This Seriously Cool Desert Hacienda Will Make You Want an Outdoor Shower

Updated 05/06/19
desert teepee
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

There's something truly magical about the desert. You feel it when you're there. It's a very distinct spiritual energy that's unlike anywhere else and it attracts us like moths to a flame. It's one of the reasons Melissa Young, founder and principal designer of , bought her 5000-square-foot hacienda, and she's never looked back. The casual yet sophisticated bohemian abode is located in Borrego Springs, California, at the foothills of the Anza-Borrego State Park.

The home was originally built in 1992 for Dennis Avery (heir to the Avery label company) by architect Richard Grenfell from New Mexico. Young spent $350,000 on various soft renovations and minor updates that included switching out all the lighting and ceiling fans, sandblasting all of the 42 interiors doors to the original roughhewn wood doors, changing all bathroom hardware, restoring the entry gates to the original metal, installing an outdoor kitchen, and landscaping the property.

The end result is a striking Santa Fe, New Mexico, hacienda-style adobe that feels true to the architecture yet infused with modernity. Maintaining the history of the home was also important for Young. The brick floors were laid using an old-school artistic style that involved using sand instead of grout, yet the furniture and décor feel more contemporary in nature. It's the blend of both worlds that truly make this home a special space.

Read on to hear more of Young's design process and how she turned this stunning property into a desert oasis.

desert home—living room
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

Exposed beams are just one striking feature we love about this living room. The sunken room style with built-in seating and an original kiva fireplace are closely tied. Young tells me that the built-in seating was a challenge to work around, and it had "extremely uncomfortable original cushions," which she quickly replaced with Restoration Hardware down cushions.

Houzz Clay Geometric Area Rug, Natural, 8'x10'
Houzz Clay Geometric Area Rug, Natural, 8'x10' $237
bohemian living room
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

The room has a beautiful, large window with doors that completely open up to overlook the stunning desert while giving an open indoor/outdoor feel. "We wanted the view to be the centerpiece and first visual of the room, so we kept the design in this room pretty simple," explains Young. "We also added creative seating elements to make this a space to encourage our friends and family relax, engage in good conversation, and enjoy the view."

BassamFellows for Herman Miller Bolster Sectional Chaise
BassamFellows for Herman Miller Bolster Sectional Chaise $8525
desert living room
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

Young was really focused on honoring the original soul of the house to make it a truly special and comfortable place to spend time with family and friends. "I wanted to create a space away to retreat to from the grind of the city," she says.

desert chic living room
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

While the architecture is tied to the history of the space, the soft furnishing and decorative elements add a modern mood. The side table and lamp seen here are both from West Elm; the sofa is from Restoration Hardware.

West Elm Marble + Wood Geo Side Table
West Elm Marble + Wood Geo Side Table $599
boho-chic living room
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

Just like the desert outside, the home features various layered tones of neutrals and sand-colored hues in varying textures and materials for visual interest.

IKEA Koldby Cowhide
IKEA Koldby Cowhide $169
bohemian chic home
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

Organic shapes and abstract art help to give the home a lived-in feel.

Arroyo Teak Accent Table
Arroyo Teak Accent Table $133 $116
desert home ideas
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

Young says her client work has given her the opportunity to work with a lot of color, but when it comes to her personal space she prefers natural tone on tone with textures and calming, neutral colors. "It provides a nice contrast from my typical palate in the studio," she adds.

West Elm Mongolian Lamb Stool
West Elm Mongolian Lamb Stool $399
desert home interior design
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

The biggest challenge of this project was the sheer size of the house. Coming from an urban, contemporary condo to almost 6000 square feet on a spacious property was a great challenge, but as you can see, Young was ready to take it head on.

butterfly chair
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

To ensure the architecture and design stands out, Young kept the furniture and décor fairly minimal, styling with pieces she really loved and added value to the space.

Amerihome Leather Butterfly Chair
Amerihome Leather Butterfly Chair $99
hallway design ideas
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

Natural materials bring a sense of warmth and homeliness to each room.

West Elm Cfl Overarching Floor Lamp
West Elm Cfl Overarching Floor Lamp $329
desert chic dining room
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

The dining room was formally used as a library by the former owner, so it had already been designed for special gatherings.

