In the remote desert landscape of Joshua Tree, California, lies a vacation home that appears 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 beauty in the imperfect. Filled with natural textures, warm and minimalist interiors and modern furniture, Villa Kuro is the perfect retreat away from the city.
The home, which sits on 3.6 acres of land, was originally a mid-century single story ranch built in 1966. The designers removed the outdated interior and started over with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a special tea room. The interior is instantly calming and grounding, with a completely natural palette of materials that includes tadelakt plaster (a lime plaster from Morocco) and reclaimed wood.
The garage of the original home has been converted into the eye-catching tea room, a design choice that depends on the placement of the space. The tea room faces west to enjoy the expansive view of the desert and the boulder mountains. The 16-foot sliders on either side of the room as well as the two bench benches by the window take advantage of these mountainous scenes. The flat coffee table and floor cushions invite visitors to sip tea, to ground themselves in nature and to convey it with clarity.
And as if the interior wasn’t enough, the house also offers outdoor lounge areas, including a saltwater hot tub, fire pit, and a courtyard with a rock and cactus garden where you can enjoy the scenery during the day and the starry sky at night .
What: Villa Kuro
Where: Joshua Tree, California (address available when renting)
Highlights: Rooted in Japanese Wabi-Sabi aesthetics and philosophy, this vacation home encourages visitors to detach themselves from city life and instead ground themselves in the beauty of the bouldering desert.
Draw a draft: To help visitors with this, the renovated garage, which has been converted into a tea room, is the first step towards your relaxing vacation with large sliders on either side.
Book it: Visit Airbnb
Photos by Stanley Yang.