The Quill List! Featuring: Desert Wild in Joshua Tree, California

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Prepare to be captivated by an extraordinary Quill List Feature: a breathtaking sanctuary, aptly named "Desert Wild," nestled amidst the enchanting Joshua Tree, California. 

Join me as we unravel the story behind this magnificent abode with its owners Natalie Saunders and Louis Litrenta, and learn how they brought this beautiful rental into existence. 

Natalie, tell us a bit about you and your husband, Louis.

We are an Australian and American couple who spend most of our time in Joshua Tree, California. We manage an Airbnb in the Mojave Desert and work in design and home rentals.

Photo Credit: Charlotte Lee

How did your short-term rental journey begin?

We started by renting out an apartment in Bondi, Australia when we would travel and found it successful. I was always passionate about design so enrolled in a course for Interior Design. After completion, we decided to put our passion and my new knowledge to the test and build a home in the desert of Joshua Tree, California. We wanted to create a unique oasis that we would love to stay in if we were traveling.

What was your design process for Desert Wild?

Desert Wild is quite eclectic and you will see design and decor inspiration from around the globe. We incorporated our favorite finishes and textiles from our travels to create something unique and worldly yet uncluttered and relaxing. Our vision was quite clear before we broke ground and even moved permanently to Joshua Tree.


Did you do all the design yourself or did you hire some help? And why?

We designed all the interiors and external rooms/landscaping ourselves and we had an amazing contractor and his team who helped us design the actual build/architecture of the home and execute our design.

Can you share some fun stories about setting up your rental?

We actually visited Mexico and Morocco and hand-selected our own rugs/ceramics/textiles. A risky decision was to send over from Morocco all of our handmade terracotta brick tiles that are featured in our bathroom. They are beautiful and we don't regret it, but having to explain why we shipped 30 potato sacks of tiles to LA customs was quite the ordeal and many of the tiles didn't survive the journey across the world. Luckily we had just enough to finish both bathrooms and they look and feel great.

How do you feel having a well-designed rental property affects your overall business?

We put a lot of love into the home and our guests can feel this the moment they enter our property. We always get told how much attention to detail went into the design and how much they appreciate it.

We have a lot of repeat guests and 90% treat our home like they would their own and we very much appreciate that. We are almost always fully booked so we are very happy that all the blood sweat and tears were worth it.

What is something special and unique about your property or the experience you offer your guests that make you stand apart in the short-term rental marketplace?

We offer a retreat. When entering you could be transported to somewhere else in the world. The home is very tranquil and relaxing and has all the amenities you could need for all seasons. From a pool for summer to a hot tub and fireplace for winter, indoor or outdoor dining, and amazing sunsets and sunrises. It really is a little slice of heaven.

What are your favorite resources for furniture and decor?

I actually love to source products myself from my travels and they are often vintage/used. I find they tell a story and are more interesting. I also think it's important to have great linens and we have stuck with Bed Threads since we opened. We also love to use local craftsmen and artists where we can to keep money in our community. I'm also starting a decoration company where I will source some of my favorite things and you can follow along at @desertwild_decor.

Photography of Desert Wild by Charlotte Lea Photography I @CharlotteLeaPhotography and Marco Badalian I @MarcoBidalianPhoto

Natalie, thanks for sharing your gorgeous home with us to be featured on The Quill Blog, and thanks for putting such a beautiful rental out in the world for your guests to treasure. It looks like an absolute slice of heaven and I would LOVE to visit someday. 

To book this beautiful haven for a stay in the desert or a photoshoot, head to their Link Tree to learn more. 

Happy hosting, everyone! 

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