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Merchant House is a High Desert retreat with a Moroccan flare

High desert meets art at Merchant House, an instagramable holiday home curated by former stylist and artist Denise Portman in California’s Morongo Valley.

The Adobe house sits on five acres of wild mountain terrain dotted with cacti and craggy rock formations two hours drive from Los Angeles. The retreat is the manifestation of Portman’s gallery retail and travel brand, Merchant, which she created with her daughter Sara Marlowe Hall and conceived as a liveable art gallery.

Midcentury interiors are curated with pieces sourced from the duo’s travels to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. There, the pair sourced handmade rugs and baskets and vintage North African objet d’art.

Domestic touches in the form of Californian furniture and ceramics, produced by past and present-day local artists, contrast these Moroccan elements. The result is a serene, trans-continental dialogue that boasts an ever-rotating lineup of unique pieces across the three-bedroom holiday home.

Photography: Kate Berry

As beautiful as the interiors are, however, they’re nothing compared to the staggering surrounds of the Morongo Valley property. These views are best enjoyed from the property’s salt-water plunge pool, outside bath or shaded terrace its mountain vistas.

Merchant House is now available to rent via Welcome Beyond for €382 per night and is 30 mins drive from midcentury mecca Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park.

Photography: Kate Berry
Photography: Kate Berry
Arched doors peek into the adobe dwelling
Photography: Kate Berry

Californian desert retreat Rancho Morongo lists for $899k



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