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/

 

Design – seeing everything in black + white

I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to perusing open houses.

Mostly because I end up loving a lot of them and hate the fact that I can’t move right in or more likely, cannot afford to. But it’s fun to look.  I realize how many different styles of homes I’ve come to appreciate. From Mid-Century Modern easily influenced by where I’m at, to old world Spanish hacienda and country cottage chic but in a Cape Cod sort of way.  I like furnishings that are modern, vintage, collectible and contemporary but comfortable.  Mixed with vibrant colour or plain neutral.  I don’t like too stark.  I prefer warmth. But then I saw this:

I literally stumbled upon this unassuming ranch style home for sale in my neighborhood when out walking the dogs.  It’s not quite finished being updated (at least on the outside) but I was curious so I wandered inside.

It was not showy; actually kind of simple in a bold statement kind of way. What I like is how clean and elegant black and white looks.  Very parisienne.  Very timeless.  Very me. at the very moment  Could it be I’m suffering from  homestyle schitzophrenia? 

Jia Jia on our walk.

Seeing something opposite to what you already have gives fresh perspective to how you can decorate.  It doesn’t make it better, it just gives it a different personality.  It’s always fun to see what others are doing when it comes to home decor or anything else for that matter.

Do you agree?

Photos: d. king

décor & design – Hayman Interiors of Palm Desert

The Rodeo Drive of Palm Desert.
The Rodeo Drive of Palm Desert – El Paseo

I’m so not over the retro styling in and around Palm Springs.  The vibe and color really works here.

Here are some photos of the way cool but upscale “Hayman Interiors” of Palm Desert.

Hayman 1It’s located in the heart of “El Paseo” which is considered the “Rodeo Drive” of Palm Desert.

Hayman 2

Doesn't this look inviting?  For outdoor or indoor use.
Doesn’t this look inviting? For outdoor or indoor use.

Home décor – tacTile ideas

Armenian hand painted tile from the old city in Jerusalem

Tiles as Art?  Why Not?

Sometimes you want to bring a souvenir art piece back from certain travels but they’re too cumbersome.

Mexican tiles imbedded outside front door to resemble a decorative door mat

 

 

 

 

Consider nice hand painted tiles that are little pieces of artwork that represent a country you’ve visited instead.

Tile over fireplace

 

 

 

 

They’re easier to pack and will adhere to the wall with tile cement quite easily.  Granted, if you move it will be harder to take them off but at least you didn’t invest much in the first place.

 

 

Also it’s another excuse to go back and get more.

To decorate a door

From Jamaica – ackee  is the national fruit of Jamaica – over stove top cooking elements

Petroglyph from trip to Utah

Italian tiles up staircase

Tile on upper deck bought at Home Sense

Framed Mexican tile on upper deck

Live one day at a time – outside

Pretty & Useful – on tumbled Italian marble kitchen countertop.

*TIP: Tiles travel well and can double as trivets for hotplates or cooking utensils while cooking.