El Dorado: Kit Williamson & John Halbach’s Colorful Joshua Tree Home

Kit Williamson and John Halbach of El Dorado Oasis standing in their kitchen featuring the Solid Bronze Textured Square Knob Kit Williamson and John Halbach of El Dorado Oasis standing in their kitchen featuring the Solid Bronze Textured Square Knob

Actors Kit Williamson and John Halbach have always had a unique relationship with the places that they’ve lived. Like many people today, their apartments were spaces where they ate, slept, entertained, and worked. In their profession, however, working looks a little different than the average nine-to-fiver.

Making The Right Move

During their time on “EastSiders,” a 16-time Daytime-Emmy-nominated LGBTQ+ dark comedy, their rental became a popular shooting location. Produced by Kit and featuring John in a key role, this series not only became a hallmark of their careers but also set the tone for their future as homeowners.

After writing scripts from bed and constant zoom calls during the pandemic, the couple decided it was time to purchase a home of their own—one that was practical for their lifestyle and would exude a “mid-century modern meets boho cowboy” aesthetic.

While making the move from downtown Los Angeles to Joshua Tree was a huge change, Kit and John had spent a lot of time in the area, even getting married there, and knew this community would welcome them with open arms.

“About a year and a half ago, I was out for a shoot for work and noticed businesses in the downtown area were starting to have Pride flags and Black Lives Matter signs,” John says. “There was a new wine store and a vegan restaurant, and I started to think, ‘Could we live in Joshua Tree?’”

Kit Williamson and John Halbach of El Dorado Oasis

High Desert Meets High Impact Design

Fast forward, the couple purchased a five-acre 1958 homestead in the middle of the desert. However, their first home was not the move-in-ready, Instagram-worthy paradise we see today. Instead, the space was essentially a “fiberglass insert with demonic fluorescent lighting,” Kit recalls.

Despite the space’s flaws, Kit and John saw its potential, especially in congruence with the surrounding terrain.

“We wanted to have that homestead cabin experience,” Kit adds. “The people who owned it before us made it livable and then we came in and made it gay.”

Living room of El Dorado Oasis with the Traeger Solid Brass Entrance Door Set with Knob in Satin Brass & Owl Brass Door Knocker

It didn’t take long for the pair to get to work on their new home, now dubbed “El Dorado Oasis,” completely revamping the living room and using clever solutions for unavoidable quirks. For example, the bathrooms came with no windows, and instead of drastically changing the home’s structure and layout, the couple decided to embrace it. Using Moroccan zellige tile, Kit and John created an illusion that added continuity to the space while adding texture and visual intrigue.

Bathroom of El Dorado Oasis with the 36" Frey Wall-Mount Vanity in Gray Wash, Bradenton Elongated Two-Piece Toilet

“A design element we really thought about was the idea of, ‘What picture do you take in every room?’,” John says. “We document our lives a lot through photography and video—we’ve even featured our homes in TV shows that we’ve made.”

Keeping the historic integrity of their home was another focus for the couple. In their kitchen remodel, the space came with a vintage O’Keefe & Merritt stove. However, the hardware did not match Kit’s vision for warm, golden metallics throughout.

“It originally posed an interesting problem for me because I don’t personally like silver accents,” Kit says. “And, obviously, we aren't changing out the hardware on this stove from the 1960s. So I was nervous at first about mixing metals, but after reading several design blogs, I came to the conclusion that as long as you do it with intention and sparingly, there isn’t conflict to the eye.”

Kitchen of El Dorado Oasis with the Solid Bronze Textured Square Knob

While the interior of their home is enough to leave any designer awestruck, some of the Oasis’ most inspiring spaces exist outside of its four walls. Of their home’s several exterior features, one of Kit and John’s favorites is the outdoor bathroom. Complete with a privacy fence, custom mural, and luxurious fixtures, Kit and John created a sanctuary that exudes extravagance and seclusion.

“The entire inspiration for the back area came after we fell in love with this black copper tub,” Kit says. “Then, of course, we knew we had to have an outdoor shower. So finding one that is freestanding was great because it meant we didn’t have to do as much hard work in terms of the plumbing. We could just connect it and go.”

Outdoor shower of El Dorado Oasis with the Willis Freestanding Waterfall Tub Faucet in Chrome

A Place For Work And Play

At the heart of their space, Kit and John created a home that would grow with them as creatives. Full of playful details and all-inclusive features, the El Dorado Oasis will soon come full circle for the couple, as it makes an appearance in Kit’s upcoming independent series titled “Unconventional.” According to Kit, the new show is an LGBTQ+ dark comedy set in the California desert that centers around a gay brother and a lesbian sister in a tangled web of family events.

No matter which way you look at it, Kit and John have proved that so often art truly does imitate life—and our homes are no exception. As for the El Dorado Oasis, this space is bound to hold a special place in this power couple’s future on and off the silver screen.

Kitchen of El Dorado Oasis with the Solid Bronze Textured Square Knob

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