Local Business Story: Raising the Bar

Jesse & Ashley are the co-founders of a unique company Views Balcony Inc.

Views Balcony Inc. is a local Vancouver small business that can help extend your home from the indoors to the outdoors.  

What they’ve created is an enjoyable and decorative way to enhance and elevate a small outdoor space. Their unique design uses beautiful Acacia bartops which is one of the best naturally durable woods, perfect for outdoors. Also easy to install with adjustable steel brackets and they’re foldable.

A great idea. Perfect for morning coffee, working from home or happy hour.

Their booth at a local small business pop-up at Container Brewing. Photo: d. king

After creating their hero product, the balcony bar, they’ve expanded their products to include beautiful space conscious accessories to complement.

Get Outdoors



More Art Vancouver

A shout out to Art International Vancouver for a successful turnout over the past weekend at Vancouver Convention Centre West.

Another sprinkling of photos taken at last Friday’s opening.

this one speaks to me

Photos: d. king

Mod about Palm Springs

Welcome to Modernism Week 2022!

Modernism Week officially begins today! From now through February 27, 2022, we’ll be celebrating all things midcentury modern and more, in Palm Springs and beyond.

Follow along on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter for 11 days of modernist fun. We’ll be sharing daily event highlights, important updates, and so much more.

For more information, visit modernismweek.com.

Look forward to touring some featured homes and maybe a party here and there.  Photos to follow.

Inspiring Women

Empowered Women Empower Women

Always standing out from the crowd, Tracy is the one wearing orange coat & yellow sneakers.

Yes; it’s a beautiful thing when women build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

We can all use support more than ever right now.  So when beautiful and successful design diva of the desert Tracy Turco decided to head up an Entrepreneurial Women’s Club of Palm Springs despite her otherwise very busy schedule with a baby to boot… I was very pleased to be included on the list.

I’ve always been drawn to strong successful women.  They’re such an inspiration and each of these incredible women have something unique to offer.  It was a collaboration of getting to know one another, exchanging business cards and finally making plans for the next meetup.

A 1962 mid-century hotel with 12 rooms, The Cheetah Hotel was reinvented by local designer Tracy Turco and her property developer husband Jerry, in 2021. They also own the Art Hotel (most photographed hotel in Palm Springs) & the Tiki hotel with more properties to come including an interactive Mod Museum that will have a roller rink and pizza parlour.  Busy people.

We met on the rooftop of the Flannery Exchange which is located in the heart of Palm Springs’ Uptown Design District.  The building is a mixed-use space providing desert guests and residents the opportunity to work, play, shop, dine, and celebrate. My favorite new coffee shop (Cafe La Jefa) is right there along with new shops and more to follow.

Erika (wearing striped sweater in photo) and husband Mike Flannery are no strangers to hospitality and design.  They also own ACME house company vacation rentals.

The next meeting will be held at a soon to be disclosed local restaurant.

Have a wonderful weekend



Elements of Design – Residential Art & Architecture

If you love style, architecture & design, here’s a unique and fun way to kill a little time while getting a luxurious dose of total home inspiration…

T. Jones Groups – Elements Estate, Vancouver

Focusing on the residential sector, we step into the world of luxury and extravagance to celebrate the best in design, outstanding architecture, interior design and product designs.

I loved perusing through all the categories of the International Design & Architecture Awards and then placing my vote for “best of” in each respective category.  You can too, until March 19th (link below).

Who are they?

The International Design & Architecture Awards, are hosted by design et al, a leading UK interior design magazine. Their aim is to commend design, recognize talent, create opportunities and quite simply to offer inspiration.  That to say the least, is an understatement.

These Awards are not judged by a panel. Shortlisted entries are presented online, and voting is open to industry professionals as well as design et al readers, clients and customers. Only 16 projects are shortlisted per category. A unique part of their voting system is that votes have to be cast in every single category, which in turn, gives all shortlisted projects maximum publicity from international industry professionals.

T. Jones Group – Elements Estate,  Vancouver

I’m delighted to learn that Amanda & Cameron Jones (friends of mine and my sister from T Jones Group) have received 5 nominations for their @elementsestatevancouver project.  Looking through the photos we can see why.

Amanda & Cameron Jones

Elements Estate has received 3 Interior Designs Category nominations;
Cat. 13 – Kitchen over £150,000
Cat. 18 – Best Living Space
Cat. 29 – Residential Project Value over £5 million

Plus 2 Property Category nominations;
Cat. 4 – Luxury Residence
Cat. 19 – Residential Value £10 million +

A bit more on T. Jones Group and some of their amazing projects:

T. Jones Group. Elements, Vancouver

T. Jones Group represents their clients From Conception to Completion.

When you are surrounded by beautiful scenery, the standard for every project is raised. Vancouver, British Columbia pushes that standard to its absolute limit. The sights are breathtaking. Inspiration is everywhere.

And yet, the T Jones Group builds homes that set them apart from their neighbors. The passion brought to every project is sustainable because the goal remains the same: Learn what the client truly wants, and build it better than they ever imagined.

