Vintage-style Matchbooks & More at Raymond Lawrence Palm Springs

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During Palm Springs Modernism Week we spent most of our time attending lectures, film screenings and walking tours — not to mention imbibing at Tonga Hut Palm Springs — but we did manage to make some time shop in the Uptown Design District on North Palm Canyon Drive. This area is home to vintage stores (like Dazzles), designer boutiques (Trina Turk), art galleries (Shag: The Store) and more. One place we discovered this time around was Raymond | Lawrence, which hosts dozens of different pop-up shops all under one roof. There’s a wide range of interesting wares, from souvenirs to clothes to home decor to art. I love this concept!

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The Palm Springs Modernism Committee had its own section and one of their items for sale was this set of vintage-style reproduction matchbooks ($10) from historic Palm Springs hotspots and local landmarks, including the Chi Chi Starlite Room with its logo copying Edgar Leeteg’s famous painting “Hina Rapa.”

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There was even a tiki display featuring the “I Lava Tiki” collection of colorful ceramics produced by One Hundred 80 Degrees and designed by Carolyn Kopecky. (She’s the one who designed that amazing sunken ship mug for Psycho Suzi’s.)

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A few years ago, designer Todd Oldham collaborated with dinnerware company Fishs Eddy on a series of dishes and glasses featuring the wildlife-inspired art of Charley Harper.

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Of course, I was drawn to this pufferfish sauce dish. (Perhaps you’ve noticed a theme around here.) These are just a few of the retail temptations to be found at Raymond | Lawrence. I can tell this will be another spot we return to again and again to see what’s new.

Raymond | Lawrence
830 N. Palm Canyon Dr.
Palm Springs, CA 92262
760-322-3344

Related Posts:
Reviews of Tiki Bars in Palm Springs

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“Secret” Tiki Room at Tonga Hut Palm Springs

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What’s better than a secret entrance to a hidden room? A secret entrance to a hidden TIKI room! That’s one of the highlights of Tonga Hut Palm Springs, a desert offshoot of the North Hollywood tiki bar. (See my previous post for the full review.)

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In the hallway between The Hideaway dining room and the kitchen you might notice an old-fashioned telephone booth. Step into this anachronism, push against the wall and you’ll find yourself seemingly transported to another place and time.

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There’s another false wall next to the phone booth that can let more people in, but for me it doesn’t get any better than that phone booth. It’s like the tiki equivalent of Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4.

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While the lounge and bar area have more of a sleek, mid-century modern feel, this is where you’ll really get that sense of tiki’s tropical escapism (reminiscent of the original in North Hollywood). Perching over the half-circle booth is a bamboo overhang supported by carved tiki poles. Neou panels cover the ceiling and there’s lauhala matting and tapa cloth on the walls, plus Papua New Guinea-style masks.

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On the opposite wall is a red banquette and lots of nautical touches, including a Chinese sailing painting, rigging and rope, brass anchor lantern and model ship.

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Proper lighting is important in a tiki room, and helping to the set the perfect tone are these lovely lanterns. Almost all of the vintage artifacts came from the homes of the co-owners, the Boylans and Murphys, who have been collecting for years. (The spears and shrunken head were contributed by Danny aka Tiki Diablo.)

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I thought I spotted a small barrel lamp from Bahooka and my suspicions were confirmed by Tiki Diablo, who was there on opening weekend working on the adjacent covered patio. (There you’ll find more nautical objects and burlap-covered benches made to look like rum crates.)

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To dine in this “secret” tiki room, you’ll need to call in advance and secure the reservation with a $100 refundable deposit. If this space doesn’t inspire you to head to Palm Springs immediately, I don’t know what will!

Related Posts:
Full Review of Tonga Hut Palm Springs
Other Tiki Things in Palm Springs

Tiki Events at Palm Springs Modernism Week 2014

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The Palm Springs Modernism Week 2014 schedule includes architectural bus tours, films, lectures and even several tiki-related events. Here’s a heads-up so you don’t miss out!

Thursday – February 13, 8 p.m.-11 p.m.
Modern Mambo! Modernism Week After Dark Opening Night
$150
Caliente Tropics, Palm Springs

The kick-off party for Modernism Week will take place at the tiki-themed motel Caliente Tropics. It will be turned into a poolside “mid-century modern mambo club” with tropical cocktails, live entertainment and DJs spinning mambo music, naturally.

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Sunday – February 16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Royal Hawaiian Estates Self-Guided Tour
$40
S. Palm Canyon Drive, at E. Twin Palms Drive, Palm Springs

We had a great time last year exploring the Royal Hawaiian Estates, a Polynesian-influenced condo development constructed in 1959 and 1960. The exterior features many unique elements designed by architects Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison, and several residents graciously open up their vintage-styled homes to the visitors on this self-guided tour. Thanks to the funds raised during last year’s Modernism week, the restoration of all 40 “tiki apexes” has been completed so the Royal Hawaiian Estates will be looking better than ever.

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Sunday – February 16, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.
Jet Set Style Fashion Show
$40
Horizon Ballroom, Hilton Hotel

“Tiki-style resort clothing” will take to the runway along with vintage evening wear and cocktail dresses from the 1950s and ‘60s at the Jet Set Style Fashion Show. (I’m guessing there’ll be some primo tapa print pieces like in the photo above from last year’s show.)

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Monday – February 17, 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage
$18
Horizon Ballroom, Hilton Hotel

Of course, the event I’m looking forward to the most is “Tiki Modern: Style for the Sophisticated Savage.” Sven Kirsten, the author of “The Book of Tiki” and “Tiki Modern” will present a lecture on how “primitive” Oceanic and African art influenced 20th-century avant-garde art and modernist design.

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Friday – February 21, 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Mid-Century in Honolulu – Aloha From a Mid-Century Paradise on The Verge of Change
$12
Annenberg Theater, Palm Springs Art Museum

Palm Springs has in recent years made a considerable effort to preserve its mid-century modern history, but Honolulu seems more likely to bring out the bulldozers. Modernism designer Brad Dunning will give a presentation of photos highlighting iconic buildings and endangered architectural gems. (This is a particularly timely topic with the imminent demolition of the International Market Place in Honolulu, which was founded by Don the Beachcomber in 1956.)

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Saturday, February 22–Sunday, February 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Vintage Travel Trailer Show
Adults $15, Students $10, Children 12 & under Free
Hilton Hotel, Parking Lot

Restoring a travel trailer is a labor of love and the people that do it often put their own personal stamp on the finished product. At the Vintage Travel Trailer Show, you stand a decent chance of something tiki among the retro furnishings.

Check out the Modernism Week web site for more information and to buy tickets for these events and more.

And if all those things weren’t enough of a draw, the new Tonga Hut Palm Springs will be open by then!

Related Posts:
Tiki Guide to Palm Springs
Previous Palm Springs Modernism Week Events