Living In Our Element...



About Us


We created this site to offer a glimpse into our life and creative process – through our various design projects - past/present/future - or through thoughts, ideas, people, and places that inspire us.


Our Desire to Create...


We have always had a deep seated desire to create – Kathrin, moving to Los Angeles to formally study and pursue a career in acting, and Brian, relocating shortly after graduating college to pursue a music writing career. Of course, with any journey, our path wasn’t pre-determined and diverging from our original intent moved us in different creative directions. Today, Kathrin is a designer and stained glass artist (www.bandsofcolor.com) and Brian is an active full-time real estate developer, designer, and part-time musician (current solo piano music project here: www.templerising.com).

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. Holding a B.S. in Business Administration, a California Real Estate License, and California General Contractors License, Brian has a versatile skill set. 

Follow us on Instagram

@kathrinsmirke / @briansmirke 




press list below


Dwell, "A Couple Buy a Collapsing Cabin For $7K in Joshua Tree and Revamp it Into a Desert Oasis", April 2018

Better Homes & Gardens, “DIY Oasis”, October 2018

Condé Nast Traveller, "Meet Your Makers", November 2016

Brit & Co, “10 Amazing Wellness Escapes to Rent Because You Deserve to Recharge”, July 2019

Free People, "Dome in the Desert", May 2014

House Beautiful, “You’ll Want to Stay in This Magical Desert Dome the Next Time You’re in Joshua Tree”, June 2019

Condé Nast Traveller, "Where to Find the Magic in Joshua Tree"

Houzz, "A 480-Square-Foot Boho Shack Makes the Desert Cool", June 2018

Lonely Planet, “These incredible Airbnbs are perfect for watching the lunar eclipse”, July 2018

House Beautiful, “The Best Airbnbs For Seeing Mars Up Close And Personal This Month”, July 2018

Elle Spain, "From Abandoned Shack to Perfect Oasis in the Desert", April 2018

Tabi Labo, "たまにはこんな「非日常", April 2018

Pure Wow, "‘Star Wars’ Fans: These Futuristic AirBnbs Will Make You Feel Like You’re in a Galaxy Far, Far Away", May 2018

Jetsetter Magazine, "7 Top Bohemian Hotels for the Gypset", March 2018

Brit & Co., “8 Beautiful and Bookable Desert Dwellings We Spotted on Instagram”, August 2018

Modern Sanctuary, "A Dome in the Desert"

Hollywood Reporter, "Better Than Burning Man: Hollywood's New Glam Getaways...", August 2017

Adventure Sports Network, "Checking In: Bohemian Desert Vibes Abound in this Joshua Tree ‘Cabin’", February 2018

Locale Magazine, "The Masterminds Behind the Dome in the Desert Talk All Things Creativity and Innovation"

Desert Magazine, "High Desert Weekend Getaway", February 2017

Sunset, "10 Serene SoCal Desert Vacation Homes"

Bon Appetit, "8 Vacation Home Rentals We Could Live in Forever"

Refinery 29, "79 Airbnbs That Will Blow Your Mind (Not Your Budget)"

Almanac of Style, "The Sexiest Places to Stay in Joshua Tree", March 2017

Modern Sanctuary, "A Cool Cabin in the Desert"

The Vista, "Dome in the Desert, Joshua Tree"

Far & Wide Paris, "Dome in the Desert, L’ Airbnb le plus cool de Joshua Tree"

Condé Nast Traveller, "Joshua Tree: The New Bohemian Hideaway"

Dot & Bo, "The 3 Secrets to Designing a Modern Homestead"

Goop, "The Airbnb Edit Joshua Tree"

Bohemian Home Magazine, "Under the Dome", Summer 2016

Dot & Bo, "This Modern Homestead Cabin in Joshua Tree is Your Rustic Dream Home"

Dot & Bo, "Dream House Series: A Bohemian Cabin in Joshua Tree"

HonestlyWTF, "Cabin Cabin Cabin"

Lonny Magazine, "The 10 Most Incredible Airbnbs in Joshua Tree"

Design Sponge, "A Revived Cabin in California's High Desert"

The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes, Justina Blakeney

Esquire Magazine (China), January 2015

Ray Li Magazine (China), November 2014

Refinery 29, "18 Airbnb Rentals That Have Us Trippin'"

Veter Magazine (Russia), October 2015

Apartment Therapy, "Kathrin and Brian's Dome in the Desert"

Dot & Bo, "Dream House Series: Dome in the Desert"

Dot & Bo, "Dome in the Desert: Escape to Joshua Tree"

Free People, "Dome Sweet Dome"

Strada 2.0, "Bohemian Glamping in California's Mojave Desert"

Tiny House Blog "Bohemian Dome in the Desert"

Eventbrite, "The Ultimate Joshua Tree Getaway Guide"

The Jungalow by Justina Blakeney, "Gypsan"

Live Fast Magazine, "On Our Radar: Kelley Ash x Gypsan"

Paste Magazine, "California Dreaming: Boho-Chic End of Summer Essentials"

Bohemian Collective Magazine, Spring/Summer 2015

It's Beautiful Here, "Spotlight Series: Kathrin Smirke"

The Naked Fig Blog, "Travel: Joshua Tree"

Moon to Moon Blog, "Dome in the Desert"





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