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Desert Home Build: Frequently Asked Questions

Jan 19, 2024 | By New Darlings

creating a cozy earthy home

Desert Home Build: Frequently Asked Questions

Interior design

Our new Southwest Modern home in the Tucson desert took several years of planning and designing. We spent countless hours creating moodboards, testing paint colors, gathering floor samples, and mixing and matching fixture finishes with tile choices. Below, I gathered some sources to some of your most requested design questions about our new desert home.

creamy white paint - the best white paint

What Paint Color is That? How to Choose the Perfect White Paint

In my opinion the most perfect white paint is Dunn Edwards’ Birch White (DEW326) in a velvet finish. It’s a creamy warm white paint that doesn’t feel blinding. We chose a velvet finish, which resembles flat paint so it’s not as reflective or shiny looking. If you’re considering eggshell vs a velvet finish, velvet paint gives a softer look especially in spaces with lots of windows. It’s easier to clean than a flat finish paint which is more matte: a great option if you have kids.

tadelakt walls - plaster bathroom - earthy natural bathroomtadelakt walls - plaster bathroom - earthy natural bathroom

Creating Earthy Textured Walls with Tadelakt and Plaster

I don’t think I could love plaster walls any more. The texture and depth they add to even the most minimal space is an instant upgrade and create an old world charm. In our bathrooms and kitchen we used a custom mix limestrong from Earthhaus Plaster, which our plaster artist called Almond A. He created a similar tadelakt color for us as well for the water areas. Tadelakt is great water-proof and mold-resistant material for bathrooms, when installed properly. Olive oil soap is key to the natural chemical reaction that creates the water repellent seal.

open shelving decorating - how to style open shelvesopen shelving decorating - how to style open shelves

Where to Get Open Shelving?

You might have noticed we have a ton of open shelving in our home. I think open shelving is an easy way to infuse personality into a home, displaying mementos, ceramics, plants and personal items. Installing open shelving can get overwhelming though, especially when you’re dealing with different sizes, brackets, etc. When I learned about Shelfology’s Ready to Hang Shelf Systems, I knew it was going to be the way to go for our shelving design. Their shelving is all solid hardwood — no plywood. On Shelfology’s website you could easily select the shelf thickness, shelf length and depth, along with a satin finish or unfinished option. We went with their White Oak planks, unfinished, and added a matte clear finish on our own.

minimal earthy kitchen - desert home - new darlings kitchen - concrete countertops - zellige backsplashminimal earthy kitchen - desert home - new darlings kitchen - concrete countertops - zellige backsplash

Where are Your Countertops and Kitchen Tile From?

Countertops were custom made by Brandon and his team from Slabhaus, an Arizona based concrete business. They created the perfect creamy white concrete countertops for us based off of our warm white walls. I really wanted everything to look seamless and warm. Concrete countertops can really take a beaten, but with the right sealing they’re a great option for families. So if you have kids, or are just hard on your countertops, they’re a beautiful and practical choice.

Our kitchen backsplash is zellige tile by Zia Tile. Zellige tile is a beautiful way to add natural texture and variety to any space. No two tiles are the same, the edges are imperfect and they can truly transform any space. We went with a combination of sizes and color for an earthy modern look. Our kitchen backsplash is 4×4 Pure White Glazed Square Zellige Tile.

Here are some similar options below:

Kohler Wall Mount Gold Faucet - New Darlings Bathroom

Kohler Wall Mount Faucets

We went with Kohler faucets throughout the whole house. We have been Kohler fans for years (you might remember them in our previous kitchen and bathroom). The quality just cannot be beat. I love the Vibrant Brushed Moderne Gold from the Components collection. The shape mimics the arches in our home and it has such a sleek look. It’s the perfect combination of classic and modern styles, which compliment a lot of the earthy materials in our home quite well.

outdoor desert shower - outdoor shower ideas - newdarlings backyard - plaster shower

We also used their Statement collection in the same Vibrant Brushed Moderne Gold for our outdoor shower, as well.

Shop the bathroom fixtures below:

concrete floors - desert home flooring - minimal home decor - earthy home - desert homeWhat Color are your Concrete Floors?

Our concrete floors are a warm blush terracotta tone. Before pouring the concrete a pigment is added to the mixture. The pigment is called Southern Blush by Davis Color. To read more about concrete flooring for your home, click HERE. We broke down the whole process and why we love concrete floors.

desert home build inspiration - new darlings home - desert interiors

**Have any other design and decor questions? Drop them below. **

See everything in action through the video below…


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A post shared by Christina & Robert | Desert Living (@newdarlings)


**Photos: Victoria Aguirre of Pampa

2 comments on “Desert Home Build: Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. I am swooning over your doors and windows! Are they pinky’s? I am doing final design work for a new build and am choosing all the doors and windows this month! Ahh!!!! Mixing arches and squares is so hard and you did it so beautifully!

    Also – my husbands job is bringing us to Tucson for a few months. Do you know of any amazing rentals?! They’re ahem *very* hard to find! 🖤🖤🖤

  2. Wow! Your home gave me such great inspiration for my home remodeling in Phoenix. I knew I wanted to go for the deserty vibe but wanted it to look classic as well. My husband is handy so he is going to handle most of it, but he wanted an idea of what I wanted before we had the dumpster rental come and we gut the house all the way. I’ll definitely be giving him a link to this article. Thank you!

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