L.A. Designer Leah Ring Shows Creativity in Yucca Valley Home

The Los Angeles designer discovers her prismatic potential while overhauling a derelict midcentury homestead in the High Desert.

Leilani Marie Labong Home & Design

 Ring’s second home in Yucca Valley.

As anyone who’s ever leapt into the great yonder of creative possibility will attest, the odds of going “splat” are good. But in the case of Los Angeles designer Leah Ring’s transformation of a ramshackle, 1950s Yucca Valley homestead, the goods are, well, splat. As if, she says, bags of paint and glitter were dropped from a great height above what was an almost-forgotten place: two-and-a-half acres of unadulterated desert where a cluster of four flimsy structures looked like “you could just blow them down,” á la the Big Bad Wolf.

Even so, Ring envisioned a weekend retreat of outlandish color and charisma — a laboratory of experiments in postmodernism — to share with her husband, artist Adam de Boer. “I wanted to play around with ideas that no client would ever let me try,” says Ring, the founder of the design studio Another Human, where furniture resembles bent-out-of-shape paper clips and wall sconces parody psychedelic protozoa.

Armando’s Bar

The “splat”-tastic headboard in the guesthouse.

After shoring up structural issues and adding a primary bedroom and laundry room, Ring’s eccentric design optimizes the compound’s 1,400 total square feet — a modest footprint split among the main house, guesthouse, and two shed-size artist studios — with winking wit and pop-art punch.

To start, a candy-chrome palette of lime, peach, and tangerine juicily sets the property’s buildings apart from their arid environs. “My contractor calls it the Skittles House,” Ring says.

Parallel to pigment, pattern is also at play. The living room’s custom color-blocked denim sofa recalls Ring’s patchwork jeans from high school, while acid green and electric blue tile pixelate the kitchen and the shower in the primary bath. The curvy contour of a concrete patio epitomizes movement and flexibility, ideas so native to Ring’s artistic process that a sine wave is tattooed on her left forearm. If the plasmatic shape of the cherry-red headboard in the guesthouse can conjure a “splat,” as she suggests, then the billowing cloud mural in Ring’s studio could likewise symbolize the limitless possibilities that motivated such a maximalist tableau.

“This project unlocked a lot for me,” Ring says. “Most of all, confidence in my vision.”

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Designer Leah Ring in her studio.


Wavy-edge concrete patios at Ring’s Yucca Valley second home symbolize flexibility in the creative process.

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A rainbow of colors fills the living and dining areas in the main house.