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.
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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.)
"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.
"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).
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.
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.