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Frankoma Sighting In The San Antonio Express News

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From today's San Antonio Express News - an article about an interesting house in Hollywood Hills, CA. :cabin:


Spanish Villa Home to Collections

By Barbara Thornburg - Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Jim Turner, co-founder and former creative director of Flaunt magazine, can't recall collecting anything as a kid growing up in Missouri.

But today, far-ranging collections are on display throughout his four-story Spanish Revival villa in the Hollywood Hills. To name a few: vintage bears and glass elephants; 1960s Blenko glass and Frankoma-ware; copper vessels and vintage oil jars; wood santos and conquistador bronzes; carved boxes and Mexican souvenir plates; mercury glass and American quilts; taxidermy and concrete garden animals.

His father, a retired train engineer, devoted the family's entire guesthouse to railroad memorabilia. Turner recalls a faux-caboose filled with model trains, scenic mountains and small towns, railroad crossing signs, dining car china, menus and train posters galore.

"I guess the acorn doesn't fall too far from the oak," he jokes.

The collecting bug bit Turner more than 20 years ago. He had just moved into his first apartment after graduating from the Art Institute of Dallas and needed furniture. Trained as a fashion illustrator, he was freelancing for a decorating company, making paintings for model apartments and not earning much money.

"I haunted flea markets to find bargains and just started collecting things," he says.

Turner has a sensibility that others don't have, says his longtime partner, Luis Barajas, publication director and co-founder of Flaunt. The two have been together since Dallas, where they founded Detour magazine in 1987. They moved to Los Angeles and started Flaunt in 1998.

Turner, who was the monthly fashion and culture magazine's art director for a decade, was known for his innovative covers and creative pop-ups that often made the magazine resemble a cutting-edge adult activity book. One issue featured an Eames chair that readers punched out and assembled. One promotional ad sported a black-and-white beach ball insert; another, a bag of sand to promote the film "Sahara."

"Jim likes a bit of kitsch and doesn't take design so seriously," Barajas says. "He especially likes to break the rules — something you can do only when you have a very sophisticated aesthetic."

The couple moved from a Midcentury Rustic Canyon dwelling to their Mediterranean house on a ridge below the Hollywood sign four years ago. Turner has been working on the 5,500-square-foot home and its adjacent two-story guesthouse ever since.

Although the home, built by artist-designer Michael E. Arth in 1994, had great bones, the interior needed a face lift. A previous occupant, former Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, had painted the tile floors black and the walls maroon.

Turner returned the Saltillo tiles to their original terra-cotta color. In keeping with a Spanish-style home, he stained the light trim around doors and windows dark, replaced light fixtures in each of the 18 rooms with Spanish Revival lamps, then Venetian-plastered the walls to an Old World finish in a palette of sunny Mediterranean hues.

But the real fascination lies in Turner's zany juxtapositions of eclectic furniture, collections and art. His Monterey-style furniture, fabricated by Mason Manufacturing for Barker Bros. from 1929 through the mid-'40s, dominates many of the rooms. Because Turner can't abide theme rooms with "everything matching," he adds conversation pieces — a 1992 Cappellini chaise lounge upholstered in albino crocodile, for instance, or a resin deer head that glows in the dark or a grouping of vintage Blenko glass.

"I love pieces that have a story to tell or could spark a story in someone else," Turner says.

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