Watch Video Tour of Gerald and Betty Ford's Newly Restored Palm Springs Home
Entertainment execs Bill Damaschke and John McIlwee purchased it after the former president's estate put it on the market in 2012.
The new owners of Gerald and Betty Ford's Rancho Mirage home are providing a peek at the abode and its charmingly dated style.
Industry executives Bill Damaschke and John McIlwee, who purchased the 6,300-square-foot, seven-bedroom estate after the Ford family put it on the market in 2012, gave a video tour of the premises to T Magazine. The couple has a fondness for storied residences, having lived in architect John Lautner's Garcia House in the Hollywood Hills since 2002, which they purchased from director Vincent Gallo.
Damaschke, who stepped down as COO of DreamWorks Animation in January, and McIlwee, a Hollywood business manager who was among The Hollywood Reporter's 25 Most Powerful Business Managers in 2014, explained that they didn't envision themselves settling down in the neighborhood, but they were taken by the Fords' original furnishings and decor, which have remained largely intact.
"All the other people looking [to purchase the home] were snowbirds, the wife frowning and saying to the husband, 'Honey, it’s all original,' " McIlwee said. "And we were like, 'Honey, it’s all original!' "
The only rooms where the floorplan changed from its original 1977 design were the kitchen and the master bathroom. Notable highlights of the home, which was built after Ford lost the 1976 presidential election to Jimmy Carter, include a hand-painted floral mural in the dining room, along with a fountain in the backyard, which Damaschke and McIlwee repaired with a new motor.
"Would I have picked those fabrics?" McIlwee said of the home. "Hell, no. But the question was, how can we repurpose this original stuff in a way that is honest, respectful and also fun?"
The video tour can be seen below.