Create a happy space with modern lines and the exuberant colors and art of Mexico
Houzz Contributor. I am a former magazine editor specializing in travel and design. I just completed my first remodel, turning my crumbling 1941 kitchen into a beauty of grays, whites and natural wood. If I could, I'd sleep on the countertop. That's how much I love it. You can also read my parenting blog on Baby Center http://blogs.babycenter.com/author/sschoech/
Houzz Contributor. I am a former magazine editor specializing in travel... More »
The problem with themed design is that it can so easily tip over into kitschy. No one really wants to live in a Moroccan souk, or a French bistro, or a summer camp cabin. We simply want to evoke the feeling, to remind ourselves of the places that bring about the relaxed, happy, peaceful versions of ourselves. One of my happy places is Mexico. But I don't live in a hacienda, and I don't want to do my kitchen up in Talavera tiles. I like clean, modern design. With just a touch of Mexican animo.
Color, color, color and then, just for fun, a little more color.
Solid color Otomi embroidery provides a pop of color without looking like you are trying for "exotic."
Saturated colors, especially bright pink, purple, or turquoise say "Mexico" without screaming "MEXICO!" It's the swaying palms and cobbled streets, minus the tequila shooters at Señor Frogs.
Clean, white walls provide a modern backdrop for the layers of color and texture. The wood-beam ceilings evoke the old hacienda while the dining room chairs covered in bright oilcloth add a little Mexican diner to the mix.
Modern, modern, modern and then — bam! — a row of colorful folk art masks. This gallery-like setting makes a vacation collection look like fine art.
One of the great things about Mexican design is the exuberant use of color. Here, contrasting but complementary colors meet at 90-degree angles to create architectural interest and enliven what would otherwise be a fairly ho-hum hallway.
Catholic iconography is a big part of Mexican art and design. This wall of old tin crosses and milagros, along with the altar-like mantel covered in candles, is reminiscent of an old Spanish mission. Without being somber.
Not all touches of Mexico have to be colorful. This cut-tin lamp in an otherwise subdued dining room adds just a hint of contrasting texture.
Papel picado, the brightly colored cut tissue seen at most Mexican parties, is an instant fiesta. How could anyone be grouchy with this hanging on the wall?
In an otherwise hyper-feminine bedroom, the addition of a Mexican cotton throw in pastel pink keeps this from being too princessy.
More: A Modern Mexican Paradise
Ideabook published on Feb. 9, 2012.
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