Merchant House High Desert: A Spanish-Style Oasis in the Mojave

Like many people, we have vacation escapes on the mind (one can dream). This one, about 20 minutes from Joshua Tree, would make it a breeze to shelter in place: It’s secluded and far from the crowds, blurs the line between outdoors and indoors, and furnished with vintage, eclectic finds.

Dubbed Merchant House High Desert, it’s owned by the mother-daughter team of Denise Portmans and Sara Marlowe Hall. Together, they run the Merchant brand, a three-pronged business that includes a store (Merchant Modern), a gallery (both in Los Angeles), and vacation rentals, including this one.

Here’s a peek.

Photography via @merchanthousehighdesert on Instagram.

Merchant House High Desert Above: The sunny yellow front doors are original to the 1950s Spanish-style ranch house.
Merchant House High Desert Above: The doors lead to this front porch with built-in seating. A vintage Japanese wood deck chair adds warmth to this predominantly white space.
Merchant House High Desert Above: French doors lead to the living room. Denise and Sara painted the plaster walls and concrete floor white. The arched window to the right affords a peek into the kitchen.
Merchant House High Desert Above: The home (like their store and gallery) features a mix of vintage mid-century Danish finds, Moroccan touches, California-made ceramics, and contemporary art. The two travel once a year to Morocco to source vintage rugs, baskets, and objects.
Merchant House High Desert Above: In the simple kitchen, baskets were turned into pendant lights.
Merchant House High Desert Above: Each bedroom has a simple platform bed and subtly pink walls.
Merchant House High Desert Above: Another guest room.
Merchant House High Desert Above: A quiet corner of a bedroom, expertly decorated with texture and patina.
Merchant House High Desert Above: Dining en plein air.
Merchant House High Desert Above: The house is set on on five acres.
Merchant House High Desert Above: A stock tank pool was inserted into the multi-tier deck for refreshing dips.

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