I love this…

The T. Jones Group has built a foundation dedicated to philanthropy. The Jones Family Foundation.

A project most near and dear to us has been building a four story residency in Tanzania for young women in school in the medical field. We also funded the building of fresh water for the town.

See link below for more info. on Tanzania project:

International Design & Architecture Awards Voting is NOW open until this Friday MARCH 19TH




Tile Story

I’ve always had a thing for old world tiles.

This kitchen belongs to Diane Keaton – taken from Introspective Magazine

Tiles invoke a certain era and impression. I’ve collected tiles from various travels and integrate them on walls, doors and floors around my home.  They take me back to that place in time.

Have you ever wondered how people first started making tiles?

the below was taken from https://artsaics.com

The history of tiles is a long and winding tale that starts in Egypt, circa 10,000 B.C., around the time of the pyramids. From there it went into Babylon, Assyria and the ancient Persian Empire. 

After that, the Greeks and Romans took over this ancient art and made it their own with fine mosaics that lined the floors and walls of their bath houses, luxury villas, and temples. Around 206 BC, the Chinese got in on the act with their contribution to ceramics: porcelain.

However, they were mostly isolated from other cultures. It wasn’t until much later that Europe began using ceramics and soon they would be incorporated into their churches and palaces too. 

Today, modern stone masons have taken tile making to a high art, just as when it started in Egypt, to allow the average homeowner to explore the wonders of this ancient art.

As can be seen, in every age and country, tiles were modified and improved and the technology grew over time to create even new possibilities. In Egypt, the humble terracotta and limestone tiles became ceramic works of art that survive to today. The Romans may have made stone mosaics available to the adoring eyes of the Roman public, but it wasn’t until the British started mass-producing ceramics that the ordinary person began to be able to use them in their homes.

Today’s newer waterjet technologies now allows anyone to cut stone tiles that would have been considered miraculous in earlier ages. Thus, it is easy to surmise this art will continue to develop even further as new materials and technologies transform it over time.

How do you feel about tiles?




Feel-good Friday: Giving Gifts

Cards, Candles, Clothing, Jewelry, Accessories, Food, Skincare…

Giving Gifts is all about giving – giving to friends and family, giving to yourself and giving to others around…

Just yesterday I came across an inspiring gift boutique made up of 5 rooms and more than 100 local Vancouver artists, each showcasing all kinds of good quality, fair trade gifts.  I love this concept.

4570 Main St., Vancouver

Photos: d. king

Have a fun weekend!

Art by Daniel Gutzmann

DANIEL GUTZMANN is a remarkable man of many talents. 

Not only does he create unique works of art, he makes the most delicious peanut butter power bars.  And he has an extensive and beautiful shoe collection.  You might say I’m a little envious. I can go on and on.

I met Daniel and his partner Karl for the first time last year when we were invited to  dinner at a mutual friend’s home in the Palm Springs area.  After dinner they showed me around their incredible home which happens to be situated on a golf course and which they gutted and re-designed themselves. That’s another thing; this power couple is licensed to re-design and re-decorate homes. Yes; there are some people who can do all that. They have excellent taste but they work according to the aesthetic of each individual, so it’s continually different but always discerning. At their place there were so many things to take in because the attention to detail is astounding.  And then there is the ART which obviously caught my eye.  Like anyone could ignore it?  Art created by Daniel .

Recently we had dinner again at the same friend’s house and I asked if I could come photograph some of their paintings for my website. So here are some images taken by me of Daniel’s artwork with a little bio about him.

The art hides a flatscreen TV

Daniel Gutzmann began his career as an artist and designer in 1989. His passion, vision and talent in taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary has allowed him contracts with high end corporate and private clients throughout the years.

He began his career with painting public transit coaches across the country into rolling works of art. These hand painted show stoppers have visually delighted such major clients as Pepsi, Mutual of Omaha, Coca Cola, Sony, Mercury, Elktra Records and Disney. He has painted murals and pieces of art for numerous community foundations, public and private clients which included homes, zoos, museums, schools, churches, public libraries and banks. His brilliant large canvas art is designed for high end clients, especially those with large homes and commercial spaces wanting to display beautiful art. With this, he has earned the prestigious Addy Award for outstanding design. Daniel continues to exceed his client expectations in providing stunning artwork that celebrates the atmosphere in which they are placed. He has participated in Rancho Mirage Art Affaire and has attended numerous art shows throughout the country, Palm Springs and the surrounding areas. Most recently, was awarded “Best of Show”in oil painting at the Indian Wells Arts Festival.

Daniel creates his near photo realistic paintings on canvas wrapped panels utilizing all triple pigmented oils with a flat finish glaze. These pieces of art are created with his vision of taking a beautiful object and painting its most unique aspects which sometimes may be abstract. His 3D multi-media modern works of art are created on wood panels utilizing MDO and Oxboard plywood, pvc & metal pipes, wall papers, venetian plaster, drywall joint compound, oil and acrylic paints.

If you are interested in any of his works please contact Debbie@girlwhowouldbeking.com

b+w – mother’s bedroom

Part of their outdoor living

on a wall outside