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We initially moved to Joshua Tree out of a craving to work with our hands again, and spend more time out in nature. Our time living here has reminded us that everything flows in cycles. Not only the sun, moon, and seasons, but personal cycles as well. Before we’re able to create we need to find time and space to reflect and reset during the ordinary, everyday moments that ultimately compose our lives.
It’s really all about finding an appreciation and happiness in moments that we all have access to (like the sunset), to push against a craving for more that is all too easy to fall into. If we can find happiness in the most ordinary moments, less becomes more, and we’re set free.
Creating the JTH began with a simple craving of our own to have a quiet place to reset and reconnect with nature. We found our first place via a Craigslist ad, with the initial intention that it would be our personal creative retreat. We opened up the house to rent on Airbnb when we weren’t there, and quickly found that others were also craving a place like this. With little available time left at the house for us to stay ourselves, we began searching for another property to renovate so we could continue sharing these experiences (and move to the desert ourselves!). We then began renovating the hacienda and casita (our home and guest house that we also rent).
to gather people to natural places where there is time and space to reflect, reset, and create.
This past year has been the most challenging we have yet to experience; we faced mental, physical, and financial exhaustion to open the Posada. As soon as we found the property we knew it was a project and place we would regret not having in our lives. We also knew it was incredibly important to us to have full ownership and freedom to run the inn as we wanted, so we tested our limits to make that happen without investment. We’ve shared openly that we spent every last penny we had to make this dream come true, borrowed from friends and family, and have been through an arduous process of turning a hard money loan into a small business loan. As designers our strength is in creating spaces, though this project required us to be a bit of everything: marketers, business strategists, project managers, builders, cleaners, cooks, hosts… and the list goes on. Often our days of renovation and figuring out how to make this all work began at sunrise and until we hit exhaustion, at which point we would go to sleep to start again the next day. It was a year of finding the strength and endurance to continue on, and about finding the resolve to continue standing up for our belief that this dream of ours (to open an inn near a national park) would come true.
After such an intense year, our close friends and family are our heroes. They saw us at our worst, and supported us along to follow our dreams and our intuition. So grateful for them!
Ever since we started dating it felt natural to us to create together. We’re so grateful to be doing what we love together, and to be on the same page. If one of us needs to work late, it means we both do. It allows us to fully understand each others passions, and work towards goals together—both personal goals and goals with our business. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
We’ve both always been artists and designers, but in creating these spaces we were surprised at our love of hospitality. Rich’s family had an inn in Connecticut over 100 years, so we both grew up hearing stories from his family about what it was like to run it (we started dating at 15 years old, so have practically grown up together!) When we heard those stories, we never imagined that at one point we would be running our own inn, but after designing experiences for people in the Joshua Tree houses we craved opening a larger space with a communal approach. We particularly love the yoga room we’re able to have on site at the inn (with your yoga mats!) where our guests can gather for yoga, sound baths, breath work etc. It’s a transformational space, and it feels so good to be able to offer that to everyone who visits.
Creating spaces for others can be a personal process, so since starting the Joshua Tree House we’ve had to learn to separate ourselves from taking the outcome too personally. In the beginning if someone didn’t have the experience we had hoped, we would let it ruin our own day. Over time we’ve learned to accept that while we can design a space for an experience we hope someone to have, everyone is in a different place, experiencing things in different ways. We’re still working on accepting and understanding that, and not taking it all so personally!
Time! It’s what we work hardest to protect these days.
We love going on hikes together, especially exploring new trails we haven’t yet been on. We always leave hikes feeling refreshed and inspired.
We actually wrote a book called ‘At Home in Joshua Tree: A Field Guide to Desert Living’ in which we did our best to put it all on paper. We broke it down into four mantras: Blur Indoor and Outdoor Space, Curate a Home that Enhances with Use, Design for Ordinary Experiences, and Always Add Plants (Real Ones). These mantras help guide us in considering our surrounding landscape when designing interior spaces, and in choosing materials and pieces that celebrate age and imperfection and bring joy to ordinary experiences at home.
Right now we are particularly proud of opening the Posada. Every time we meet guests there who leave feeling reset and inspired we feel incredibly fulfilled.
Big dream: to create a JTH road trip, where our guests can stay at our different locations along the way!
Simple dream: to get to the farmer’s market every weekend
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