A Room with Lots of Views | Spirit Wind Joshua Tree

Every time we get the house ready for a big photo shoot I try to piggyback on it and take some of my own photos too. I shot these photos the morning that California Lifestyle came out to shoot the house in April.

The first floor of our house is basically a giant open room, that the architect called the Great Room. I just call it our living room but it is really a living room / dining room / kitchen / den space and it open up right onto the patio with a massive sliding door. In some areas the ceiling is very high (18′ or more).

The windows are each different sizes and frame views in the distance. We are at a higher elevation (3200′) that a lot of the area, so you can look out from this room and peer down into the Section 6 valley, the National Park to the east and you can also see the fake Afghani village on the 29 Palms Marine base to the north on a clear day.

My photos are probably a little dark. I didn’t adjust them at all. But I think they capture the quality of the natural light in the space. Some parts of the room are very bright and other parts are dark depending where the sun is in the sky.

The gray rainbow mural is on the bar is by Joshua Tree artist Xihomara Alvarez. Jonathan and I commissioned it to hide the scuff marked from people’s shoes on the wall. That is why it is darker on the bottom.

 

Looking down from the doorway to the master bedroom. It’s kind of like balcony over the living room. I hung up the peace sign wreath after the election because I felt like I need to do something at Spirit Wind to subtly resist the craziness that is going on in the world.
This is a dangerous couch. You sit down in it and you are done for the whole day.  I have mostly banned myself from it, but you are welcome to try it out.

View into the Opium Den. We call it the Opium Den because when we bought the house all the electrical wiring and breakers going to that room were labeled “Opium Den”. My step-father built a custom L shaped couch/bed to make it more like a vintage opium den.

View into the backyard from the Opium Den. I love the built-in drawers and magazine rack (that was my mom’s idea). This is the coldest room of the house because the swamp cooler vents into it. So it is an excellent place to hangout in the summer reading magazines, drinking prosecco and avoiding work.


Follow @spiritwindjoshuetree on Instagram
for more pics of our house  in Joshua Tree!

Exploring the Moorten Botanical Garden – Palm Springs

Re-post from 2015

Jonathan and I spent a cold & rainy New Year’s in Palm Springs this year. Instead of hanging out by the pool, we bundled up and headed out to look at desert plants.

I had heard about the Moorten Botanical Garden for years, but it wasn’t until our last trip out to Palm Springs in October that we found it when we were doing an architectural driving tour with my grandparents. It is only a few blocks west of the Ace Hotel and Pool Club, where we have been hanging out for years.

IMG_1519Started in 1938, many of the 3000 desert plant varieties are large and mature. I think of the Moorten as kind of a scrappy desert cousin to the Huntington rare cactus and succulent garden in Pasadena.


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There is a $4 donation requested for entry. They have a nursery when you can buy small cacti and succulents. And they rent out the garden for special events like weddings.


IMG_1484It is staffed by a group of plant loving senior volunteers. I laughingly told Jonathan that I was seeing my future. I predict we retire to Palm Springs someday and that I spend my golden years volunteering at the botanical garden.


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Upside down hanging cacti in the cactarium!

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Next time you in Palm Springs, save an hour or two to visit the Moorten. And bring home a little cacti to remember your visit!

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Hammock Circle of Love | Spirit Wind

I’m very excited to introduce you to my new favorite spot in the world.

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If you haven’t guessed already, it’s the hammock circle at Spirit Wind. I’m been Instagramming about it since we finished building it on the 4th of July. Jonathan and I designed it. It’s basically the center of the universe.


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As one of our guests said, “It’s supreme!”. We built it for star gazing. But it’s great during the day, too. The wind gently rocks you while you soak in the panoramic view of the house, mountains, boulders and Joshua trees.



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At night you feel body less and like you are floating through space. It’s the perfect spot for watching meteor showers. It’s just completely magical. Photo: @niritgur


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You can also get a great view of the architecture. The facade of building based on ratios in atonal ancient musical scales. Photo: @nextleveljay


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All your stress and problems just blow away. Bunnies hop by. Birds soar. It’s the perfect spot for deep life altering conversations and pondering the universe. Watching the sunset.


