Outdoor living

We were finally able to spend our first night in Joshua Tree! We spent both Sunday and Monday in the desert working on a few outdoor items. We lost track of time as we hustled to be as productive as possible with limited time. When it came time to leave we both found it challenging to return to the city, except to see Parker! We left him home for the night and when we returned, he didn’t leave our sides. Because we had running water, full plumbing, and operational appliances we felt comfortable enough to stay.

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Our main task this weekend was to work on the outdoor shower. We knew we had to put the posts up for the fence and lay the pavers on the ground. Thankfully we were able to get a jump start on the fencing as well. Laying pavers is no joke, but Becky had a game plan and was able to lay all of them in like 20 minutes! It is all about having a good foundation and a design layout. We are planning on painting the posts black to match the hardware and light fixture in that area. The fencing itself will be stained to match the front door. We wanted the pavers to be clean and simple, but not overly modern, to match the interior aesthetic. We found 2 different sized tumbled pavers at Home Depot and laid them in a more modern pattern. We love the way it turned out. The back part of the outdoor shower will have some succulents and stepping stones. Read below to see why we need to keep it open!

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While we were at the house we met with a company that manages the property for rental. Since we live a couple hours away it would be best to have someone close by for guests to call- especially if there are any accidents, knock on wood that doesn’t happen! We think we have a really great interior space, but we knew we were lacking a bit on the exterior. We put what we love into the house inside and out, come to find out that isn’t necessarily what everyone loves. They said the inside was great, but we needed to include some more outdoor ammenities.

We walked around outside and got some tips on what we should include. We are thinking of extending the patio a couple feet, adding some lounge furniture and a propane fire pit. Like many people in the desert we are completely anti-firepit. The environment is so dry that a single spark could take out the entire area. With propane this won’t be an issue, we just have to account for where to store the propane tanks, similar to what you would use for a BBQ. Extending the patio will obviously give us more room and allow the patio to feel more like an outdoor living room.

Another suggestion was to add a hot tub. Combined, the two of us have probably been in a hot tub less than 10 times in our lifetime, perhaps even less. Clearly that is not something we like to do, but it is one of the number one items travelers coming to Joshua Tree want. WHAT!?!? We must be living in a bubble. After some push back and further convincing, we decided that we’d at least entertain the idea. Together, we felt that we could leave the end of the outdoor shower without a fence and add paver steps leading to a secluded (meaning we don’t have to see it from the house!) hot tub. We have a lot of creosote bushes to hide a concrete pad and spa behind so we are willing to move forward with it. Of course we do need to do a bit more research on hot tubs, maintenance and etc., if anyone has any feedback let us know!

The last suggestion was an outdoor bed. Many visitors like to lay out in the middle of nowhere and look at the stars. Paul asked for an outdoor bed at the beginning, but was okay with just having some lounge furniture. We are thinking we can come up with something pretty cool to put in the middle of the property. Next to the bed we can add some hammocks and it will be a great space to wind down in the evening.

The entire ride back to the city we discussed the exterior possibilities and ultimately feel that, yes, we should include more outdoor experiences. With the additional work needing to be done, we have to push back the completion of the house and the ability to have guests stay (fingers crossed it doesn’t take too long). We think it is totally worth it and we will keep you posted along the way!

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