It’s been a long winter in Maine; lots of snow and more gray skies than usual. Although I love living in this beautiful corner of the country, about this time each year I start to dream of vacation destinations, particularly those that are a departure from my current surroundings. This zen-like vacation home in Joshua Tree is the perfect antidote for my spring fever. Designed by Brian and Kathrin Smirke of We Are In Our Element, the best news is that it is available for rent on Airbnb.
You might remember Brian and Kathrin from a previous feature, A Cool Cabin in the Desert, which was the second vacation home they developed in Joshua Tree. Both of these homes demonstrate that the Smirkes have many talents. They explain their creative journey this way:
“We have always had a deep seated desire to create – Kathrin, moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting, and Brian, relocating shortly after graduating college to pursue a music writing career. Of course, as with any journey, our path wasn’t pre-determined and diverging from our original intent moved us in different creative directions. Kathrin was founder and creative director of Gypsan, a desert inspired bohemian clothing line for women and Brian is an active full-time real estate developer, designer, and part-time musician.”
Kathrin also has a great visual eye for interior design. Since the 1,000 square foot house was pink, green and pretty rundown when they purchased it, the transformation of the space took all of the Smirkes’ vision, creativity and DIY skills. They blended Craigslist finds with handmade/custom furnishings and a few key pieces from Ikea and Urban Outfitters to forge a unique space full of playful spirit.
For this singular project, “the neutral color palette, open sky, and beautiful sunsets of the desert created the perfect backdrop for a space that was simple, yet embraced numerous design elements including multiple textures and minimal colors. The geometry of this space itself inspired a lot of design choices.”
On 2-1/2 beautiful acres, with two bedrooms and two baths, this dome home is now the perfect escape from reality to a magical place for healing your soul.
A vintage wood stove and mid-century furnishings make the living space cozy and comfortable.
To us a Modern Sanctuary is a space that feels organic and is inspired by its natural surroundings. Kathrin and Brian Smirke
Whimsical accents like these Tarot and Fortune Telling accessories give the home character and provide fun diversions for its guests.
The meditation loft with dreamcatchers and large floor pillows invites you to relax and let your imagination run free.
“The natural light makes the space feel expansive and it is particularly enjoyable in the loft area.”
Hanging Chair: Urban Outfitters
“We love to include found objects mixed with artisanal pieces, as well as making sure everything conforms to some simple design and color choices.”
Kathrin’s creativity is displayed in the update of this traditional desert feature.
There are two king-sized beds in the home, so it’s comfortable for four people, but I think it’s the perfect place for a romantic escape for two.
Kathrin and Brian added five skylights in the dome’s ceiling during the renovation. They help the home feel light and airy during the day and provide great stargazing at night.
If you love this home as much as I do, make your travel plans soon because it books up quickly!