A Home in California Inspired By Wabi Sabi Philosophies

In the remote desert landscape of Joshua Tree, California lies a vacation home that seems to have been transplanted from Japan. Designed by Elaine Chao and Stanley Yang of MINI INNO, a boutique interior design studio in Southern California, Villa Kuro is inspired by nature and the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi which seeks to find beauty in imperfection. Filled with natural textures, warm and minimal interiors, and contemporary furnishings, Villa Kuro is the picture perfect escape away from the city.

desert vacation house

desert vacation house sliders

desert vacation house living room

The home, which sits on 3.6 acres of land, was originally a single story mid-century ranch built in 1966. The designers stripped away the outdated interior and started fresh, carving out 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a dedicated tea room. The interior is instantly soothing and grounding, with an all natural material palette that includes tadelakt plaster (a lime plaster from Morocco) and reclaimed wood.

desert vacation house kitchen nook

shelf styling

desert vacation house kitchen

desert vacation house

desert vacation house kitchen

desert vacation house living room

desert vacation house living room

desert vacation house tea room

The garage of the original home was converted into the show-stopping tea room, a design decision informed by the room’s placement. The tearoom faces west to the expansive desert views and backs up to the boulder mountains. The 16-foot sliders on both sides of the room, as well as the two bench window seats, take advantage of these mountainous scenes. The low profile coffee table and floor cushions invite visitors to sip on tea, ground themselves in nature, and mediate with clarity.

desert vacation house tea room

desert vacation house tea room

desert vacation house coffee table

desert vacation house tea room

desert vacation house tea room

desert vacation house shelf styling

desert vacation house tea room

desert vacation house bedroom

desert vacation house bedroom

desert vacation house bathroom

desert vacation house bedroom

desert vacation house bathroom

desert vacation house outdoor

desert vacation house jacuzzi

And if the interior wasn’t enough, the home also features outdoor lounge areas, including a salt-water hot tub, a fire pit, and a rock and cactus garden courtyard, that lets you take in the landscape during the day and the vast star-filled skies at night.

desert vacation house night

What: Villa Kuro
Where: Joshua Tree, California (address available upon rental)
Highlights: This vacation home is rooted in Japanese wabi sabi aesthetics and philosophy, encouraging visitors to unplug from city life and instead ground themselves in the bouldering desert’s beauty.
Design draw: To help visitors do just that, the renovated garage-turned-tea-room with expansive sliders on either side offers the first step towards your relaxing vacation.
Book it: Visit Airbnb

Photos by Stanley Yang.



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