Yucca Valley House

Yucca Valley


A ground-up 1,200 square foot vacation cabin and 450 square foot guest studio located in California's high desert.


Designed as a weekend getaway destination for an LA family, this vacation cabin and studio building is located on a five-acre parcel in California’s high desert. When the Owners purchased the property, their intention was to remodel and upgrade a compound of small structures, originally built without permits. The existing structures were condemned by the local building agency early in the process, necessitating removal and building from scratch.

The new buildings are a modern interpretation of the compact, simple form of the original cabins. They evoke the informality and ease of the original structures and have been sited to not disturb any boulders or remove any trees.

The small, 3-bedroom cabin sits where the original home was situated on the property. It’s been carefully planned to fit around existing rock outcroppings, giving each space its own special view.

The entry opens into an open living, dining & kitchen space with direct connections to dining and lounge patios outside. Bedroom and bathrooms pinwheel off the main space offering privacy for family and guests.

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The secluded pied-à-terre studio sits on top of a garage and is oriented away from the family home. A private entry and deck bridge over existing rocks, connecting directly to hiking trails beyond.

Nestled into the landscape, the exterior cement plaster and metal roof were selected for durability in the harsh environment. Interior finishes are inspired by the Owner’s love of color and a collection of Heath Ceramic tiles collected for the home, used in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Diagram © ORA, photos © Eric Staudenmaier