For this Mi Casa, we visit the home of food creative and podcaster Coral and her partner, avid rock climber Trevor. After transitioning from a New York City lifestyle to Yucca Valley, we talk through the closing of one chapter and the beginning of something new. We discuss the importance of making an effort to enjoy the process, and how you can still form deep community connections, even out in the desert. They have even started their own ice cream business, Nice Dream Ices, which they sling at the local Joshua Tree Farmer’s Market.
SHOP THE LOOK
1/ Ramona Made-to-Order Rug|Sand & Natural 2/ Monte #14 Cushion|Desert 3/ Joshua Tree #20 Fine Art Print 4/ Monte Cushion #13|Natural 5/ Monte Cushion #19 XL Lumbar 6/ Mini Andes #13 7/ Puna Llama Throw|Natrual
Tell us a little about your journey and how you ended up moving to such a special location.
In the spring of 2020, like many others, our (dark!) bedroom suddenly also became our office, workout room, dining room, recreation room, our everything-room. So much of our paycheck would go towards simply existing in NYC, and with our inability to go… out, we realized it was both unsustainable and no longer necessary for us to stay in Brooklyn. We were able to take joy and comfort, be challenged and inspired by other, non-city-dependent sources—which was a bittersweet realization, as it also marked the closing of a chapter.
Then avid rock climbers, Yucca Valley, with its proximity to Joshua Tree National Park, was, funnily enough, the one town we could agree on. We did a trial stay that August, figuring if we loved it during the height of desert summer, we could definitely tough it out year-round (and we so did!).
What inspired the design of your home?
Not the most glamorous answer, but the bulk of our home’s design has been determined by its location (in a more suburban, neighborhood-feeling area than you’d expect) and layout (single-story ranch home), and what we love doing most (hence our focus on the kitchen and living-dining room).
You lived in your home whilst renovating, has your vision changed over time?
Oh, yes. One of the first projects we completed upon moving in was removing the kitchen cabinets, building open-shelved plywood base cabinets to fit, and covering them with a microcement. The first night we hosted – I uncorked a *very* natural wine, which dramatically exploded all over the kitchen. The microcement cabinets were totally, irrevocably stained. We had to pry all the cabinets and appliances back out, and reinstall all over again. This time, we went with simple IKEA base cabinets, fitted with custom fronts (both of which are *much* easier to wipe clean).
In regards to this project, what are you most proud of?
For me, it’s how much agency we have. Much of the claustrophobia that came with living in Brooklyn was the sense that, as renters, there was nothing we could really do to better our space in a way that would be a long-term investment for us. Now, if we’re not totally loving how a space feels, agency to create a space we do want to be in.
We know most of the renovating has been done with your own hands, tell us the main lessons you’ve learnt from such an intense process.
Being patient, taking it slow, and making an effort to enjoy the process. It all takes much longer than you think…
Name the most satisfying renovated room so far.
The living-dining room has undergone the biggest transformation, in style and feel.
We love how your Pampa rug blends beautifully with your space, what is it about Pampa that made you want to feature it in your home?
It being our first real, big investment – of resources, time, heart, soul – we wanted to fill our home with pieces that, too, would endure alongside us. What struck me about Pampa rugs (well, honestly, Pampa everything!) was their beauty and elegance in simplicity and durability.
Yucca Valley seems to be somewhat of a mecca for likeminded people. Is there a strong sense of community?
You know—yes! Moving to a relatively more remote area, we were half-expecting to give up on any sort of community, but were, and continue to be, surprised by the deep friendships we’ve formed. We’ve met most, if not all (!), of our new friends whilst shopping (and now vending) at the farmers market.
Describe your perfect day in Yucca Valley.
Early morning run along the California Riding and Hiking Trail. Cold brew and toad-in-a-holes made with Wild Bread sourdough for breakfast. Catching up with farmers and dreaming up new Nice Dream Ices flavors at the Joshua Tree Farmers Market. Brunch at La Copine. Listening to Yucca Valley Library books on tape while doing work around the house. Sunset walk on the trail with our weenie dog, Karen. 50/50 martini while cooking from the Night + Market cookbook at home. Bed by 8pm.
Photos: Victoria Aguirre
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