The Sofa Mistake This Joshua Tree Airbnb Owner Will Never Make Again
And what she got oh-so-right.
Published Oct 4, 2023 1:51 AM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
From dreamy decor to top-notch amenities, Domino’s Wish You Were Here series is your first-class ticket to the most design-driven getaways around the world. Whether you’re looking to steal away for a few days or just steal a few ideas for back home (we encourage both, for the record), check out where we’re checking in.
Interior designer Kristi Benedetto already had a home in Joshua Tree California when her husband stumbled across a nearby listing for 50 acres of vacant land. “We thought it was a typo,” she says of the price for the too-good-to-be true property. Her husband drove there that night to see it and slept in his car overnight to make sure it was legit. Turns out, it was.
Three and a half years later, the pair finally opened up the adobe-style four-bedroom as an Airbnb that also includes a separate yoga studio space, plus a sauna, hot tub, and cold plunge bath. Hammocks outside provide the ultimate star-gazing view.
When it came to furnishing the indoor space, Benedetto took a high-low approach, shopping from big box stores like Crate and Barrel and taking inspiration from other spaces she admired, like The Now in Los Angeles, which has a cactus leaf wall motif that she mimicked in the living room with ceramic pieces from the same artist.
But there’s one furniture mistake she wouldn’t make again: “If I could do one thing over, I would not buy a white white couch for an Airbnb,” she says with a laugh before admitting she’s had her Castlery one professionally cleaned three times in six months. “I mean, I knew it going into it, and we’ve had Airbnbs for a long time, but I thought it tied everything together, and I just love a white couch.”
The outdoor table is teak and also temperamental—wet glasses leave ring marks—but she has zero regrets regarding the kitchen’s custom cabinetry and open shelving, which she says is great for guests so they can see what they’re working with (though in her own home, she’d opt for only closed cabinets).
In the bedrooms, which Benedetto admits she made smaller to encourage group hangs in the common areas, desert-pieces, such as squiggle bed frames, a grid rug by Sarah Sherman Samuel, and embroidered art from LRNCE. Tuft and Needle mattresses make for a dreamy night’s sleep—that is, if you don’t fall asleep in a hammock, as I did one night. Bathrooms, of which there are three, got the southwestern treatment with Zia tile and terracotta floors.
But more than anything, the living room was the biggest focus. Benedetto wanted to maximize lounging space—cushioned benches along the wall help—and give everyone a great view of the desert. And that’s the point, she says: “We tried to make it so you could get a whole group together, drink wine, and look through the picture window whenever you wanted to.”