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

https://viewsbalconybar.com/pages/our-story

 


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

Tracy Turco’s Pink Palace

Welcome to a sneak peek of Hungarian-Hollywood history!

The pink palace; part of this year’s Palm Spring’s Modernism Home Tour.

The home’s previous owner was glamorous socialite and actress Magda Gabor, eldest sister to both Zsa Zsa and Eva Gabor. (Eva was well-known for her role as the most stylish housewife who lived on a farm in the series “Green Acres”).  The Kardashians have nothing on these three. The charismatic sisters, originally from Hungary, were a favorite on the talk show circuit, dazzling each host with sophistication, wit and charm. Zsa Zsa had some memorable one liners among them “I’m a marvellous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.”   I always admired their “no apologies” excess because of the way they handled it all.  And I always find it amusing when people assume beautiful women-with-means are stupid, and even more amusing when they’re proven wrong.  

Eva (L), Magda (in the middle) + Zsa Zsa (R)

But it’s not all about the house or the Gabors…

It’s as much about the unique style and many talents of the new owner, Tracy Turco. The devoted wife/mother/artist/hotelier has built an empire unto herself, bringing her vivacious design flair and spirit to one of the world’s glamour capitals, and making it more so.

original painting portrait of Magda Gabor to Tracy’s left.

The mid-century design mecca of Palm Springs has never been better since Tracy and her real estate developer husband Jerry took up residence here a little over two years ago.

Tracy isn’t called the “Design Diva of the Desert” for nada. Her entrepreneurial spirit has been hands-on behind several boutique hotels – Art Hotel, Cheetah Hotel (as shown in the header), Tiki Hotel, with more on the way.  A  modernism museum is already in the works including a disco pizza + roller rink (can’t wait!) and she still finds time to head an “Entrepreneurial Women’s Club of Palm Springs” (helping other women realize their own business potential) with monthly meetings, along with having a toddler.

Tracy with her adorable baby daughter Marchesa.

I don’t know how she handles it all – but she does and always with amazing aplomb. I have a feeling it’s in her DNA – both beauty and brains. Maybe we should refer to her as “the unsinkable Tracy Turco” (an allusion to the movie “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” – about the famed American socialite and philanthropist played by Debbie Reynolds). See what I mean?

Master Bedroom with custom made round bed.
View from master bedroom bathtub

Tracy (nee Stern) first made a name for herself in her native New York with creative lifestyle brands such as Salon Tea and Tea & Co. (with multiple locations around the globe – even making Oprah’s favorite list).  I had the pleasure of sampling a few teas at a Tiki Party she hosted at her previous Tiki House and they were several cuts above anything else I’ve ever tasted as far as teas go.  No wonder she was able to publish two books on tea and entertaining (another skill she excels at, including cooking/baking).  But she didn’t stop there. She’s designed shoes for the likes of Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan. Not a shabby squad. But that was then…

Elvis Silkscreen by Warhol.

At the Tiki hotel there’s a colorful boutique with Tracy’s name on it – literally. It’s almost impossible to drop in and walk out empty handed.  I ended up buying a pair of flip flops that have gold crown emblem’s (afterall, my last name is King) and an amazing lipstick that comes in 3 gorgeous pin-up girl shades. Oh yeah; they also have her name on it – as she designed those too.

Now getting back to the Turco’s stunning house…


Aside from the original interior design which includes the etched “M’s on the mirrors (that baby Marchesa will one day inherit), Tracy added bold color and contrast, keeping faithful to Hollywood Regency elegance, signifying both opulence and comfort. Something not so easy to achieve. A few of the paintings of beautiful Magda that belonged to Magda, now belong to the Turcos, along with some of the furniture (including piano shown here) which belonged to Zsa Zsa from the Gabor era. A bygone era, or so we thought.

I love this diamond ring bird-feeder with a perfect “birds-eye” view.

Long Live Beauty, Charm, Glamour & Imagination!

For more and ALL information including hotels/books/guides click here:

https://www.tracyturco.com/

Who’s that girl?
Photo: Megan Abbott

Home Photos: d. king

 

Maison Bleue Moderne

Oh, just another magnificent modernism maison.

