Brooke here, Plum Guide Home Critic. I'm here with Roberta and Chris, owners of 'The Mirrored House', known to JT locals as the “Invisible House.”
This house is near and dear to my family’s heart because it is through Chris and Roberta, and their beautiful home, that my partner and I met. So, we decided to pop on over to The Mirrored House to treat Plum Guide loyalists to an exclusive inside scoop into the home and minds of the design geniuses Roberta and Chris. As we sat socially distanced under the warm Joshua Tree night sky, slowly sipping our red wine, we got to find out how one of the world’s most stunning homes came to be. I must say this couple is way more creative they you could ever imagine and their ideas come from places where only a true artist would know where to look, deep into their imaginations. Enjoy the interview.
Do you know of an amazing home that belongs in our collection of the world's best stays? Nominate a home here.
Brooke: Hi Roberta and Chris, I don’t think we need an introduction, (Joshua Tree is a small town and friendships here run long and deep), but I do want to thank you again for giving Plum the inside scoop into your gorgeous home, located in one of the world’s coolest destinations... So, how long have you owned your home?
Roberta and Chris: We have owned the property since 2006 and began building it in 2013.
B: What is your home’s super power?
R&C: Invisibility of course. (But we knew that)
B: How would you describe your home’s interior style?
R&C: The best way to describe the home’s interior style is one-toned and muted. Opaqueness, reflective surfaces and walls. While creating the space we decided the best design rule for this home was to keep it simple as to not distract from the natural beauty surrounding the home. We created transparent walls to transmit light and merge the philosophical aspects of merging the indoor and outdoor spaces. The outside landscape and light alone began creating patterns and their own natural design complexities. Due to these elements, there were very few actual interior design decisions that needed to be made, because the overall appeal was in keeping it simple.
The same finish surfaces and tones are used everywhere, with a simplified and muted palette. We didn’t want the home to compete with the surrounding nature, so a smooth transition from one of the most gorgeous landscapes in the world, absorbing the desert beauty and harmonising into a fluid relationship with the interior was a must. The home was to remain selfless with the focus remaining on nature. An ecosystem of moisture, hepa filters, solar, smart app systems and selective UV and IR reducing glass allow guests a complete and comfortable integration into the outdoor nature reserve. The home is all electrical solar, feeding into the grid, leaving no carbon footprint amongst the blessed 90 acres it cantilevers across.
B: What was your biggest inspiration behind designing the home?
R&C: Space Odyssey 2001. The landscape out here is often compared to Mars, so we decided to draw inspiration from the monolith, it's impact, and the iconic imagery of Kubrick's retro classic sci-fi film. And again, the environment the home rests in and the sculptural design of the land is what offered the most inspiration.
B: What do you think makes this house a home?
R&C: The self-sufficiency of The Mirrored House is what makes this place a home. The home is powered by 3 Tesla Batteries and 90 solar panels so anyone staying here can really cut the cord. We encourage guests to come and play with the magic of letting go and making the space an extension of themselves. The home allows one to cook, exercise, work, or relax thus creating a life supporting bubble of sorts.
Pro athletes come to train in the pool or at the nature reserve, musicians come to find their inner voice, create music, shoot music videos, and fashion icons come to be immersed in simple luxurious style. The home is open for people to use how they see fit and it reflects back to the guests a piece of who they are and what makes them special.
Home is any place where you see yourself. The Mirrored House gives back to you what you are. We aimed to create a space where one could get lost in themselves and could completely recharge. It's not all about the house, it's about the guests reimagining themselves through the space, making each experience unique to the individual and allowing each guest to feel like at home in their own special way.
B: What is your favourite room?
R&C: The indoor pool located within the living and dining area.
B: Favourite piece of furniture?
R&C: The marble beds made out of select Turkish Linux Marble. All straight lines in the stone. (No details here go forgotten)
B: I do not know how it is possible to answer this question, but favourite time of day to enjoy the house?
R&C: Early morning, sunrise, sunset, right before sunset, full moon, no moon, real Joshua Tree Summer nights. (You get the picture)
B: What is the best way in your opinion to relax in the home?
R&C: Dancing in the pool when the water temperature is just right. Music on while the pool lights reflect psychedelic formations. Just floating along the surface in the weightless space.
B: As Joshua Tree locals we know you do not walk anywhere in Joshua Tree unless your car is broken down or you are hiking, but what are the best places to “walk” to in close proximity to the home.
R&C: Joshua Tree National Park. The property borders half a mile of Joshua Tree National Park with trails leading miles into the national park. The home is situated on a 90-acre nature reserve that also has its own mountain peak inside the property with ancient Native American Trails leading off for miles. If driving into the park, the home is located off Park Blvd, the same street as the national park’s main entrance.
B: Favourite local produce store/independent shop in the neighbourhood, I know there are only two so which one is your favourite?
R&C: Joshua Tree Health Food Store.
B: Favourite coffee shop/cafe/restaurant/wine bar nearby?
R&C: Kitchen in the Desert, located in 29 Palms is our current favourite spot. The place has its own voice and is a REAL kitchen. The chef is from Brooklyn but has merged the dining of New York with the cool vibes of Joshua Tree.
B: Last question, as a Los Angeles native, and knowing you two both lived in Los Angeles for a long time, I know better not to ask this question, but just for Plum Guide, any well-known guests stay here?
Roberta and Chris: Tons. (We tried)