This Tucson Inn Offers Extra-Instagrammable Desert Decor

In the hotel business these days, success can often rely on the Instagrammability of the place. That's something that husband-wife design team Sara and Rich Combs found out with their first Airbnb: The Joshua Tree House became ubiquitous on feeds everywhere thanks to its perfect interpretation of desert-boho decor.

The couple then brought their know-how to a property on the western edge of Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona, opening the five-suite Posada by Joshua Tree House in 2018.

"The building had incredible bones: unique beehive-style fireplaces, reclaimed telephone pole and saguaro rib ceilings, and old Saltillo floors," says Sara. "During the renovation we were able to protect these features by resealing the ceilings and floors." Another act of preservation? The canyon pool, inspired by an Arizona canyon.

As for the decor, "We were highly influenced by the textures and colors we found out amidst the towering Saguaro cacti, during golden hour, and the warm red Arizona soil," says Sara. "We brought these elements indoors with natural materials, a desert-inspired palette, and lots of indoor plants. To choose the color palette, we set a fan deck of colors out in the sand and matched it to our surrounding environment." (Curious what the place looked like before its present state? Check out the reno process via these Instagram stories.)

Posada by Joshua Tree House
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credit: Sara and Rich Combs

"The lifestyle here is slow, centered around hikes in the national park, spotting local wildlife and native plants, and witnessing the most vibrant sunrises and sunsets along with starry night skies," says Sara.

Posada by Joshua Tree House
credit: Sara and Rich Combs

"As soon as we saw (this staircase), our gut instincts screamed for it to be covered in tile," says Sara. The couple repainted the surrounding walls and chose Fireclay's Vigo and Avila hand-painted tiles, using the company's Color-It Tool. Their inspiration came from the surrounding landscape: terra cottas (sand), dusty blues and greens (cacti), and ochres with warm grays (rocks).

Posada by Joshua Tree House Saguaro Suite
credit: Sara and Rich Combs

The couple used a mix of nationally known online retailers — like CB2 (for the bed frames) and Amazon Home (for frame TVs, Marshall speakers, Jonathan Adler side tables, woven hanging pendants, planters, hanging kitchen baskets, and mirrors) — and artisans (Northern Craft's woven artwork and Linda Pappa's door artwork and wall murals) to get the exact look they wanted in each of the suites.

Posada by Joshua Tree House Agave Suite
credit: Sara and Rich Combs

For the Agave Suite, Posada partnered with West Elm for everything except the bed linens (those are by Tuft & Needle).

Posada by Joshua Tree House bath
credit: Sara and Rich Combs

Fixtures in each of the baths are from Build.com and the mirrors were scored on Amazon. The Combs didn't hesitate to source the tiles from Fireclay again.

Posada by Joshua Tree House living room
credit: Sara and Rich Combs

Serving as a communal spot for Posada guests, the living room highlights art by Tucson artists Trevor Mock, Julia Kostreva, and Emily Tartaglia as well as a custom coffee table by Tucson woodworker Sam Okerlund. These are paired with a backdrop of furnishings by Barnaby Lane (lounge chairs), SixPenny (couch), Amazon (console table), Pampa (area rug), and Soukie Modern (vintage Moroccan rugs). Fire on the Mesa in Joshua Tree crafted the custom bar. Many of the other items, like the woven light fixtures, a woven coffee table, and a hanging chair are from Serena & Lily.

Posada by Joshua Tree House dining room
credit: Sara and Rich Combs

Dining chairs are from Root'd Home and the custom dining table was crafted by Rich's dad (Jay Combs). Ceramics by another Tucson artist (Ursula Basinger) are also in the dining room.

Posada by Joshua Tree House yoga room
credit: Sara and Rick Combs

With an eye on creating a calm, uncluttered space for guests to practice yoga and meditate, the hand chair by Root'd Home is the only furnishing in the yoga room, while Costa Mesa, California's Tribe & True blankets are used during sessions.

Posada by Joshua Tree House kitchen
credit: Sara and Rick Combs

The communal kitchen's stools, dining tables, and fixtures are all from Wayfair; the hanging fruit basket is from Xinh and Co, a small family business sourcing direct from Vietnam.

Posada by Joshua Tree House outdoor fire pit
credit: Sara and Rick Combs

The outdoor fire pit features chairs, rugs, and pillows sourced from Serena & Lily.


Kristine Hansen

Kristine Hansen

Based in Wisconsin, Kristine Hansen covers art, architecture, travel and food/drink, and lives in a 1920s bungalow.