This $4.2 Million California Home Was Designed to Blend Into the Desert Landscape

Pioneertown, California, about 130 miles outside of Hollywood, might be best known for its history as a movie set centered around an Old West-style town. Dozens of movies and TV shows have been filmed here since the late 1940s, and it remains an active movie set. In recent years, innovative architects and designers have flocked to the semi-remote high desert region to take advantage of the community’s dramatic natural beauty by building architectural marvels that celebrate the surrounding landscape.

A unpretentious residence nestled into a boulder-strewn hillside about seven miles outside of Pioneertown, recently listed for sale for $4.2 million, was designed by Paul and Wendy Hadley, an artistic couple who sought a scenic spot to design and build a home that was peaceful and quiet, had low-impact on the environment, and was in close proximity to the area’s natural wonders. The home they created, loosely inspired by the late 1800s homesteads in Bodie, a 19th-century gold rush ghost town near Yosemite, sits on 10 acres and borders the preserved Sand to Snow National Monument in Pipes Canyon.

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Desert Chameleon House Pioneertown California
The great room showcases cedar plank paneling, salvaged ceiling beams, and a sleek kitchen.

When the home was still just a sketch on paper, the owners built an owl house on the property as a gesture to the native owls,” says Clayton Baldwin of Kinetic Properties, who is co-listing the property with Keith Markovitz of TTK Represents of Compass. “A promise that the pending home would not encroach upon their own. This is just another example of the exceptional level of thoughtfulness that went into the design and development of this stunning home.”

The couple left the property unfenced so that it could remain welcoming and fully accessible to the local wildlife, which includes kit foxes, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, desert tortoises, and golden eagles.

Desert Chameleon House Pioneertown California
The wood-burning stove keeps things toasty when temperatures dip.

The cedar siding on the exterior was stained a similar color to the surrounding boulders to camouflage it within the landscape, and the steeply pitched roof is clad in Corten steel. At just under 2,300 square feet, the home is modest in size, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an airy great room.

Inside, the interiors feature salvaged wooden beams, cedar-plank walls, and luxe modern finishes. Filled with natural light, the open-plan living area is ideal for casual entertaining. This great room also houses a wood stove and a modern kitchen with a prep pantry, custom Italian cabinetry, and a leathered quartzite kitchen island. Throughout, large steel-trimmed windows perfectly frame the views of the bouldered desert landscape, the iconic Joshua trees, the San Bernardino Mountains, and Black Lava Butte.

The two light-filled bedrooms connect to modern bathrooms and have private terraces to enjoy morning coffees or cozy up with a book at sunset. Finally, there’s a detached two-car garage that can also double as a flex space for a studio or home gym. There are also off-grid capabilities through private solar power, a septic system, and a high-volume water well.

Desert Chameleon House Pioneertown California
Huge windows make the dining area feel as one with the dramatic landscape.

“Pioneertown is rapidly becoming one of the premier wellness destinations of the world,” says Keith Markovitz. “What makes this enclave so special is the limited amount of current development, and the limited amount of potential development, preserving the natural beauty, authenticity, and tranquility that made Pioneertown so special in the first place.”

The property is also in close proximity to Joshua Tree, the greater Palm Springs area, and, of course, the entertainment in Pioneertown.

Click here for more images of 1653 Roadrunner Rut Road.

Desert Chameleon House Pioneertown California
Desert Chameleon House Pioneertown California

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