A $2 comal moonlights as a brilliant sconce in this revitalized ’80s ranch home.

Designer Claire Thomas teams up with cinematographer Yayo Ahumada to turn a Yucca Valley ranch home into a vibrant retreat.

“For every raised monster truck, there is someone who has opened a crystal shop,” says designer Claire Thomas about the location of her new project with cinematographer Yayo Ahumada. “Yucca Valley is a really interesting and accurate snapchat of California, and the different cultures and personalities that are intersecting.”

While Joshua Tree has been a hot spot for years, real estate prices have skyrocketed—and Yucca Valley, which could be called Joshua Tree’s hip little sister, is the new go-to for those seeking a desert escape with shopping, restaurants, and more affordable properties.

The living room includes a Retro Burn fireplace and a coffee table Thomas made herself from boulders found on the property.

The living room includes a Retro Burn fireplace and a coffee table Thomas made herself from boulders found on the property.

Claire Thomas 

Before: The original home had good bones and great potential, but lacked finesse.

Before: The original home had good bones and great potential, but lacked finesse. 

Claire Thomas 

With a low budget and high ambition, Thomas and Ahumada set off to find their “unicorn in the desert.” They eventually landed a one-story ranch home with knotty pine walls set on five untouched acres filled with boulders, cacti, and even jackrabbits.

The duo wanted to rent the space out for visitors and creative projects (like short films, music videos, and brand partnerships), so the house and the site had to have a very particular sense of place, with both visual and emotional impact. 

The circular wall sconce is a nod to Ahumada’s Mexican heritage. It’s made from a $2 comal—a type of cookware that is traditionally used to prepare tortillas.

The circular wall sconce is a nod to Ahumada’s Mexican heritage. It’s made from a $2 comal—a type of cookware that is traditionally used to prepare tortillas. “We bought four of them, and they turned out amazing using an LED strip and a cake plate,” Thomas says. 

Claire Thomas 

See the full story on Dwell.com: This Yucca Valley Retreat Packed With Tile and DIY Hacks Is Pure Desert Magic
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