Sleep under the stars and wake up bathed in the first rays of the sun in these extraordinary rusted desert cabins in Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. 'Folly' was created by Cohesion Studio out of an abandoned homestead, and the conversion into a contemporary retreat is a thing of great beauty, simplicity and ingenuity. What's more, you could experience it.


A dilapidated 1954 structure, now renovated as the larger of the two cabins and clad in knowingly rusted steel, was the starting point. Inside, simple plywood clads the walls offsetting black furniture. A steel ladder leads up to the loft bed, with a skylight to enjoy the stars.

Folly 1

The real surprise is in the new smaller cabin, delicately crafted to resemble its older cousin. An upstairs bedroom has no ceiling, allowing you to enjoy the heated bed as the cold desert night reveals the expanse of stars.

The cabins are linked by a deck with sunken bath made from a trough more usually employed to provide water to livestock. Boulders shield modest bathers from the gaze of passing wildlife.

'Folly' is no exclusive getaway but is available to rent on Airbnb. Expect the unforgettable.

All images © Sam Frost

Want another off-grid escape? Then have a look at the Hidden Valley Desert House in the Arizona desert.