Lonely Planet Writer

Stay overnight at this house turned art gallery in the Mojave Desert

The austere landscape of the Mojave Desert has long inspired artists, writers, poets and rock and roll stars. A dazzling mix of extreme beauty and enchanting light, it’s no surprise that some of the country’s most unique homes are located here, including an intriguing space that triples as an art gallery, home and Airbnb rental.

An art gallery that triples as a home and Airbnb rental. Image by Outpost Projects / Airbnb

Outpost Projects is billed as an ‘artist-run residency/timeshare/exhibition/research/experimental site’. That’s quite a mouthful but the description is pretty accurate. The completely renovated mid-century building is home to artist Aili Schmeltz. Set on five acres of desert, with Joshua trees and protruding cholla all around, the space is also an art gallery and an invitation for the larger community to interact with art, as well as for artists to come together, share ideas and find inspiration. It’s now open to guests on Airbnb, giving them a chance to completely immerse themselves in art. The space is filled with contemporary artwork and a detailed map in the house will take visitors on a tour of the works on display. Some works are permanent while others evolve through exhibitions.

The space features a cutting board handcrafted by Erik Benjamins Image by Outpost Projects / Airbnb

“When staying with us you are supporting the vibrant art community of the high desert while enjoying a completely unique art immersion experience,” Schmeltz said on Airbnb. “As the stars brighten the desert sky, you can enjoy the beauty of the desert and stay in a home that has been consciously created to be a serene place of beauty, creativity and inspiration.” Schmeltz encourages visitors to explore and interact with the objects and artworks in her space.

Take a dip in the ‘cowboy pool’. Image by Outpost Projects

Cohabiting sleeping space and creative space, Outpost Projects requires a two-night minimum stay through Airbnb. There you can sleep beneath Schmeltz’s paintings, cool down in the aluminium ‘cowboy pool’ and sip coffee while sitting on bright yellow chairs on the patio overlooking a Hemingway outhouse. It’s located minutes from Joshua Tree National Park, the Integratron, downtown Yucca Valley and the famous Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.

The space is surrounded by extreme natural beauty. Image by Outpost Projects / Airbnb

Outpost Projects can house six guests and features three bedrooms, one bathroom, an open concept kitchen/dining/living area and study/library. It costs US$229 (£174/€196) per night and a minimum two-night stay is required. To request a stay, click here. To find out about upcoming exhibitions, click here.