Friday, January 30, 2009

More Global Color Influences: San Miguel De Allende Jan 6-16

I was recently able to escape the cold and snow for a week by visiting my favorite colonial town in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende. Everywhere you look in this very artistic, quaint mountain town you see beauty in the surroundings of the local Mexicans. My friend was able to show me around several renovated homes in the area, which gave me a lot of inspiration for my future kitchen and bath designs. The first home was in the process of being renovated by a woman originally from Edina, Minnesota. She added a new floor and completely gutted and changed the floor plan. She did the basic structure all in shades of white and light gray and assured me that she would use splashes of red in dishes, rugs and artwork. Notice the lack of wall cabinets in the kitchen and the concrete counters, sink and concrete rope molding on the open shelves. The local stone is called Cantera and it is used everywhere. She was able to locate the “rare” white version nearby in another mountain town for her floors and steps. Additional beams were reproduced to match with the concrete. I can’t wait to see the finished home and I will try and post photos later with her permission.

The second home was also very interesting to me because it was the home/studio/gallery of an American artist. She is known for her bronze sculptures, but is currently showing handmade paper art pieces, which are very sculptural in their own right. Her space is amazing! She completely gutted the space and with the help of a like-minded architect made a very open, contemporary space which truly reflected her personality and her unique, creative art! The main floor functioned as her living space/gallery and the kitchen was a rounded bar right in the middle. Again, no wall cabinets here. The staircase wall behind became room to display her beautiful art! The stove, sink and dishwasher were hidden behind the bar and the refrigerator, tall cabinets and bar sink were located on the wall to the left of the kitchen bar. Everything was very planned, esthetically beautiful and all in tune with showcasing her art. The colors were all neutrals, grays, white and black, but she used texture to make it all very interesting (which in turn tied in with the texture of the paper pieces). There is also a photo of the bathroom which used a lot of natural elements.

The third home was completely gutted and located on a hillside so that you entered the house by going down to the main level in an enclosed, expansive stone staircase with teal and fuchsia walls. The inside was sectioned into three separate “apartments” for a women from New York and her mother. The colors used were more typically Mexican with lime green, bright yellow and orange in the main floor living space and other contemporary color combinations in both women’s apartments. The mother had previously been an artist and her art was perfect in the colorful environment! The kitchens had teal-stained concrete and typical yellow Mexican tile, open shelves with bright Mexican dinnerware and glasses and an interesting glass cover on top of the range. I very much related to this home because the colors were my “soul’s desire” and I could see myself living in this cheerful space. She also had an interesting study, outdoor lower patio and a GORGEOUS rooftop with all my favorite colors, including lime green and aqua. She designed a typical Mexican Palupa, but took it up an extra notch with her own version of “Global Color.” The first photo of this entry is me on their great rooftop - I feel like I am in lime green/aqua heaven!

I hope these photos also give you some inspiration and take you away from this gloomy weather we seem to be stuck in. If you want to learn more about San Miguel de Allende, try this interesting memoir: “On Mexican Time: A New Life in San Miguel” by Tony Cohan.

The home I stayed in is available to rent from my friend here in Minneapolis.
Please contact me for more information on this contemporary 3-bedroom home with 2 baths and 4 patios within walking distance to center of town and surrounding art schools.

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