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Veneer Retreat

Updated: Feb 24, 2019

Amazing news in my little corner of the world --- we bought a desert cabin near Joshua Tree. Its 15 minutes from the national park entrance but actually in the town of Yucca Valley which I like more. Its a small little house with a dash of mid-century flair and its ours as of October 30, 2018. We are calling it "Veneer Retreat" because it will be an extension of my design company's brand. An elevated experience, different than the "rustic desert chic" aesthetic we have all come to expect in Joshua Tree.

Exterior of desert house

Here is the house. Its a cutie on Buena Vista Dr. (#ourbuenavistahome). The thing about the area is that homes with acreage are still affordable (at the moment, you can get 2-5 acres and a house around 1000 SF for under $200k) and us LA urban dwellers used to paying over $1m for a shack are getting wise to that fact. It feels like a hectic land grab right now. As a result, we bought a house that was poorly flipped. This is not something that I would typically be ok with doing, but the price even post flip was justifiable. The area (Yucca Mesa) and the structure itself were just what we were looking for. We didn't find anything better for our price point so we jumped on it. Knowing there would still be changes to make but hopefully the heavy lifting was already completed by the flipper.

Interior of desert house with potbelly stove

interior facing kitchen with island

The house right now is not in line with my aesthetic. Not even a little. We plan on starting a brisk remodel immediately. I'm just waiting on the quote to get the builder going. Here is what we have planned for the exterior, main living space, and the bedrooms and bathroom. Very simple and pretty.

exterior scope of work outlined in graphics

Interior scope of work outlined in graphics

Additional interior scope of work outlined in graphics

Floor plan

Of course I already have the materials and fixtures selected. That's the best part, right? Being able to visualize how everything will look together and communicate that to the builder as well. That way we are all on the same page.

design board of selections for interior finishes and fixtures

I'm really excited to see some of my favorite products in action. Starting with a new line of Aimee Lacalle Santa Fe tile for the kitchen backsplash. They are perfect for the desert house and I think I may be the first person who gets to install them.

The countertop will be replaced with terrazzo slabs from my friends at Concrete Collaborative. I have used their products a few times this past year and I am absolutely smitten. There was no question I would install their terrazzo in my desert house as well.

The seller never installed a hood vent over the range which is weird and just plain wrong. A safety hazard that must be corrected. After my Designer Retreat with Zephyr this past month (more on that later) and learning about the importance of vent hoods, I am sold on the new black steel Anzio hood. Which will look awesome on the black and white backsplash tile.

For plumbing fixtures, I don't need much but I'm using all Delta Trinsic matte black fixtures for the kitchen and shower from Along with their Miseno line for the sinks. I used the same Delta line in chrome on our midcentury LA house and I'm really happy with the quality and price point. Chrome was appropriate for the midcentury renovation. Matte black will be more interesting in the sandy and white hued minimalist desert house.

desert mood board

Once the renovations are complete, the fun part begins of bringing in furniture and decor. Its a small house, I have to be strategic. There are so many beautiful things I want to bring in. but the overall direction is earthy and minimal. Keep it simple and uncluttered, yet thoughtful and collected. I will keep you posted about the items that make their way to the desert. Follow along with @veneerretreat to see how it comes together in the next few months. Its going to be a fun ride.


Dallas Flynn
Dallas Flynn
5 days ago

A post you have to read! Nice way to describe something and a pleasure to read shell shockers


I like the design of this wooden house. Looks very modern and sophisticated. A space very suitable for relaxation. flappy bird

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