“It’s built off of that design for ordinary experience where it’s all about the simple moments getting people to slow down a little bit. Look out and see the sun set, see the sun rise, see the moon rise. That was something we never really noticed before living in the desert.”
We’re in great company with Sara and Rich Combs, Co-Founders and Owners of The Joshua Tree House, where they create spaces designed and immersed in awe inspiring natural locations such as Joshua Tree, CA and Tucson, AZ.
After leaving their full time jobs to pursue freelance design in 2013, Sarah and Rich set off on a road trip from San Francisco to New York that changed their lives. Realizing throughout their travels that they had to sacrifice either design or nature in their accommodations, they set out in 2015 to create spaces that celebrate both.
In this episode, Sara and Rich passionately share how the difficulties of the past couple of years in this world have created an even greater need for nature’s power to heal, and how they feel so grateful to be able to offer that time and space to reflect and reset for guests.
[1:25] From high school sweethearts to making the desert their home, how Sara and Rich met and the welcome addition they’ve recently brought into their lives today.
[3:30] A desire for a change of scenery from their computer screens turned a cross country road trip into “a creative retreat from the city.”
[7:20] Unbeknownst to them as 3rd generation innkeepers, the Combs family has hospitality in their blood.
[9:10] The intention behind Flora’s name and what Sara and Rich hope for in raising their daughter surrounded by nature.
[10:55] With each of their three properties, Sara and Rich built up their confidence in renovations along the way.
[16:40] In designing and decorating JTH spaces, Sara and Rich strive to blur the indoor and outdoor together so the landscape becomes the focus.
[21:40] From the towels and mugs to the scent and music, how highlighting the artisans in their local community gave them a support system they never could have expected.
[27:40] “We believe the more you’re out in nature, the more you’ll want to take care of it.”
[34:35] Looking to complete their road trip, Sara and Rich have their eyes set on Marfa, Texas as the next JTH home.
[36:20] The best JTH experience is one with no plans and here’s why.
- 1% of profits go towards the Mojave Desert Land Trust and Friends of the Sonoran Desert
- Joshua Tree National Park hikes: North View, Hidden Valley, Barker Dam
- Joshua Tree restaurants: La Copine, The Copper Room, The Red Dog, Kitchen in the Desert, Pappy + Harriet’s, Luna’s Sourdough Bread
- Saguaro National Park hikes: Hugh Norris, Kings Canyon, Valley View
- Tucson restaurants: 5 Points, Penca, Coronet, Seis Kitchen
- The Desert Museum