Working Holiday Studio’s Casa Mami Offers a Design-Focused Retreat

working holiday studio casa mami sixtysix magazine

Casa Mami’s pueblo-style architecture is what first intrigued Carlos Naude and Whitney Brown, the duo behind Working Holiday Studio, to the home, which they painted white to give it breezy Mediterranean flair. Laun DeMille chairs and a Confetti table welcome you in. Photo by Carlos Naude


December 15, 2020

When Carlos Naude and Whitney Brown, the creative duo behind Working Holiday Studio, purchased Casa Mami’s 2.5-acre property two years ago, the house was fenced in, corrupting the view of the California desert. The couple removed the fence and upgraded the patio entryway with LaCantina aluminum-framed glass French doors, giving visitors a glimpse at the sprawling landscape even as they step inside away from it.

Just outside of Joshua Tree in Pioneertown, the desert residence is an example of “all the stars aligning,” Carlos says. For years the pair, who live in LA, dreamed of having a vacation home they could rent out—a relaxing showroom-type space where visitors could easily buy the objects and furniture in the house.

“When we would travel we’d go to a hotel and be like, ‘This chair is amazing; we want it for our home,’” Carlos says. “But it was impossible to find out who made it, where they got it, whether it was custom—you never can find out anything. That’s always been a frustration for us.”

So Casa Mami became the second home that could. Everything inside is for sale, from the Moooi Cloud Sofa to the Kinto teapot. “When guests stay at the house they get the full experience of not only seeing the products online but also being able to experience them in real life.”

The home itself is a mix of Carlos and Whitney’s design interests. “Neither of us are trained designers; we did it by instinct,” Carlos says. “It’s a hodgepodge of things we like the most—from the warm, breezy feelings of the Mediterranean to the bold colors of Mexico and the minimalism and simplicity of Japan and Scandinavia.”

You can see the threads of their passions as you walk through the house: the white Greek-like exterior, the Luis Barragán-inspired monochromatic yellow hallway; a chair by Japanese designer Waka Waka alongside a Swedish MENU mirror.

On paper it sounds like the eclectic mix might not work, but in practice it does—providing the home with a dreamy medley of aesthetics and color alongside its beige, camouflaged neighbors. “All the houses in the desert are made to look like they can blend in with the environment,” Carlos says. “We wanted to do the opposite. We wanted to stand out.”

A version of this article originally appeared in Sixtysix Issue 05 with the headline “Desert Oasis.” Subscribe today.

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