This time of year we start to get a little wanderlust, and this hacienda home in Anza Borrego Desert at the foothills of Anza Borrego State Park in California is what escapism dreams are made of. That’s not surprising, given it is the home of designer Melissa Young of MY Studio ID, who has made her career designing restaurants and, more recently, hotels.

Like many designers, her talents first emerged as a child. She says, “I loved the feeling I got after changing my bedroom furniture and décor around to reveal a more functional/beautiful arrangement. This evolved into wanting to manipulate space on a grander scale.” Which is what she now does, alongside her team at MY Studio ID, for a wide range of clients. “It’s not just the work that makes our clients come back time after time. They love that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Design is all about having fun with a space.”

And Melissa’s home is seriously fun. The desert landscape was her starting point, and much of the design references traditional Southwestern style. Melissa says, “We wanted to stay true to the authentic Santa Fe Hacienda-style and not compete with the bones of the home which are 18”-thick adobe walls, hand-laid brick laid-in sand floors, and large hand hewn plank wood ceilings. It was important to restore the home to its original style, so we began by sandblasting the 42 interior doors to their original roughhewn wood, changing out all the bathroom hardware, switching out all the overhead fans and lighting, restoring the entry gates to their original metal, installing an outdoor kitchen and landscaping the property.”

Big projects and sticking to a budget are familiar challenges. Melissa knew she wanted to splurge on beautiful beds and comfortable mattresses and bedding for all five bedrooms. She says, “It was important to us that our guests were comfortable and felt like they were staying in a five-star resort.” In order to offset those splurges, elsewhere she looked for opportunities to save, such as selecting outdoor furniture from Target and Dot and Bo.

Asked where she took a risk, Melissa demurs. “Given the wide range of design risks I’ve had the opportunity to execute over the last 15 years, when it came to my home I honestly don’t feel any of the decisions were big risks. Perhaps I’m immune to designer risk response at this point.”

Take a virtual vacation to Melissa’s bold, Santa Fe Hacienda home in the slideshow!