Former Olympic and National team rower, representing the United States at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Mueller, one of the most successful men’s rowers in Wisconsin history, begins his third season as the Badgers’ freshmen coach. With its ancient boulder formations, sculptural Joshua trees and towering cacti, there’s something otherworldly about the high desert landscape of Yucca Valley. Often the rugged terrain can enhance the visual impact of man-made structures rising from it. Such would be the case for this visually arresting residence that’s just come on the market, though the property is plenty striking enough in its own right.
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Located on almost 41 rocky acres near Pioneertown, an unincorporated community that started out in the 1940s as a film set for Westerns, the home is reached via a private two-mile road originally used for filming stagecoach scenes. Known as Le Haute Desert Aerie, the compound was hand-built over the course of several years by Eric Mueller, an artist and furniture designer.
Informed by Mueller’s travels, the property’s design incorporates Tibetan, Indonesian, Indian, and Moroccan elements. A stone portal heralds the path to the main house, which features a front door of antique Indian provenance. Within the 3,360-square-foot residence are three bedrooms and three bathrooms, including one with a circular sunken tub built into a niche with windows on two sides and a Moroccan chandelier suspended overhead.
Per Dirt, A carved portal leads from the primary suite to the terra cotta-tiled dining room with vaulted beamed ceilings and walls of windows. In the living room, Mueller’s artistic embellishments include the fireplace mantel studded with fragments of stained glass and ceramics, built-in library niche, and hand-painted ceiling. Made to look rustic, the kitchen is in fact perfectly modern and includes a four-burner cooktop set into an island.
Elsewhere on the solar-powered property, which has served as a location for weddings, film, and photo shoots, there’s a Quonset hut art studio, two remodeled Airstream trailers, a rock spa, and a meditation room built into a rock peak.
The off-the-grid compound is listed with Mike and Maria Patakas of Desert Sotheby’s International Realty at an asking price of $2.85 million.
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