Stay 25 May, 2024

Stay | The Nabu Villa

For this Stay feature, we visit The Nabu Villa, inspired by a desire to explore new horizons, partners Nicole and Maggie embarked on a transformative journey to create a space that defied convention and celebrated the joy of experimentation. As seasoned designers with a love for renovation, they approached The Nabu Villa not just as a project but as an artful endeavour, infusing each corner with personal creativity. Every detail reflects their pursuit of the unconventional, where nature’s beauty intertwines with inspired design to offer guests a sanctuary of peace, grounding, and endless inspiration.


1/ Made-to-Order Margarita Rug 2/ Monte Cushion #3|Sand 3/ Mini Andes Rug #3 4/ Joshua #18 Fine Art Print 5/ Porteno Weekender Bag|Chocolate 6/ Puna Llama Throw|Tobacco 7/Monte Lumbar Cushion #21

How did the idea of The Nabu Villa come to be?

Nicole and I’s background is in design and renovation and when the opportunity came up to do Nabu we wanted to do something radical (at least for us). We were kind of looking at it like let’s make this an art project and experiment and do things we haven’t done before. We were really fortunate to have been able to do something out of the box and for us, “risky”. So Nabu really came to “be”  because we just wanted to do something really, really fun. I think that’s the beautiful thing about designing a home or a space – it’s a blank canvas and a way to express yourself creatively. So for us, this project was just a really big form of play. We got to use new materials, textures, colours, we built things ourselves, and a lot of it we had never used or done before. Nothing about this experience felt “safe” or was in our comfort zone. I remember us laughing a lot saying various renditions of… “Well hope it turns out ok!!!”  We both were pretty nervous because we had never explored these types of materials and didn’t know if certain things were going to work. We’d get some pushback from contractors on why X,Y,Z was not likely possible, but we always came back with… let’s try. We know there has to be a solution to accomplish this, so let’s work as a team. That was the coolest part, constantly running into challenges and problem-solving together with everyone. It was a bit of an anxiety-induced process, mixed in with feeling like we were kids having fun and the ability to have like a free-for-all. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences we’ve ever had, I think in large part because there were no boundaries. Both Nicole and I are more happy than we could’ve ever imagined with the outcome and I’m grateful we trusted our gut and the process.

The Nabu Villa is a magnificent blend of art, architecture, and nature. How did you envision the concept of bringing the outside beauty of the desert inside the villa’s space?

The vision came simply by being inspired by the desert landscape, especially in Joshua Tree, it feels like you’re on planet Mars. It’s so strikingly beautiful. We just wanted to do everything we could to blend and bring the outside in as much as possible. For Nicole and I, so much of how we design is just following a gut instinct. Paying attention to what makes us feel inspired. What lights us up? What makes us feel good and gets us excited? Focusing on textures, space, light, colours, and natural materials that we enjoy. You can find inspiration anywhere and for us that’s the fun part of design.

The villa’s design is a reflection of the desert’s natural elements. Can you share more about the unique and custom features that make this property one of a kind, down to the handmade bathroom vanities and sinks?

Yeah, as I mentioned before this project was an opportunity for Nicole and I to play. Nicole is in the middle of getting her contractor’s license and she’s incredibly talented with building and constructing so I think a lot of what makes this property unique is the handmade elements. One of the things we wanted to do was build our vanities, sinks and countertops. Nicole would go out in the garage, frame the pedestal sinks and counters out, pour cement into a mold to create the sink bowl and finish it off with concrete. Another fun one we did was finding all these super cool and pretty tumbleweeds in our backyard, we wanted to use them but weren’t sure how.  We ended up turning them into chandeliers! Some of the items in the home we built ourselves as well, like the kitchen table, we sized up and cut a lot of the wood floating shelves and light fixtures. For the rest of the pieces in the home, we went down to New Mexico and spent a month thrifting, antiquing, and sourcing from individual sellers who had beautiful art pieces or handmade furniture. We’d drive around with a truck, pick it all up and then eventually drive it all back down to Joshua Tree. So majority of all the pieces in our home are either handmade or antiques that we’ve collected.

If you had to describe the experience of staying at The Nabu Villa, which three words would you use?

Peaceful, grounding, inspired

Nature plays a pivotal role in the villa’s design. How does the use of natural materials and handmade furniture contribute to the overall sense of tranquility and connection with the desert surroundings?

I know for us and I think for a lot of people, being outside, being in nature, being surrounded by natural elements makes you feel good. It relaxes you, gives you a sense of calm and grounding, and brings joy and beauty. So we hope that we were able to bring some of that experience inside our home.

What kind of experience have you aimed to create for your guests? How does Nabu Villa serve as a space to disconnect, recharge, and immerse in the beauty of the desert?

I think the main experience we hope for our guests is to have a slower pace of life and be surrounded by elements that feel grounding and to enjoy those elements with friends and family. For most of us, living in this day and age, our daily lives are filled with high cortisol levels, constant distractions, high engagement, technology, and things moving very quickly. I think because of that collectively in our society, it causes a lot of anxiety, disconnection, imbalance and overwhelm. I think a lot of times we can counter that by simply slowing down and going back to the enjoyment of the basics. Some of the best memories we’ve EVER had are in this home. We bring our family out, we bring our friends out, we turn our phones off, we go swimming in the pool, we lay in the sun, we light a fire and stargaze, we cook meals together, we puzzle, we read books, we go out in the desert and hike, admire the plants and wildlife. All of that brings me tremendous joy. For us, having only one life that we get to live and experience, those are the things that matter and what I hope our guests experience. 

For first-time visitors to Joshua Tree, what is an ideal 24-hour experience at the Nabu Villa and the surrounding area?

If I only had 24 hours, this is what I would do! And actually, this is exactly what we do almost every time we go. We’d wake up early, grab my friends, head into the National Park take a hike and watch the sunrise (you’ll feel like you’re on another planet) then head over to the Farmers Market and load up a bunch of amazing ingredients, we’d go home, put some tunes on, spend the day outside grilling, cooking, swimming, laughing and just spending time together. In the afternoon we’d go to the Integratron (one of the most unique and incredible structures I’ve ever seen) and participate in one of their family-run sound baths that has been passed down from generation to generation, then we’d go home, cook another great meal together, sit outside by the fire and look up at the stars. Joshua Tree is an International Dark Sky Park by The International Dark Sky Association and has some of the darkest nights in Southern California. Countless times our friends and I have laid on our backs and just… looked up. You’ll see shooting stars, the Milky Way, stardust, planets, and constellations. It blows my mind every time and gives me instant perspective. Our universe is so beautiful and we humans down here on planet Earth are just living out one big, wild mystery. So we must enjoy the ride while we get it!

Book your stay at The Nabu Villa here

Photos by Victoria Aguirre















































*All images & words are copyright of Pampa, for any kind of use please contact us at for permission.

Photos Victoria Aguirre


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