Why Villa Kuro Is Everybody’s Favorite Airbnb In Joshua Tree

Inside the Japanese philosophy of simplistic wabi-sabi design.

There’s no shortage of chic, design-forward Airbnb rentals in the Insta-famous desert of Joshua Tree. But there’s a new kid on the block that’s turning lots of heads that’s a real looker. Villa Kuro is a sparkling new property, just minutes from Joshua Tree National Park, for those looking for a picture-perfect vacay inside the Japanese philosophy of simplistic wabi-sabi design.

Villa Kuro sits calm and pretty on the peak of a boulder mountain overlooking the desert horizon. The house is a classic mid-century home that was built in the 1960’s. The two-tone structure, featuring pinewood slats against black brick and wide glass windows, is a West Coast modernist dream. Luckily, the owners, Elaine and Stanley, kept the classic façade of the house and only remodeled everything on the inside. While doing so, they wanted to incorporate as much of the natural landscape into the home by connecting every room with sliding glass doors. No matter where you are, inside or outside, you’ll always find a place to sit back and look out to the tranquil desert below.

The earthy minimalist interior is where it gets truly dreamy. Wabi-sabi is the Japanese philosophy that’s all about “finding beauty in imperfection,” which is grounded in authenticity and simplicity. Elaine and Stanley used the serene colors and textures of the surrounding desert as the main inspiration for the home. Villa Kuro is a soothing oasis of neutral tones and rustic accents. The element which lends a distinct, earthy texture throughout the entire house is tadelakt, a beautiful lime plaster technique from Morocco. The tadelakt which was used to custom-build the counters in the kitchen and bathrooms, makes the space feel sleek and rustic at the same time. Plus the house certainly doesn’t skimp on any stylish amenities. There are bundles of boho-chic blankets in every room, candles with oversized matches, yoga mats, hair dryers, high-quality teas, makeup towels and Villa Kuro’s own brand of bath amenities provided.

The tea room is the shining crown jewel of the house. In what used to be the garage, the owners knocked down the walls and installed floor-to-ceiling sliders to integrate the desert landscape without being outside. In typical Japanese fashion, the room is set up with a low chabudai table and straw floor cushions, complete with an authentic ceramic tea set. The room also provides cozy nooks, artsy coffee table books, fun board games and tons of sunlight that floods in throughout the day. It’s the ideal place to gather and appreciate good company and natural surroundings.

The ultra-Zen tea room may be the crown jewel, but the villa’s state-of-the-art kitchen is also a gem. Even the most experienced Airbnb pros will be impressed to discover the huge range of culinary appliances and goodies the house offers. The kitchen is equipped with two types of coffeemakers, Vitamix, food processor, toaster oven, decanter, dishwater and a kettle that heats water to different temperatures according to the tea. All this, plus the shelves stocked with gorgeous glassware and utensils make spending time in the kitchen a joy. You’ll definitely want to plan a few elaborate meals to make your epicurean home cooking dreams come true during your stay!

Even for outdoor amenities, Villa Kuro has got it covered. A high-tech Jacuzzi is located at the base of the boulder mountain in the front yard. With views of the sprawling desert below, it’d be a crime not to dip into the Jacuzzi to watch the purple-hued desert sunset with a glass of wine every evening. The yard also features a futuristic fire pit at the edge of the hill to chill at after the sun goes down. For daytime, there are three separate courtyards with cacti gardens and lounge chairs for those willing take on the desert heat.

Featuring stunning wabi-sabi style and everything you could ever need, Villa Kuro guarantees an Instagram-worthy getaway that you’ll brag about to all your friends. For more information and bookings, go to villakuro.com

Nadia Cho

Communications Associate

Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features and online via JST's social media platforms. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.

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