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.
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.
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.
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?
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…
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.
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.
Long Live Beauty, Charm, Glamour & Imagination!
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Home Photos: d. king