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Travel Palette: Joshua Tree National Park

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Back again with another palette. This time we are taking it to the West Coast.

This featured palette is inspired by the vista on Ryan Mountian in Joshua Tree National Park. The travel palettes series was created to expand creative horizons and explore the correlation between travel, inspiration, colors, textures, and design.

 San Diego - Joshua Tree National Park Palette-Cropped

Joshua Tree National Park 

During May 2018, I took a trip out to San Diego for a late spring getaway and early birthday trip. We had a recommendation from one of the locals to check out Joshua Tree National Park while we were visiting. After a somewhat spontaneous decision, we decided to dedicate a day to take a day trip to visit. Boy, am I happy we did!

Base of Ryan Mountain

A little about Joshua Tree National Park:

Joshua Tree National park is uniquely made up of two intersecting deserts: The Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert. This national park gets its name from the unique tree that occupies the area. This Yucca palm plant is named the Joshua tree and can be seen throughout the park. The park was established in 1994 when the California Desert Protection Act was passed. 

How to Get There:
Joshua Tree National Park is located near Palm Spring California, right outside Indio, Califonia (Yes, you heard it, Coachella-land). The park is 40 miles outside of Palm Springs, 150 miles outside of Los Angles, and approx.165 miles outside of San Diego. It creates a full day trip, but it is worth the visit! 

There is so much to see while in Joshua Tree National Park, but one of the main attractions is hiking up Ryan Mountain. Ryan Mountain is a 3 mile, 1050ft hike. It takes about 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on your speed, but the views are exquisite! The elevation at the summit is at 5,457 ft. These breathtaking summit views were a no brainer as inspiration for my next palette. 

Hiking Ryan Mountain
Hiking Up Ryan Mountain
Peak of Ryan Mountain
Summit of Ryan Mountain


This week’s travel palette was inspired by the elements, colors, and textures of the natural landscape seen at the summit of Ryan Mountain. The colors are sourced from the earthy trail path and trail rocks, the green yucca plants, and mountain rock. The blues of the palette were inspired by atmospheric perspective– the shadowy deep blues of the mountain’s contour and light blue hues of the hazy mountains in the distance. The direct locations of the colors are indicated below and then matched with a Pantone color. 





The colors of the inspiration image are then further interpreted into a material palette. This earthy palette is paired with cooling blues for a soothing, yet dynamic ensemble. The sandy golden color is picked up in the patterned fabric and in the flecks of the porcelain tile. The light blue upholstery ties in the warmer tone through subtle yarn streaks creating a truly cohesive palette. The product info for each material is displayed and linked below.

Glazed Clay Tile

The deep blue shadows of the mountain are represented by the Fireclay glazed tile in the color Azul. This tile helps tie the palette together with a playful, yet refined statement.

Sustainability highlights: The tile body is made out of recycled materials, is VOC-free, and each tile is hand-painted and made in the USA in California 


Handpainted Clay Tile – Fireclay 

Photo Courtesy of Fireclay Tile

MOUNTAINS: Porcelain Tile

The mountain rock is represented by the porcelain tile from Crossville. Altered State is a dynamic tile with a variety of golden-rustic tones. The variation of the tile showcases a more rugged look.

Sustainability Highlights: The tile contains recycled content and is made in the USA in Crossville, Tennesse.

Crossville -Altered State- Steel Gaze


This neutral patterned upholstery provides some tonal play to the palette. HBF Textile’s Enriched Boucle pattern provides a more organic version of a crosshatch pattern. This medium-scale pattern provides a versatile solution for upholstery as it uniquely blends visual texture and graphic patterns.

Sustainability Highlights: The material contains approximately 60% of recycled content and is SCS Certified for indoor air quality/ low VOCs.

HBF Textiles – Enriched Boucle – Hazelnut



The sandy desert earth is represented by the Theory collection from Carnegie Fabrics. This warm neutral picks up the accent color in the patterned upholstery and the warmers elements in the floor tile. The softer, felted appearance of this upholstery helps allude to the organic nature of the outdoors. 

Carnegie – Theory – 43



The light blue is represented in this upholstery from HBF Textiles. The Jewel color in the Beetle collection has warm golden yarns woven within the fabric. This subtle effect helps tie together the warmer tones in the palette.

Sustainability Highlights: SCS Certified for indoor air quality/ low VOCs.

HBF Textile – Beetle – Jewel



Rounding out the palette is the green upholstery representing the Yucca plants. The fabric is from the Nettle Aztec collection by Camira Fabrics. The material is a blend of wool and nettle plants. This fibrous appearance brings out a southwestern aesthetic to the palette. 

Sustainability Highlights: The fabric’s materials are rapidly renewable and compostable and the fabric is SCS Certified for indoor air quality/ low VOCs.

Camira – Nettle Aztec – Maya


Stay tuned for another travel-inspired palette soon!

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Design to five is a blog enhancing the link between culture, travel, and design. The blog showcases products from local, sustainable, business from around the world, and travel-related content to encourage affordable, conscious, and educational adventures for design lovers.

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