 
UPDATE: Luna Shadows filmed part of her video for her new song Cherries at Spirit Wind (and Noah Purifoy). Check out our hammock circle in action!


Follow @spiritwindjoshuatree for more magical hammock photos
Or come to Joshua Tree and enjoy it yourself!

Spirit Wind Renovations – Part 1

Sorry I have been ignoring you guys! I haven’t been blogging much because I have been busy with the renovations at Spirit Wind. We are on week 8 of the renovation. It feel like 2 years. Things are generally going really well, and we are getting a lot done each week. But there is always the desire for things to go faster and we wish more was finished. Things are a bit over budget, but I’m not really that surprising. Jonathan and I each keep adding things that we want to do right away. I’d like to make it really swank.

Here is a quick tour–

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Palm Springs Life magazine features an interview with the previous owner of Spirit Wind and a couple of photos of the house in the April edition. We asked them to come back to take more pictures once we finish our renovations!

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This is the view right outside the sliding glass doors in living room. This is looking east towards the sunrise. This is also where the moon rises. The view straight ahead is an area the locals call “Section 6”. It is a Desert View Conservation Area adjacent to the National Park.

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This is the Opium Den. We know this because that is how this room was labeled on the electrical panel.  The previous owners used this room at a tiki bar and a dog kennel. We decided to restored it to Opium Den glory, with a big built-in sectional couch/bed and a mountain of kilim pillows. The custom bed and cabinetry was all designed and built by my step-father Bill, who is a master cabinet maker. He added a lot of great details. There is a built-in magazine rack, 3 USB charging stations, a drawer for games, built-in end tables. It’s really stunning.Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 4.27.10 PM

We are also doing some renovations to the garage, this wall will be part of my art studio. Our friend Bas is going to do a big geometric mural on one of the walls.

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My mom, Susan, counting the blooming Beavertail cactus at Spirit Wind. The superbloom has been amazing.

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The boys up on a 15′ ladders installing trim and LED bulbs in the foyer. We rented the ladder at Home Depot.

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This is the living room couch set up. It’s dangerous. If I sit down here, it’s so comfortable and the view is so amazing, I just can’t get back up. I just want to spend the rest of the day here watching the light change! I can’t let that happen, because we have a lot of work to do…

Stay tuned, I’ll post more Spirit Wind renovation photos soon!

+You can follow @spiritwindjoshuatree on Instagram

 

Welcome to Spirit Wind, Joshua Tree!

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 1.52.04 PMWhen it rains, a waterfall comes off this corner of the house and lands in a dry creek full of rock.

Exciting, life changing news! Jonathan & I just bought a house in Joshua Tree, California. The property is called Spirit Wind (named by the second owners). It was designed by architect George Zelenz and was completed in 2009. It’s on the edge of the National Park and a few miles from the west gate. It’s a really special, magical place. We have over 100 Joshua trees on the property, thousands of cacti and stunning 360 views. It really looks like it could be on Mars or another planet!


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The house is clad with Hardy Board and core-10 steel.

We are still kind of in shock that this place is ours. It was a long complicated escrow because there were a number of things that had never been finished on the house, that had to be resolved before our mortgage broker, Natalie Salins from Movement Mortgage could get it approved. The house needs a bit of renovations and finishing touches. For example it was was missing a bunch of railings on 2nd and 3rd floor. There was a spiral staircase with NO railing. I climbed up it a couple of times because I was really curious to see the view from the roof, but it was pretty precarious.

The plan is to eventually move out there full time, but that might be 10 years away or more. In the meanwhile we going to split our time between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree. It is about a 2-1/2 hour drive between our house in Echo Park and Joshua Tree. We are looking forward to making lots of memories out there!


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View from the front door… I’m planning to plant a grid of Barrel cactus out here.

I’ll post more photos of the Spirit Wind renovation soon!