Entrance to beyond la Porte Bleue.

I love observing how other people live. Very nice of the owners to open up their homes and let others take a peek inside and make them feel terribly envious by doing so.  I was feeling very Bleue in this home…but in the most positive way.

This home is like stepping into a vacation.  It’s a nod to the owners’ appreciation of beauty and being by the ocean with a modern nautical theme (despite being in the desert) as variations of water colors flow throughout, from vibrant turquoise to rich navy blues.  It’s just gorgeous.  I’m aware that I overuse this word but I just can’t think of another better word to describe this house and many others on the modernism open home tours.

Michelle Boudreau (pic below) recently re-designed the 1958 William Krisel originally designed Alexander Company home. She seamlessly merged materials and new spaces with modern technology while respecting the existing mid-century cherished design details.

The philosophy of the renovation was to establish a good relationship with the existing structure as it had beautiful bones.” Boudreau states.  I did notice that she herself has beautiful bone structure.  Just had to add this tidbit of info.

To create a poetic home that embraces the Palm Springs lifestyle, Boudreau selected from brands such as Brizo, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting, Hunter Douglas & Tidelli.

Check out that wall paper!

The 2,400 square foot artful interior space boasts four bedrooms & four bathrooms.  And lots of gorgeous attractive coffee-table books which I adore. The home and the books are inspired by the owners’ colorful personalities and passion for sailing and travel.

Check out that bedding and wall paper!

The home is nestled below the San Gorgonio mountain range in Vista Las Palmas, Palm Springs.

Simply breathtaking!

All photos: d. king

Modernism week is on until February 27th.  Get tickets for events while they last here:

https://modernismweek.com/

 

Modernism Week – 70’s Featured Home

Welcome to the start of Modernism week here in Palm Springs…home to the largest concentration of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the United States. Modernism week is an annual celebration and appreciation of all things midcentury modern. Think design, architecture, art, fashion and culture.
This is one of the busiest times of year for tourism in Palm Springs when hundreds of events take place that include the modernism show & sale, fabulous signature home tours, films, lectures, premier double decker architectural bus tours, nightly parties, live music, walking and bike tours, fashion shows, classic cars, modern garden tours and even more. Of course numbers to events are a bit more limited now and keeping a safe distance is still in place, however it feels like things are getting back to normal.

Today I toured the stunning 1975 Palm Springs residence referred to as the “Seventies Sackley” home, as it was designed by noted architect Stan Sackley. The home was recently reimagined by interior designers Michael Ostrow and Roger Stoker of Grace Home Furnishings who purchased it in 2012.

Located in the prestigious Indian Canyons neighborhood, the house boasts deep mid-century roots and a distinctive architectural style.  Situated on nearly a quarter acre lot, the 3,044 square foot home contains three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a beautiful saltwater pool and spa. It has brilliant mountain views, high ceilings, clerestory windows and walls of glass. The formal entryway is expansive and the dining area leads to a step-down living and media room, while walls of glass line the back of the house that open to the pool with a wondrous view of the San Jacinto mountains.

A favorite feature for the couple is the combo living room and media room which is separated by one of Sackley’s signature touches, a see-through fireplace with stacked stone detail.

The house’s custom glazed floor tiles were another coveted element, as they’ve believed to have been designed for the house by Sackley himself. 

Stan Sackley is described by Ostrow and Stoker as an architect who left a great body of work but has remained somewhat under-appreciated until recent years.  Ostrow shared that following Sackley’s death in 2001, his work archives were sold at a yard sale.  “Soon after, someone would go up and down the street asking people if they wanted to buy the floorplans to their house,” he says.  “We’re lucky to have it so we can see how the kitchen was configured.”  When they gutted the kitchen, they located a piece of laminate that was from the old cabinet and found the old countertop, a walnut laminated material and a matte white glazed tile. “What we put back in makes it almost look like the original kitchen,” Ostrow says.

When it came time for an update to the home, Stoker and Ostrow decided to implement changes that remained sensitive to the architect’s original design. Eventually, the pair decided on a modest renovation of the kitchen and bathroom with no structural changes.  Luckily, the couple got their hands on Sackley’s original furniture floorplan.

