We caught up with Sara Combs at her magical California home, located in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park, which she and her husband designed together.
Sara Combs is a creator and co-owner of the Joshua Tree House, author of ‘At Home in Joshua Tree: A Field Guide to Desert Living,' and future inn-keeper. She’s currently working on reviving an old inn bordering Saguaro National Park with her husband Rich. She lives between Joshua Tree, CA and Tucson, AZ creating spaces for others to reset, reflect, and create in.
Sarah Flint: What does “walk like a woman” mean to you?
Sara Combs: To move through life with both warmth and strength.
SF: Where do you draw inspiration?
SC: I most often find inspiration in movement—road trips, hikes, and travels abroad. Movement and adventure expose me to new ways of thinking that may not have otherwise occurred.
SF: How would you describe your design aesthetic?
SC: Natural and minimal. I’m always drawn to natural materials that wear in beautifully over time, and feel most content when everything has a function. I love having tons of plants around, and choosing objects that celebrate ordinary moments like a morning cup of tea.
I love wearing comfortable flats that I can take with me on whatever adventure I find myself on.
SF: If you had to describe good design in 3 words what would they be?
SC: Thoughtful, functional, emotional.
SF: What is your go-to everyday shoe style?
SC: I never know when I might end up on an impromptu hike, so I love wearing comfortable flats that I can take with me on whatever adventure I find myself on. Also since I spend most of my time in sandy landscapes these days, I love a natural color or material that helps me blend in with my environment.
SF: How do you measure success in your design projects?
SC: We put a lot of thought into our spaces (often overthinking our designs during the process), but ultimately when all of the elements start to come together the success of a design is based on its function, and an emotional gut reaction. There’s not much to overthink once a good design is complete, it just feels right and brings you to another place.