spotlight on joshua tree | kathrin smirke.
Name: Kathrin Smirke
Star sign: Aquarius
Hometown: Düsseldorf, Germany
Occupation: Owner and creative director of Gypsan, a bohemian clothing line for women.
Describe yourself in 3 words or less: Tall, redheaded explorer.
Why Joshua Tree? My husband and I rented a cabin in Joshua Tree for my birthday a few years ago and absolutely loved the landscape and how peaceful and quiet it was. On our drive back to Los Angeles, we started talking about how nice it would be to have our own little desert getaway that we can escape to from our busy lives.
Why a Dome? I wasn't thinking about buying a dome when I started looking for a place in JT. I actually was hoping to find a small, run down homestead cabin that my husband and I could slowly fix up. But when I placed an ad on Craigslist looking for a cabin in Joshua Tree, I received an email from someone who wanted to sell their dome house. He responded with a few pictures, and even though the dome was a huge mess, I instantly fell in love with it and told my husband that we had to look at it as soon as possible. The next day, we drove out to see the dome and bought it on the spot. It was a very spontaneous and quick decision.
You have the most amazing eye. Did you do all the interiors yourself? And where did you find everything? Thank you! My husband and I did all the decorating ourselves. We found most of the decor items on Craigslist and flea markets. In addition, my husband built some of the furniture and we DIYed many of the decorative accent pieces. Not only did this save us money, but it also created a unique, one-of-a-kind interior. In addition, I put a lot of my vintage and antique fortune telling books and games into the dome and I constantly add new things. Our plan for the summer is to improve the outdoor space - perhaps a fire pit and BBQ and additional outdoor seating.
You live in LA. How often do you make it out to the desert? I try to visit the desert at least twice a month. My husband and I also purchased a couple of additional properties in the village that we are currently remodeling. As a result, we will be in the desert every week until they are complete. One of the homes is an old homestead cabin on the National Park side of the village, which we will eventually list on Airbnb. What’s great about the property is it had two permanent sheds next to the house that we are converting into their own unique living space. The other property is going to be rehabbed and resold.
What makes your heart sing? The Redwoods.
You have friends in town, where do you take them? We’d wake up, have breakfast at Crossroads Café, go for a hike in the National Park, then stop at the Integratron for a soundbath, and end our day at Pappy and Harriet’s for dinner and live music.
Favorite hike? All of the hikes in the National Park are amazing but two quick one-mile hikes would be Hidden Valley and Barker Dam.
Best spot for a drink? Either Pappy and Harriet’s for late night drinks, or juices from my good friend and juicing guru, Angela de la Agua, who operates “Juice in the Desert”, an amazing juice delivery service. We loved her juices so much that we started offering her services to our dome guests.
Favorite place to shop? The End, an amazing vintage and desert inspired clothing store in Yucca Valley, meticulously curated by Kime Buzzelli.
What is on your stereo? Some of the artists I am currently listening to are Shy Girls, The Kite String Tangle, Years and Years, America, and Mos Def.
Who is inspiring you? My husband inspires me every day. I have learned so much from him over the years. He has definitely shaped the way I think and do things. But most importantly, he is always so supportive of all of my crazy ideas and oftentimes, helps me take them to the next level. He is one of the most creative and determined people I know, and I think we make a really great team.
Words you live by... I live in the current moment because that’s the only thing that’s real.
[back to joshua tree. guide]