The interiors now feature a classic modern take on Palm Springs style, with a bold green and blue color palette.  Vintage pieces are used throughout the home alongside contemporary pieces from Ostrow and Stoker’s own Grace Home Furnishings Collection and showroom lines.

All photos: d. king

For ticketshttps://modernismweek.com/

“Real” Estate: doing the Can Can

Try to contain yourself as you have a browse through some luxury lifestyle homes for those who like to think “outside the box”  for price souring housing solutions.

Numerous shipping containers are artfully arranged in a starburst pattern for this Joshua Tree Home – the brainchild of London based Whitaker Studio.

These home are made from shipping containers. That’s right. Some ranging from small “tiny house” structures featuring a single container to larger, more ambitious projects that combine numerous containers that result in opulent luxury homes. These shipping container spaces offer something for every budget and lifestyle.

Affordable Housing – two shipping containers built on a low budget.
California-based Kubed Living offers multiple different shipping containers such as this 160 sq. ft. studio built from one container.

I just spent a little time in a winery built out of two shipping containers with windows cut out large enough to have a view of the vineyard.  I couldn’t believe it!

Canadians looking for a chic container home can contact Alberta based Honomobo . Built from rigid steel to provide durable, efficient living space.
Toronto based Storstac is in the business of selling new and used shipping containers. This one is made from two containers.
The main floor includes two shipping containers that saddle bag a wedge-shaped space .  I’m still trying to wrap my head around this one.

Every time I see a container now I envision what the inside would look like if I wanted to make it into a home.  The way things are going you just may see them becoming more mainstream.

Intriguing; No?

 

 

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

https://www.thedesignawards.co.uk/category/design-architecture-entrants-2020/

Home

 

Tracy Turco’s style: because we can all use a little glamour

Ummm… maybe high impact glamour is what I really meant to say.

Photo taken from Tracy’s new Website (see link at bottom of page).

Tracy is someone I met in Palm Springs last year and I’m happy that she’s become a friend.  Needless to say, Tracy stands out from any crowd and has a multitude of talents to her credit.  There’s almost nothing that she cannot accomplish.  She’s also a gracious hostess.  I find her inspiring.

And earlier this week she launched a new website that lists all of her creative ventures and adventures. To name a few.…if you’re looking for a cool place to stay in Palm Springs you might consider the ART Hotel, Tiki Hotel or Tiki House that she personally designed.

For now, I thought it would be perfect to share a tidbit of information taken from her actual website.  At the bottom of this page you can go directly to the website where you’ll find everything you need to know.

Taken from Tracy’s website:

The creative mind behind brands such as SalonTea, Tracy Stern Shoes, Tea & Co. and a whole lot more, Tracy Turco – formerly Tracy Strern – is an artist, designer, author, hotelier, entrepreneur and style icon residing in the midcentury mecca of Palm Springs. As an interior designer she has brought her touch to numerous stylish residences and businesses, as well as vacation homes and colorful boutique hotels such as the Tiki House, Art Hotel and Tiki Hotel in Palm Springs, not to mention her own home decor collection.

Tracy also attended numerous Paris fashion house shows as well, regularly seen front row dressed by luminaries such as Emanuel Ungaro and Guy Laroche to name but a few. She was voted ‘Best Dressed New Yorker’ five years in a row by the respected Avenue magazine, and has also featured on style-driven TV shows such as Bravo’s ‘Mad Fashion’.

Tracy’s shoe line came into being when she created a patented design for interchangeable uppers on a shoe giving multiple shoes with just one pair.

From there the Tracy Stern Shoes line took off internationally, selling to destinations such as Japan, Russia, Paris and Italy. It was equally popular with celebrities around the world including the likes of Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan. 

Didn’t I tell you she was inspiring?  For more go to:

http://tracyturco.com

My Previous Post: Tracy’s Tiki Tea Party:

https://girlwhowouldbeking.com/2020/02/11/life-style-tracy-turcos-terrific-tiki-tea-party/

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.

http://givinggifts.ca
4570 Main St., Vancouver

Photos: d. king

Have a fun weekend!

