Thanks to last week’s MexFest, all things Mexico are in the spotlight, with everything from fashion to art getting a mention. I’m taking it one step further by having a look at Mexican home design and decoration. After all, if fashion’s taking note, our homes won’t be far behind.
While there are individual elements to captivate, I like the fact that it’s rich in culture, blending traditional Spanish with the influence of Mayan and Aztec natives. Last year, Aztec was in but there’s nothing stopping us from updating our home’s style to reflect a deeper appreciation of the design-forward culture.
The Mexican palette is a wash of colour which stands out against earthy, warm tones like terracotta clay, brick, rust and lighter, sandy shades. If you think of a colour, you can bet that it’ll have its vibrant equivalent with everything from orange, red and yellow to greens and blues popping up on walls, rugs, tablecloths, cushions and even ceramic tiles in kitchens and outdoor spaces. For an added boost, the colours clash in print after print. If it’s energy you’re after, it’s definitely a style worth replicating.
A true Mexican fan will embrace the handmade and invest in woven textures from their chairs to their tapestry wall art. Where chairs aren’t woven, they’re very similar in style, like this bright blue model from Sentou which has a solid steel frame and plastic seat coating.
Furniture has a rustic appeal, achieved through pine, reclaimed wood and wrought iron (for scrollwork) and this is finished, where appropriate, with a coating to provide the weathered wooden look that we so often seek out. While lighter furniture is often used in keeping with the warm earthy palette base, you’ll often find darker finishes alongside it to provide a bit of a contrast and more importantly, depth.
Most iconic though is the repeated use of tiling from one room to another. Floors are lined with terracotta tiles, while talavera are dotted around mirrors and doorways. You’ll even find them on walls to produce fantastic murals and borders and spread across steps to help distinguish the different height levels.
If you’re inspired by the Mexican style, post your painting or tiling job and up to three local tradesmen will get in contact with you. Have a look at their profile pages for ratings and qualifications before choosing the right one for you.