Where the Dome Has No Name: A Geodesic Desert Retreat in Joshua Tree

Comforting. Nurturing. Enveloping. This dome-shaped home in Joshua Tree, CA, elicits feelings you just can't get from a traditional straight-edge home, says listing agent Chris Menrad.

Priced at $339,000, the home sits on over 2 acres of desert near the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. Whether as a full-time residence or vacation home, this is an oasis that packs a ton of character.

While some may find the unique structure off-putting or intimidating, Menrad says when people enter the home for the first time they are pleasantly surprised.

"People are impressed with the volume of the space," Menrad said. "It's not just a square box. You really get a sense of the architecture."

Serving as the hub of the home, the kitchen is surrounded by a living room, dining room, and master suite downstairs. A spiral staircase leads to two bedrooms, an office, and a loft. With plentiful windows and skylights, the entire space is filled with natural light and offers amazing desert views.

Surrounded by native plants, including Joshua trees made famous worldwide by the band U2, this Southern California property has an isolated desert vibe but all the benefits of nearby stores, restaurants, and a bustling local art scene. It's just over 30 miles to Palm Springs.

There are neighbors across the street and nearby, but the house sits amid desert scrub. "It's nothing like being right on top of each other as in a traditional neighborhood," Menrad said.

Built in 1983, the home is modeled after the geodesic dome design made popular by architect Buckminster Fuller who believed in "doing more with less." Because dome homes require fewer materials to build, they are cost-effective.

They're also sturdy and efficient to heat and cool -- a bonus in the Joshua Tree area where the temperature can swing wildly. Also, dome homes are just cool -- living in one is like living in your own giant snow globe.

If there are any downsides to dome homes, Menrad says people find them a bit more challenging to decorate because there are so many rounded edges. But this dome has built-in bump-outs and dormers, creating angles to place furniture. It also incorporates hexagonal details (including the amazing windows) throughout.

"A creative buyer will enjoy furnishing it in a fun way," Menrad says.

Cookie cutter this isn't. However, if you're looking for a unique property with character, this dome just may be your perfect new home.