Designer Homes

Visit a Fashion Designer’s Colorful, Cool Palm Springs Escape

Visit a Fashion Designer’s Colorful, Cool Palm Springs Escape
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To hear Trina Turk tell the story, there were many reasons she and her husband, Jonathan Skow, would not have wanted their Palm Springs home, affectionately known as “Ship of the Desert.”

“We were looking at a lot of stereotypical Palm Springs homes: walls of glass, flat roofs,” she reminisces sitting in her kitchen decked out in a breezy, bright caftan (what else?). “Then our realtor said, ‘I do have a home, but it’s not the style you want, it’s not the size you want, and it’s over your budget.’”

That was 1998. And after seeing the unique home (a streamline Moderne style inspired by a sea vessel), surviving the “financial stretch,” and a fire that nearly destroyed the house, the L.A. couple settled into a dedicated renovation and now have a chic desert oasis they love and retreat to weekend after weekend.

The living room feels like “an open-air pavilion” when the counterbalanced windows are lowered and there’s nothing in the way of the spectacular view.

The living room feels like “an open-air pavilion” when the counterbalanced windows are lowered and there’s nothing in the way of the spectacular view.

Minimalists No More

After they completed the renovation with the help of architectural firm Marmol Radziner, they kept the interiors quite clean. “Our thinking was it was all about the outdoors, and we didn’t want to distract from the views,” says Trina. But 13 years later, there is definitely more color and pattern. “It’s how we live and who we are. Design is an ongoing process that never ends. It’s an evolution.” The process also inspired a new expression for Trina’s colorful designs. “I guess that’s why I started making textiles and pillows,” she says. “I needed them for my house.”

There’s no shortage of vintage pieces, including a Vladimir Kagan sofa. Color comes in the form of Trina’s own line of punchy pillows. The vase is actually a wine cooler with a compartment for ice and a bevy of bottle holders.

There’s no shortage of vintage pieces, including a Vladimir Kagan sofa. Color comes in the form of Trina’s own line of punchy pillows. The vase is actually a wine cooler with a compartment for ice and a bevy of bottle holders.

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Though they entertain plenty outside, the dining room gets its fair share of use in the winter. “We play Scrabble here a lot with friends,” says Trina.

Though they entertain plenty outside, the dining room gets its fair share of use in the winter. “We play Scrabble here a lot with friends,” says Trina.

Mixing What Matters

Finding the home’s unique vintage pieces was fairly easy given that the property is nestled in the center of  a “collector’s paradise.” But Trina’s approach balances the beautiful with the practical. “One of our rules is to have certain things that we don’t worry about,” she explains. “Our dining room table is a bit trashed, so people can forget coasters and it’s okay.” The Warren McArthur dining chairs are pragmatic too: “They fold up, so we can move them outside.” One treasured passion purchase was the plexiglass piece by artist Aaronel deRoy Gruber. “She did a lot with layered color… which I love!”

 

This “fancy piece” is a Jacques Adnet that serves as sideboard and cocktail bar. It’s filled with quirky bar glasses by Joe Colombo and others. The house drink? “In the summer, we serve Lillet on the rocks,” says Trina.

This “fancy piece” is a Jacques Adnet that serves as sideboard and cocktail bar. It’s filled with quirky bar glasses by Joe Colombo and others. The house drink? “In the summer, we serve Lillet on the rocks,” says Trina.

One of the couple’s macramé animal heads takes center stage above the fireplace in the dining area.

One of the couple’s macramé animal heads takes center stage above the fireplace in the dining area.

“Our home is anchored by pieces my husband, Jonathan, and I have collected over the years. Adding, deleting, and switching things up over time gives a home true character.”

— Trina Turk

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“We give the master suite to friends and family so that they can enjoy the great view… and the lion,” says Trina. (It’s one of three macramé animal heads by artist Judee du Bourdieu.) “We’re kind of obsessed.”

“We give the master suite to friends and family so that they can enjoy the great view… and the lion,” says Trina. (It’s one of three macramé animal heads by artist Judee du Bourdieu.) “We’re kind of obsessed.”

Pick a Bright Bedroom, Any Bright Bedroom

Having a larger house than expected means Trina and Jonathan can entertain lots of friends and family, who have their pick of stylish accommodations. “Everyone lays claim to certain rooms as their own,” says Trina. What’s common to all of them are the bright, quirky textiles and accents. “Designing a room and a head-to-toe look are not that different! Color, texture, proportion, and fabrics are all important—from a room’s architecture (the body) to the furniture (clothing) to the art and accents (jewelry, shoes).”

