Couple Completely Guts $7,000 Joshua Tree Shack to Make a Desert Oasis

published Apr 22, 2018
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

How are there so many couples out there converting old houses? It seems like every other day we hear about another couple that made their own tiny house and flipped an abandoned home. But some couples don’t want to live in the city or the suburbs, they seek their comfort in houses out in the desert.

Sometimes, you just need to get away from the city, so you can disconnect with the world and reconnect with yourself. This desert oasis is the perfect place.

Kathrin and Brian Smirke are a couple and the minds behind We Are In Our Element, they have “a deep-seated desire to create.” Kathrin is a stained glass artist, while Brian is a full-time real estate developer. Together, they’re creating some incredible homes.

Our combined experience has led us to collaborate with each other in a variety of ways. Kathrin has extensive experience in both motion picture production and social media marketing/branding. Kathrin also founded and operated the bohemian clothing line Gypsan, and has a great visual eye for interior design. Brian has continued to bridge the gap between the creative aspects of design and a more practical approach to affordable real estate development.

The couple renovated a cabin in Joshua Tree, California that they’ve dubbed it “The Shack Attack.”

The $7,000 cabin dates back to 1957 and was in pretty bad shape when they got a hold of it. The 480-square-foot home looked a little rough when they got their hands on it, but Kathrin and Brian worked their magic.

The spent a year planning, demolishing, building, then planning again, and finally decorating it. The home is special to the couple, because they put in a lot of the work themselves, “including the design, complete demolition, framing, plumbing, trim electrical, and we even built a lot of the interior fixtures and art.”

If the Shack Attack looks like your dream home, but you’re not in the market to purchase, it is available to rent through Airbnb all year round! For only $150 a night, this is a steal.