Table Talk: Coffee Tables

Let’s talk about the significance of the coffee table.  A focal point in your living room which serves a purpose.  It can either enhance or detract from the surrounding area.

briers home décor . Photo: d. king

How many people have coffee tables in their living rooms?  Almost everyone we know.  After all, you need something to set your cocktail glass or hot beverage down between sips. Because when was the last time you had an actual cup of coffee sitting on it? Right…didn’t think so.  And if for nothing else, it’s a perfect place to showcase that gorgeous coffee table book. Or maybe a reason to buy a coffee table book.

Perfect side table – briers home décor . Photo: d. king

Recently I wanted to change my living room coffee table from using a matching ottoman to my sofa (with cut glass to fit over top) for something different and smaller.  That’s because I decided to use the ottoman for something else..what it was originally intended for – an area to put your feet up and get comfy.  I also just had my carpet cleaned and the large ottoman covered up a lot of the carpet.  So I went on a hunt and found something that I felt worked for the smaller area and opened up the space and did not cover up the carpet.  A carpet I bought in Cairo and felt did not deserve to be hidden.  This clear tempered glass is perfect for a see-through look.

Photo: d. king
Originally there were 3 tempered glass tables which fit into one another. For time being I’m using the smallest one for folded towels in my bathroom.
3-piece tempered glass: briers home décor . $380.00
One of the tables. The nice thing is that they’re easily moveable. Photo: d. king

After having searched countless places online, I walked into briers home décor in Vancouver and there it was…the perfect fit.  It was that easy.  Cherie, the owner, suggested I do a blog post on ways to open up smaller spaces.  So this was her idea.  I’ll move along to other furniture options at a later date.

For now, this set of clear nesting tables takes up little visual space, can be stacked together when you might need just a teeny more room and moves around your sofa with ease.  I really like it.

The nice thing about coffee tables is that if you get tired of them it’s pretty easy to change them.  Certainly a lot easier and much less expensive than buying a new mattress or sofa.

briers home décor. Photo: d. king

We’ll look at a few options below.  But first…

A little history:

It began in 1652 when the first coffee house opened in London. It was so popular that more coffee houses soon opened all over Europe. The cost to enter was a penny and included a cup of coffee.  Wow how times have changed since then!  I just paid $5.50 for a coffee the other day.  That’s why I don’t want to get into the everyday going out for coffee habit and prefer to make mine at home.  I’m digressing…

These tables, called tea tables at first, were tall at 27″ high, compared to today’s coffee tables at 18″-19″ high.

There are no documents from the 17th and 18th century mentioning coffee tables although there are hundreds of references about coffee houses during the time period. It is speculated that the name tea table was changed to coffee table because coffee became more popular than tea.

Today, coffee tables (also called cocktail tables) still share the same location in the living room in front of the sofa. Yet, the shape, size, and functionality have changed vastly.  A few options:

The ottoman as coffee table – a popular choice. Image credit: Mackenzie Schieck

The ottoman as coffee table – a popular choice because it serves two purposes.  You can put a simple tray or have a piece of glass cut to size over top, or put your feet up when you want to.

Who needs a coffee table when you can have an arm rest tray, instead? It requires no additional space in your living room, but offers all of the same benefits as an actual table.

Awesome Arm Rest Wrap Coffee Table – Etsy

Posh but petite, this sophisticated cocktail table from West Elm will fit just about anywhere in your living space. Buy one for setting down drinks instead of a clunky coffee table, or two or three if you need the extra surface area.

Martini Side Table – West Elm $159

This 5-piece coffee table-slash-stool set may be the coolest. Not only does this multi-tasking table offer up plenty of surface space, it seamlessly holds four faux leather stools inside; for all the extra living room seating you’ll ever need.

5 piece Coffee Table and Stool Set – Wayfair $375

Lastly; you can always use something you might already have around the house – something like this vintage chest:

photo: d.king
 This chest doubles to store excess towels in TV room.

So many choices.  

Do you have a favorite?

briers in Vancouver:

http://www.briers.ca