A guest room boasts a bevy of color and pattern, from vintage wool blankets to a pillow from Trina’s home line. Vintage lighting, books, and pottery provide all the style and comforts of home.

A guest room boasts a bevy of color and pattern, from vintage wool blankets to a pillow from Trina’s home line. Vintage lighting, books, and pottery provide all the style and comforts of home.

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A vintage bench is topped with an array of Trina’s own pillows, colored glass vessels, and an estate-sale score. “This striped painting is not done by anyone noteworthy but feels high-end,” she says.

A vintage bench is topped with an array of Trina’s own pillows, colored glass vessels, and an estate-sale score. “This striped painting is not done by anyone noteworthy but feels high-end,” she says.

A pair of Moroccan poufs (“totally faded by the sun”) flank a lacquered woven chest. A piece of redwood hangs above. “I found it really cheap at a nearby store,” says Trina.

A pair of Moroccan poufs (“totally faded by the sun”) flank a lacquered woven chest. A piece of redwood hangs above. “I found it really cheap at a nearby store,” says Trina.

Always on the Hunt

Call it a professional or personal hazard: Trina is constantly seeking inspiration for her line or her leisure-time escape. “I guess I need visual stimulation,” she says. “Sometimes it’s work inspiration, and sometimes it’s just for fun. I’m inspired by glassware, ceramics, jewelry. I am never really looking for anything in particular.” And everything gets put to good use in this home. “We don’t have any displays per se. We want to use what we collect.”

What I love about this house is that it’s fairly clean. It’s not minimalist per se but airy-looking. It doesn’t look good with tons of stuff everywhere.

— Trina Turk
A trio of vintage ceramic vases sits atop one of the home’s numerous custom built-ins. “It’s so like a ship in that way,” says Trina.

A trio of vintage ceramic vases sits atop one of the home’s numerous custom built-ins. “It’s so like a ship in that way,” says Trina.

Trina’s favorite spot for an afternoon nap? This daybed covered in fabric from her textile collection with Schumacher. “It’s ideal because it’s always in the shade,” she says.

Trina’s favorite spot for an afternoon nap? This daybed covered in fabric from her textile collection with Schumacher. “It’s ideal because it’s always in the shade,” she says.

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The oven is original to the 1930s home, but the wooden block island made a long trip from Brooklyn. “A butcher retired here and sold it to a local shop,” says Trina. “I love the way it’s contoured from all the years of use. It’s sculptural.”

The oven is original to the 1930s home, but the wooden block island made a long trip from Brooklyn. “A butcher retired here and sold it to a local shop,” says Trina. “I love the way it’s contoured from all the years of use. It’s sculptural.”

The custom kitchen banquette was lovingly restored postfire after the couple saw the home’s original floor plans. Jonathan bought the Steven Meisel photo at a charity auction. “I loved the original editorial from Italian Vogue,” says Trina.

The custom kitchen banquette was lovingly restored postfire after the couple saw the home’s original floor plans. Jonathan bought the Steven Meisel photo at a charity auction. “I loved the original editorial from Italian Vogue,” says Trina.

This painting was done by a friend who stayed here. I intended to hang it, but now I kind of like the way it looks leaned againt the staircase.

— Trina Turk
Just some of Trina’s treasure trove of vintage sunglasses and jewelry.

Just some of Trina’s treasure trove of vintage sunglasses and jewelry.

Trina’s Palm Springs Picks

There’s nothing like a local guide, so we hit Trina up for her not-to-be-missed restaurants, stores, and sights.

EAT

Cheeky’s
622 N. Palm Canyon Drive
“Great for breakfast. Don’t miss the flight of bacon.”

Birba
622 N. Palm Canyon Drive
“Next door to Cheeky’s, yummy pizza and great for morning coffee…”

 

SHOP

Bon Vivant
766 N. Palm Canyon Drive
“Great collection of accessories and really cool tchotchkes…”

Modern Way
745 N. Palm Canyon Drive
“Amazing furniture pieces for your home… I got some patio furniture there.”

 

SEE

Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture & Design Center
300 S. Palm Canyon Drive
“A mecca for midcentury-design people. So inspiring.”

Indian Canyon Trails
38500 S. Palm Canyon Drive
“Some people don’t think of hiking in Palm Springs, but there are some great trails here.”

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