Quiet, Sophistication Design Guide for This Duo’s Latest Joshua Tree Homestead
10/03/2022 | Marni Mervis |
Set 2.5 hours east of Los Angeles in California’s high desert lies Joshua Tree, California. The vast and vibrant landscape where many a city dweller has sought quiet refuge is where California- and New York-based husband and wife design duo Paul and Becky Heintz of Local Studio recently completed their second modern homestead. The ground-up construction spec home, which is nestled into the surrounding boulders, offers a stunning take on peaceful, yet refined, desert living. With a glass entry wall to greet visitors, the goal of melding the home and nature into one another is quickly evident. The couple’s objective was to showcase the home’s desert views and establish a sophisticated vibe that eschews the visual noise often encountered in everyday life.
“Our first desert house had more of a found object style,” notes Paul. “I feel like our choices in the second house are a little more bold, and the overall space feels higher end. We wanted to steer away from the Bohemian style that is prominent in many of the Joshua Tree homesteads,” he explains.
While the timing of this project might not have been the most ideal (drawings were submitted to the county right at the start of the pandemic), the duo took the chaos and delays of the global pandemic in stride. In truth, Paul says, “we figured we would put the project on hold once we got final approval.” But with the county taking longer than expected to approve the plans, the couple began to adjust to the new normal of the pandemic and, ultimately, felt comfortable moving forward by the time approvals finally came through. “Of course, the cost of materials skyrocketed and the delays were quite long, but we knew there was nothing we could do but be patient,” Paul explains.
While Joshua Tree has long been a popular getaway gaining traction with those seeking a slow-living Joshua Tree House lifestyle, the pandemic and its remote possibilities have driven even more Angelenos to the desert. The explosive appeal of such a lifestyle, explains Paul, was the impetus for “the idea of creating a calm place where you can relax [...] so many people are working from home now, they don’t want to be overwhelmed in their space, visually.” It’s an idea in keeping with the design philosophy behind the duo’s latest project.
To master this sense of serenity inside the Joshua Tree homestead, Local Studio chose a light, warm Dunn-Edwards paint color for the walls and ceilings, Foggy Day (DE6226) and a low-contrast color for the trim and doors, Whisper (DEW340). “We knew we wanted lighter paint colors and neutrals, pulling from the landscape,” notes Paul. And in fact, Whisper’s softer sandy-white is a popular paint color choice for desert-area homes, including this renovated 1950s homestead cabin. For Local Studio, the addition of dark furniture, dark ceiling beams and natural wood helped create contrast with these airy paint tones, without distracting.
Overall, by using natural materials, a soothing color palette that takes inspiration from the desert landscape, and a minimalistic approach to style and decor, Local Studio achieved a space that’s quiet and sophisticated for its homeowners.
Stay tuned for more from Local Studio; a big move to Upstate NY last year means the design duo is bringing desert elements and California vibes to the renovation of a 1923 Colonial in the Hudson Valley.
Can’t get enough of that desert aesthetic? Click here for a helpful guide on mastering your own take on California desert chic.
- Inspiring Shades of Pink for Victorian Architecture
- Popular Color Palettes Through The Decades: 1970s—2010s
- Desert Oasis Luxury Show House: Polynesian Culture Meets Mid-Century Design
- This San Diego Artist Gave Her Living Room ‘70s Style Pool Party Makeover
- Dunn-Edwards Portraits: Paris, a Pandemic and the Process of Design