Before & After: Casa Joshua Tree

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One year ago this month, Lindsay Hollinger closed on her own three-bedroom Casa Joshua Tree after years of renting in Los Angeles. Unable to contain her excitement, she started demolition the very next day, ripping up the worn flooring and polishing the concrete slab beneath. Go-getter Lindsay isn’t a professional contractor; instead she’s a multi-talented art director, designer, painter, and illustrator with the imagination required to transform her 1,236-square-foot 1970s stucco box into “a zen-meets-desert feel, by way of Scandinavia.” She set out to revamp the interiors with the same peaceful and sacred feeling she finds in the surrounding desert.

Unfortunately, building that ambiance indoors took some time, as all the houses in Lindsay’s price range required major work. “I wanted to stay within my means, but have a beautiful home,” she shares. “I had to dig deep and assess what renovations I was physically (and mentally) capable of, and what I could afford.” Despite the need for updates, her current home had simple lines, had been well maintained, and called for mostly aesthetic changes. “I could live and work in the house while I renovated over time,” Lindsay explains. “It had beautiful light, a view of the mountains, a large kitchen, big backyard, and plenty of space for entertaining visitors.” For the biggest projects, Lindsay pulled in generous friends and even hired contractors. The master bath had the most dramatic work done — they removed the 1970s gold sparkle counters, replaced a leaking shower, and installed a new sink and butcherblock countertop. The kitchen’s good bones were preserved with updated finishes, and bedrooms were completed with the help of Grace’s own DIY bed frame tutorial.

Lindsay lives and works in her Casa, and she also hosts visiting artists and workshops in the space. Flexible furnishings allow for changes in the layout as needed. “I am most thankful that I get to experience the magic of the high desert and this wonderful community every day,” Lindsay says. “Sharing it with others is also an experience in gratitude — I can’t wait to teach workshops in the fall in my space.” Her biggest success is that she made her own inspiring home in a simple way, on her terms, within her budget. “If you’ve got a stucco box or a tract home or something that is not considered ‘stylish’ — don’t worry, because you can still make it beautiful.” —Annie

Photography by Lindsay Hollinger

  1. Georgia says:

    This is a very fresh and sweet house.

    1. maria-TO says:

      Wow, you all did an amazing job on fixing up your new home. It’s amazing what a bit of paint and some forward thinking can do. Congratulations!

  2. geneva says:

    What a gorgeous inspiring home!!!

  3. Karen says:

    Gorgeous. Love it all, and it is so perfect in the desert (the best place on earth!). Great job, Lindsay.

  4. Lou says:

    Where is the dining room light fixture from? Lovely!

    1. Lindsay says:

      Hi Lou! the dining room fixture is the vega brushed brass flush mount lamp from CB2. I absolutely love it, and it was very easy to install.

      1. Lou says:

        Thank you!

  5. Cora Lynn says:

    What a great transformation; you are so talented in many ways and an inspiration

  6. Matt haines says:

    I wanna come!

  7. gigi morton says:

    What a fabulous job you did Lindsay and the leaning ladder reminds me of Mik’s olive tree harvest ladders in his Aups, FR home. Truly reveals and reflects all you seem to be as an artist living the artists’ dream! Extremely well done!!!
    gigi morton

    1. Lindsay says:

      thanks G! i was just thinking of Mik this week, I was sorting through my photos from that trip and I have so many of his wonderful house. I was very inspired there. Such a treasured time for me, I will always remember him (and you!) so well <3 love to you xox

  8. Kasia says:

    So happy to see pidge pidge runner here!

    1. Lindsay says:

      thanks Kasia! isn’t pidge pidge the BEST? so gorgeous and made with absolute love.

      1. Vanessa says:

        You ladies make me blush. Thanks for the kind words! I love how it’s used on the bed as a runner. Beautiful home, Lindsay! :)

  9. Olga says:

    Wow, love the freshness of your style, and this bathroom is to die for!

  10. paige says:

    such a good job! this space is insanely beautiful, love the DIY bed frame, major heart eyes

  11. Carrie says:

    I am dying to know what those tall cactus are! Are they easy to find at a plant store?

    1. Lindsay says:

      Hi Carrie! The tall cacti in the living room are a San Pedro cactus and a Euphorbia cactus. Depending on where you live, you can most likely find them in a nursery (esp if you are in california). Euphorbias are popular and probably easiest to find and do well in a bright window. Both are stunners and I dote on them like pets :D

  12. Mary says:

    Really lovely and peaceful transformation, thanks for showing.

    And I love that you’re using your home to generate income – something that I aspire to do in a radically different Irish landscape!

  13. Melanie C says:

    Absolutely love the chunky wood nightstand! Where did you find it! And thanks for the inspiration.

  14. Marksgrandma says:

    Thank you I am inspired to press on. Now I can reduce my budget and find my retirement space. THANKS

    1. Lindsay says:

      kudos to you! thanks for this kind comment. :) it’s hard but a careful budget and elbow grease (and a lot of white paint) you can make it happen! :)

  15. Jessica says:

    lovely space. so serene and airy.

    cactiandmountains.com

  16. Cara says:

    I absolutely love your home!

  17. Maria says:

    Your home is lovely. What color and brand white did you use for walls and the trim?

    1. Lindsay says:

      hi maria! I used Behr Premium Plus Satin Enamel paint in Ultra Pure White, from Home Depot. I would recommend it, it covered really well and the white tone is bright and crisp.

  18. Lyndsay says:

    Wow! that was an amazing transformation! I love the clean serene space with a bit of SW flare. Very inspiring!

  19. annie says:

    Love this makeover! I have an older house and I’m thinking of painting my older cabinets soon. I can’t tell from the photos, are there white hinges on there? I love the hardware but can’t see the hinge situation. Are they the hidden ones? Also, did you use the Behr paint white color on the cabinets?

    Again, great, great job!!

  20. Olive says:

    Oh my ! What a gorgeous transformation! Well done! You are a total inspiration!

  21. El says:

    I love this. I bought a similar home on a similarly tight budget in Kentucky. Mine is also a 3-bedroom slab house that was pretty dirty and neglected, but otherwise structurally sound. Due to the type of concrete used in the foundation (fiber mesh), I was unable to polish mine, so I settled on painting the concrete white. It’s funny to know that we were both going through the same process at the same time! You’ve done a wonderful job!

  22. LOVE this master suite. Its just so darned good.

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