The Dreamy Joshua Tree Cabin Tour You Need to See

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In that liminal space between anticipating a project and seeing it for the first time, you wonder if it will be all you’d hoped. To say this was the case for Brandy Joy Smith and her husband Tyler’s new Joshua tree cabins is a bit dramatic. Smith, a beloved content creator and longtime contributor to the site, has impeccable taste. Her home and style are creative beacons—so naturally, we couldn’t wait to see the light she brought to the high California desert. Trust me: this is the Joshua Tree cabin tour you need to see.

Brandy Joy Smith’s Dreamy Joshua Tree Cabin Tour

When we entered the serene one-bedroom cabins—there are two, side-by-side—we were rapt. Soft natural materials complement smaller industrial accents. Light pours through the windows, which capture the rays and the desert views. Everything is considered, boasting exceptional ease.

“The goal was to make these cabins feel zen, calming, and tranquil,” says Smith. “Somewhere where you can escape from the hustle and bustle of urban living and just take a breath in complete stillness and peace.”

“The goal was to make these cabins feel zen, calming, and tranquil.”

Smith and her husband built the cabins from the ground up, working in tandem with Duane Smith of Hundred Mile Homes.

It was a process, as building any home from scratch is, but so evidently worth it. Now the Smiths’ goal is to share the cabins with family and friends as much as possible. That is, when others aren’t already scooped them up. (Yup, they’re available separately or together on Airbnb and Vrbo.)

We asked Smith to walk us through the cabins and her process. Here she breaks down how she nailed that high-desert, off-the-grid, totally relaxed vibe.

Image by Zachary Gray

Keep it simple, classic, and 100 percent true to you. 

Image by Zachary Gray

What inspired these cabins?

Tyler and I love the desert. We knew we wanted a special place to ground us. We also wanted a place to share with our family and friends—remote but not so far away that we couldn’t access the restaurants or national park. Our realtor, Clayton Baldwin, found the perfect lot with breathtaking views. 

Left image by Zachary Gray

Image by Zachary Gray

What noteworthy elements do you love about the house and its setting?

Both cabins are off the grid, meaning we don’t tap into city electricity or water. We loved creating spaces with a low carbon footprint that blend into the beautiful surroundings. The cabins sit on a 10-acre lot surrounded by the mountains. The sunrises and sunsets are not to be missed.

Our favorite features of the cabins are: 

  • The skylights over the beds
  • The outdoor shower and hot tubs 
  • The views from the couch through the kitchen windows 
  • The lighting over the dining tables—they are such a focal point

Right image by Zachary Gray

Image by Zachary Gray

How would you describe the aesthetic?  

We wanted each cabin to have its own identity but a similar vibe. We decided to mix soft natural materials with some smaller industrial accents. We placed the windows so they soak in the views and drench the homes with natural light. 

The North cabin is bright and warm with pinks, whites, and neutrals. The South cabin is more neutral with browns and soft ash—more on the moody side.

Image by Zachary Gray

What role did color play in your decorating process?

I was really hands-on in the interior and finishes process. In the desert, mid-century modern is the go-to, but I have more of a wabi-sabi vibe. Duane and I did a good job of merging the two styles to create something modern yet approachable and soft.

Image by Zachary Gray

You have a knack for creating beautiful spaces. What decorating wisdom are you willing to share?  

While it may be tempting, don’t go for too many trendy pieces! Keep it simple, classic, and 100 percent true to you. 


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