Back in December, SoCal designer Trina Turk and her iconic prints splashed onto the pages of our Design Boom feature. As Palm Springs ramps up for its festival season (Coachella! Stagecoach!), we asked Trina—who splits her time between the desert town and L.A.—for an under-the-radar tour.
What’s your most unusual source of inspiration in Palm Springs?
I’m very inspired by the annual Palm Springs Modern Heritage Fund home tours, usually in November. We’ve been going on the tours for 10 years, and it’s amazing how they continue to find amazing houses to see, both new and old. Seeing how people choose to decorate, the landscaping, decisions regarding what to update or not and personal collections is a fascinating way to spend a day.
Any favorite local architecture?
I love Albert Frey’s second house in Palm Springs. It’s a jewel box of a bachelor pad nestled up amongst the rocks. We did a photo shoot there for our summer collection, and when you spend time in the space you really understand how genius it is despite its tiny size. Mr. Frey designed many famous buildings in PS, including the dramatic winged roof gas station—now the Visitors’ Center—at the north end of town, Palm Springs City Hall, and the building where our boutiques are located.
Tell us where you go to chat up a bartender or spring for dinner?
El Jefe, the bar in the Saguaro for delicious fresh Mexican food and margaritas
Birba for Mediterranean inspired cuisine. We love to sit at the bar on Fridays after the drive into town from L.A.
Workshop is in a beautifully restored Spanish colonial revival building just a block east of our boutiques—sit in the courtyard if it’s warm.
What’s the most iconic pool in Palm Springs?
I suppose it’s the indoor/outdoor pool at the John Lautner-designed Elrod House. A huge curved glass door retracts over the pool to open the living room to the patio and a drop-dead gorgeous view of the valley—or you can just swim under it to go in and out! I’m also obsessing over the pool at the aforementioned Frey II house; it’s small, but perfect.
The most under-the-radar hotel?
The Fontenell is not a full-service hotel, but it’s a 7-room property you can rent for events. It was formerly the private compound of the Max Factor family, and has been recently restored, replete with vintage furnishings and amazingly intact period kitchens in aqua, yellow, or pink.