Restoration Hardware 1900s Boulangerie Rectangular Extension Dining Table
Restoration Hardware 1900s Boulangerie Rectangular Extension Dining Table $1095
bohemian dining room
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

The French doors open up to an outdoor dining terrace, mixing contemporary with rustic styles.

Crate and Barrel Folio Whiskey Brown Top-Grain Leather Dining Chair
Crate and Barrel Folio Whiskey Brown Top-Grain Leather Dining Chair $400
master bedroom ideas
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

The master bedroom is another sunken room with great natural light. The home office is attached to the room, with a larger walk-in closet also included.

Restoration Hardware Martens Canopy Bed
Restoration Hardware Martens Canopy Bed $3495
indoor fireplace design
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

The beautiful original kiva fireplace was restored and now takes center stage. Who wouldn't want to sleep to the sound of a crackling fire?

modern master bedroom
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

The poster bed adds a modern touch to the hacienda style of the architecture, and the timber brings warm, cozy vibes.

The Citizenry Ceniza Lumbar Pillow
The Citizenry Ceniza Lumbar Pillow $195
home office ideas
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

Located right next to the walk-in closet of the master bedroom, the home office is within walking distance when Young needs to work from home.

West Elm Delphine Buffet Pack
West Elm Delphine Buffet Pack $1299
desert chic home
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

This is the living room in the Casita is also the first space Young slept in when buying the house. "This space has its own entrance away from the main house," she says. "We wanted it to feel welcoming and comfortable since we knew it would house many of our guests."

desert home exterior
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

The outdoor area shines just as much as the interior. The Santa Fe style can be seen here in the color and aesthetics. 

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Opalhouse for Target Latigo 3-Piece Rattan Patio Chat Set $300
teepee ideas
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

Young uses the teepee for morning meditation, or as a fun place to gather with friends after dinner for drinks, conversation, and play music. "This space allowed me to be super playful with the design using lots of texture, layering of rugs, and elements that encourage floor seating and comfort," she says. The teepee also happens to be her greatest find along with her Moroccan rugs, special wood carvings, bull skull, and other pieces she found on her travels. "They remind me of fond memories and tell a story," Young adds.

desert home outdoor area
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

It hard for Young to pinpoint her favorite thing about the space, but upon reflection she says it's the solitude and peacefulness of living in the real desert (the anti–Palm Springs). "When you're driving out to the house and just get over the mountains, the city immediately falls behind you," she explains. "We've created a sacred place that allows us to regroup, gain a sense of calm, and recalibrate. Also, I'm super grateful to be able to have the space to entertain family and friends."

Opalhouse for Target Southport 3-Piece Wicker Motion Patio Chat Set
Opalhouse for Target Southport 3-Piece Wicker Motion Patio Chat Set $300
outdoor dining ideas
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

This would be a super-fun space to dine with friends under the stars.

outdoor rest area
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

The whole property is serene, peaceful, and can comfortably welcome a large crowd. Young says guests can take up their own space or chose to come together and commune because the property is so large. "Our weekends are often spent with friends and family here, with long days lounging by the pool and exploring the 700,000 acres on our buggy followed by watching the incredible desert sunsets, dinner under the stars, and closes with great wine and conversations in the teepee," she tells me. "Borrego is one of the four officially designated International Dark Sky locations in the California desert."

desert home details
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

Everywhere you turn, there's a stylish moment. Young really paid attention to the details.

Anthropologie White-Dipped Ladder
Anthropologie White-Dipped Ladder $98
outdoor shower
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

And a desert house wouldn't be complete without an outdoor shower. Taking a shower with nothing but the mountains in full view is what dreams are made of.

outdoor design ideas
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

The entertaining continues from the patio to the pool. This is where we want to be all day, every day. 

desert home—outdoor pool
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

It's a striking view from the pool.

outdoor pool ideas
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

Whichever vantage point you're standing from, there is a stunning view to match. 

Dot & Bo Convene Outdoor Patio Chaise Lounge
Dot & Bo Convene Outdoor Patio Chaise Lounge $837 $513
desert cactus garden
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

And the surrounding cactus gardens are beautiful too.

desert home exterior
Tim Melideo ; DESIGN: My Studio ID

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