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Journey of A Home

Sara Combs

The making of a home—like the building of a life well-lived—takes time and intention. The miraculous sense of feeling at home doesn't just happen, it twists and turns through adventure and memory, function and feeling, work and play, solitude and celebration. We believe a home is never "done", it's a journey, forever evolving, and, like the humans in it, it tells its own beautiful story of where we have been, what we value, and how we hope to feel every step of the way.

For designer and entrepreneur Sara Combs, that search for the feeling of home has inspired her to create and share it. In 2015, Sara and her partner Rich found themselves craving a shift from city living and longing for greater connectivity to the natural world. Their journey led them to Joshua Tree and a thoughtful rehabilitation of a 1949 Hacienda. They envisioned the home as a space to slow down and recharge, and they developed a signature Spanish meets Moroccan style of warm, earthy textures and spaces that seamlessly balance design and nature. After opening their original "Joshua Tree House" to guests, the experience inspired them to build and share other destinations with like-minded wanderers looking for the same thing: places to connect, create, and reset. 

Most recently, the evolving path to home led Sara to her newest creative project: a loving restoration of Posada, a sprawling retreat steps from Saguaro National Park outside of Tucson. Built in the late 70's, the property had been abandoned for a decade before Sara and Rich fell in love with its organic adobe lines and hot-springs style pools and decided to bring them back to life. We stepped through the prickly pears and into the mesquite-shaded courtyards of Sara's rejuvenated desert oasis to talk about the importance of ritual, the story of restoring places, and the deep power of centering nature in design.

What values shape you and your home?
Home is a place to enjoy ordinary experiences: a slow morning cup of coffee, a shower with the sun streaming in, a good night’s sleep… It's nothing fancy and that’s what we love most. The way a home is designed has the ability to influence our daily rituals, and connect us to nature’s cycles. Days are the foundation of our years, so we make a point to enjoy the small ordinary moments. We also believe that the more we spend time in and connected to nature, the more we’ll be inclined to do our part to take care of it.

Tell us how you came to be passionate about sustainable design?
There’s nothing better than being outside on a hike spotting wildflowers in the spring or picking cactus fruit in the summer. Nature has the ability to both calm us and keep us creatively inspired. It offers so much to us, so we feel passionate about doing everything we can to show the earth that we love it too.

You live between two beautiful places, Arizona and California, tell us how each came to be?
We’ve been living in California for 14 years now which is wild to think about! We grew up on the east coast and were both drawn out west for the sunshine and gorgeous wide open landscapes. Both Rich and I are quick to admit that we’d much rather be hot than cold. We moved to Joshua Tree in the Mojave desert back in 2015 after a road-trip where the heat soaked into our bones and the open horizons left us feeling rejuvenated.

A few years later, we found ourselves in Tucson, Arizona renovating a previously abandoned inn and fell in love with the Sonoran desert as well. We now split our time between the two locations, and our home in Tucson is just down the driveway from our inn.

We like to think each of us is a steward of nature. How important is it to you to be in nature and surround yourself with natural materials & elements?
Being in nature and surrounded by natural materials is a huge part of our lives—so much so that we named our daughter Flora for our love of going on hikes and connecting with the native plants around us.

We believe a home is never done, it’s always evolving, like us. What home project are you working on or dreaming of?
We’re currently working on building out a garden area. We’re dreaming about growing our own vegetables, propagating cacti, and picnicking out there with a grill!

We are so drawn to spaces brimming with story. What is your favorite piece or object in your home? 
It has become tradition to find reclaimed wood for Rich’s dad to make us a dining table. The first one he made for us was with wood we had removed from an entry hall in our house in Joshua Tree, and in Tucson he made us one with reclaimed wood from a local salvage yard. It's so special to have those handmade pieces in our homes.

What are 3 things you can’t live without?
My reusable water bottle (I always have it with me), a wide brimmed hat (also comes everywhere with me), and lots of sunshine.

What are some of your favorite Woven pieces?
The Natura sofa and loungers, the Cabana beach chairs,
the Hacienda dining chair and the Healdsburg dining chair are some favorites!  

"Home is a place to
enjoy ordinary experiences: a slow morning cup of coffee, a shower with the sun
streaming in, a good night’s sleep"

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