Saturday, April 2, 2011

In a Mexico mood ...

Whenever the weather warms, I always think of Mexico and miss what were always fun, frequent trips across the border. Times have changed, and those great shopping expeditions from Nuevo Laredo to Monterrey have ceased with the violence that envelopes our southern neighbors.

Image via Spice Lines.

I truly miss seeing the beautiful Mexican architecture created by carpenters, masons and painters whose craft was honed over centuries and passed down from generation to generation.

Above, photos of a 17th century home in San Miguel de Allende (left) and Casa Lala (right).
We are fortunate to have many homes and commercial spaces here in San Antonio that reflect our close, cultural ties to Mexico, and I'm always joyful when shelter magazines highlight the beauty inherent in the humble casas as well as the grande haciendas.


Photos (above) from Mexican Style (left) and Southern Accents (right) highlight the rich, terracotta hues of the native clay and the seamless transition of living spaces that flow freely from indoors to out. I'm sure I'm drawn into a Mexican mood in part due to the characteristic color stories that enrich and enliven the abodes, and I love the fact that these spaces encourage communing with nature.

Image above via Kristi Black Designs. Photos below from realtor Dotty Vidargas (left) and Su Casa magazine (right).

For me, the most beautiful of Mexico's influence is seen in the primitive, jacale construction method for walls: use of native timber supports, then filled with reeds or thatch and held together with mud or clay plaster. This technique has held up for hundreds of years when protected by a stucco veneer, and it's at its most alluring when the vivid paints age to a perfect patina.

Photo of a 17th century San Miguel de Allende casco.
  Muy bonita. I miss you, Mexico!