152 Outdoor Desert Design Photos And Ideas

While not connected to the house's irrigation, the saltwater pool has its own solar-powered saline pump and cleansing system.
One of the home’s water features adorns a space between the bedrooms and main home. "We treat all the water from the house to clean them for irrigating the rest of the house," relates Elizarraras.
The roof terrace offers a refreshing view of the ocean. "It's important for us to consider how to place architectural elements based on the topography and orientation, and how they’re going to face the sunset, the sunrise, and interact with the wind blowing over the land," says Elizarraras.
Approached by clients who wanted to simplify their lifestyle and reconnect with the landscape, Phoenix-based Wendell Burnette Architects designed the Hidden Valley Desert House as a “long pavilion for living.”
"Since we're completely off grid we operate off of hauled water, so we have three 1,800 gallon tanks that get filled up every other week. But for those same reasons, people off the grid don't really have pools because they're hard to maintain, but we did it anyway."
Whisper Rock Ranch just north of Pioneertown, California.
"The client’s goals were to create an open and light-filled home that maximized views of the Coachella Valley below and the Santa Rosa mountains to the south and west," says designer Stuart Silk Architects. Thunderbird Heights Residence enjoys a fluid connection between the primary indoor rooms and the outdoor terraces both for entertaining and casual outdoor living.
After: The Front Porch
A look at the pool area of Steel House #2. Each major room features floor-to-ceiling glass panels and sliding doors that are all eight feet high.
The enclosed central patios are great for enjoying warm weather and protecting owners from the winds.
Warm summer nights by the pool.
Sunset photo by Tomoko Matsubayashi
The former home of interior designer and renowned blogger Sarah Sherman Samuel, this 1961 A-frame in Palm Springs received a thorough renovation and a new lease on life. According to her blog, when Samuel first toured the house she encountered "cloud murals, a scary dungeon-esque bathroom, and stanky old carpet." Much of the 784-square-foot space felt cramped and dated. However, she knew the home had good bones, so she decided to start renovating.
Phoenix design-build firm The Construction Zone renovated an old concrete-and-steel barn, turning it into a sleek new guesthouse with an open-plan, three-room layout. Completed for approximately $300,000, the 790-square-foot adaptive reuse project carefully preserves the character of the existing structure while upgrading it to match the modern aesthetic of the main residence.
A campfire pit allows for guests to gather and connect amid a garden of cacti.
A perforated, corrugated metal patio cover provides a transition between the bright desert sun, and the shaded interior of the house
The bedroom wing side of the house on the original foundation was kept low enough to keep views of the mountains to the north, but tall enough to screen the neighbors house across the street
Wild Geese Rugs in Peach echo the landscape in color and composition.
Amangiri is a modern luxury destination set on 600 acres within canyon country offering access to national parks and Lake Powell. The resort is a feat of architecture and is outfitted with a world-class spa.
High in the northern desert of Chile, this eco-friendly boutique lodge is the ultimate location for stargazing and adventure trekking. The property features stunning views of Licancabur volcano.
This also made it possible to include a pool that seamlessly joins with the rear terrace, since the rocky terrain prevented excavation work.
Built in 1937, Taliesin West was an experiment in desert living that evolved at the hands of Wright and his apprentices until he passed in 1959. Meant to be a refuge from the harsh winters of the Midwest, the complex—which grew to include a drafting studio, dining facilities, three theaters, a workshop, Wright’s office and private living quarters, and apprentice and staff residences—takes direct inspiration from the arid landscape. Over the years, Wright continually rethought previous design solutions and rebuilt sections of Taliesin West with the assistance of his apprentices. Today, the complex continues to be the headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and School of Architecture.
Indigenous plantings, suitable for the warm climate, surround the simple massing. The blue sky is a powerful contrast to the white plastered walls.
A new structure near the dome holds an array of solar panels and three lithium-ion batteries. “The power is completely sustainable,” says Sam. “I can even run the air-conditioning on it.”
A border hedge provides privacy for the backyard, where distant views of the San Jacinto mountains can be appreciated.
The L-shaped, flat-roofed Steel & Glass home has many of the hallmarks of Wexler's style. The 2,550-square-foot layout wraps a pool, made accessible by lots of sliding glass.
This home's prefabricated components were all made in Marmol Radziner’s home-building factory near Los Angeles, and trucked over to the one-and-a-half-acre site.
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Taos, New Mexico
Dwell Magazine : July / August 2017
A striped hammock is perfectly placed for relaxing and taking in the sunset.
Outside, a punchy dining set spray-painted by Nagel livens up the patio.
The idea of the “hip hotel” is a concept that could probably bear some examination. Hipness is a state that quite a lot of hotels strive for, and in fact only the cheapest and the most expensive hotels can afford to ignore it completely. And if the Ace group is known for anything, it’s for a certain very distinct kind of cool.
The Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs, California
Hammocks
Stargazing Portal
Exterior
“The loggia poles around the hose at all patio areas were painted a dark green. We had them sanded to bring back their original rustic wood glory.”
“The teepee is 26’ canvas with pine lodge poles. It’s simple in construction as it was originally intended to be a nomadic dwelling. It is extremely reliable in the high desert winds and even great in the rain. We have a small fire pit in there to keep it toasty on cool winter evenings. It’s one my favorite places on the property.”
“The [exterior] house color had faded to pink by the time we bought it. We painted it a Sherwin Williams color called Jackson Tan, which melds into the colors of the desert.”
Outside, Young incorporated decomposed granite, native plant species, and large date palms. She moved a lot of rocks around to add to the natural desert feel she wanted for the property.
Hoogland Architecture designed the Rubber Ducky Trail House to capture desert views from every angle. An outdoor spa allows the residents to linger outdoors well into the evening.
The columns are connected with wide, sandblasted glass panels that create a ceiling, which spreads light throughout the interiors during the day, and frames views of the stars at night.
Kellogg spent five years working on the house, and the structure was completed in 1993.
The lower solid, concrete portion brings to mind elements of Native American adobe pueblos, while the sculptural form of the upper section conjures images of dinosaur fossils or spaceships.
The Vagabond Trailer at El Cosmico features a pink exterior and restored, marine-varnished birch interiors.
"The underside of the canopy inside and outside is a black theatrical fabric scrim that creates a continuous feeling of deep, soft shade, while subtly screening the conventional, gang-nail, wood-truss roof structure and black-fabric-faced R-38 sound/thermal batt insulation above," notes the firm.
The natural palette and integration of outdoor living rooms blend the house into the desert landscape. In addition to rammed earth, integral color-synthetic stucco was used for the exterior walls.
Entry walkway leading to the front door and eventually to the grill and down to the pool
Entry Court

Whether it's a backyard patio, an infinity pool, or a rooftop terrace, these modern outdoor spaces add to the richness of daily life. Escape into nature, or get lost in city views. Wherever you are, let these outdoor photos take you somewhere new with inspirational ideas for yards, gardens, outdoor tubs and showers, patios, porches, and decks.