hall and john connell, sweethearts both of them. john hall is a true pioneer of modernism in the desert, having run the fabulous john's resale for years, selling mid-century modern long before the current craze ignited, and john connell, well, his schtick alone is worth a visit- he should charge a cover for his comedy act. warning: his act is rated "m" for mature, so leave the kids at home (and your husband/boyfriend too, especially if he's hot). just kidding- he's actually pretty harmless, so the kids won't be shocked, and please do give the guy a thrill and bring your handsome husbands :). here's photo of the outrageous john c. in action on a consigned red satin heart-shaped hooker bed- talk about an unusual find, but somebody's gonna love it and work the hell out of it in their home (the bed, not john connell).
the 111 antique mall is divided into individual booths, some run by individual vendors, and some filled with consignments edited by john hall, and the whole thing is simply PACKED with goodies, in every style imaginable- from the one-a-kind high kitsch of the hooker bed to the incredible chic of the following pair of rougier lamps and faux machalite-lacquered widdicomb sideboard (they would be lovely and welcomed additions to the permanent collection here at the maison21 atelier, thank you very much). maison21 never leaves the 111 mall empty handed, and if you do, well, you just aren't trying hard enough...
the best thing about the 111 is that because the merchandise is supplied by individual vendors and individual consignees, both the styles of merchandise as well as the prices vary greatly, so there really is something for everyone, and some incredible bargains are to be had. on our last visit, the highest price m21 noted was $2400 for the most amazing super-thick scrolled lucite coffee table- not the cheapest price ever, but if you were to purchase the same table in any metropolitan area of the world, that price would be quadrupled. most of the prices are much more reasonable- like $600 for an incredible pair of high back modern chinoiserie throne chairs, or $995 for a double helix stacked lucite coffee table, and some prices are a downright steal, like $95 for a giant chinois brass lamp or $195 for a set of slightly scratchy lucite nesting tables (an easy fix). maison21 is getting those last two on his next visit to the springs, along with the coral mentioned in a prior post if they are still there- he greatly regrets passing all three up this time, and doesn't know what in the heck he was thinking. note: these prices are all from maison21's rather addled memory- please don't go to the 111 mall and demand those prices because m21 posted them on his blog. the 111 mall should not be made to pay the price for the brain cells killed during maison21's misspent 80's youth.
one last tip before you run off to plunder the 111 mall of all it's merchandise (and quite possibly ruin maison21's livelihood and future home decorating dreams in the process): while the 111 mall is worth a visit any time you are in palm springs, it's worth a special trip out to ps in the hottest dog days of summer. because when it's hot, and tourism is down and business is slow, most (but not all) of the dealers will have sales marking down everything in their booths by 10%- 30% off. and since many of the dealers live in palm springs year-round, they are still stocking their booths with fabulous finds- so you have fresh treasures with less competition, and bargains to boot! maison21 is willing to risk a little heat stroke for that! now those of you who live in southern california, or are planning a visit to ps in the near furture, get your decorating-addicted bootays over to the 111 antique mall! but maison21 would appreciate it if you were to please wait until after the holidays- maison21 wants that lamp and set of nesting tables and will be in palm springs between xmas and new years to get them- he thanks you very much.