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As a child, Amy Boylan’s favorite place for special occasions was New York City’s Hawaii Kai restaurant.
Sipping Shirley Temples, Boylan was transported to paradise by the restaurant’s bamboo furnishings and tiki decor.
Flash forward and today Amy is the president of West Coast Customs and the owner of a tropical paradise, complete with a koi pond, tiki bar and pirate ship in the backyard of her Bermuda Dunes home.
Boylan and her husband, Ray, live a house originally owned by actor George Nader. It was also Rock Hudson’s desert retreat, where neighbors would find him mowing the lawn on weekends, Ray said.
The midcentury modern house has a whitewashed open-beam ceiling and rock fireplace, and is filled with Boylan’s collections of Hawaiiana and period furnishings.
“I call it the house furnished by eBay,” Ray said, sitting at a vintage Herman Miller dining room set.
The Boylans, who lived at the beach at the start of the millennium, hadn’t planned on being Coachella Valley property owners. But after spending several months helping friends look for a good buy, it happened.
“I love this house like no other house I’ve ever lived in,” Amy said.
The house is filled with Franciscan Starburst dinnerware; a vintage home jukebox stuffed with 45s; and Mies van der Rohe, Eames and Miller furniture and other mementos of the 1950s and ’60s.
“If Amy had it as a kid, she has it today,” Ray said of her collections.
And in the backyard, built on a second lot acquired a few years after buying the house, Amy and Ray, along with Benny Meza of Green Knowledge Landscaping and Gardening, have created a tropical paradise inspired by those long-ago dinners in New York City.
The homeowners: Ray, 65 and Amy, 55, Boylan. She’s currently the president of West Coast Customs, but has previously worked for Mattel and helped Carol Shelby revive his ailing company. Ray is a writer and newsletter editor.
The house: The Boylans’ property covers two lots. They bought the 2,300-square-foot house on the 100- by 190-foot lot in 2001, Ray said.