December 19, 2018

Christmas in the Caribbean is one dreamy delight of our beachy lifestyle. With our Christmas plans up in the air, I embarked on creating a coastal Christmas on Isla. And then, staying true to our love of Mexico with its colorful lure, our Texas decor had to be Feliz Navidad y’all!! I reflected on a tradition, brought to Mexico by the Spanish and now an important form of Mexican folk art… vibrant-colored tissue paper flowers... to adorn our Texas mantle. The papier-mache’ colorful longhorn was created in Mexico and purchased in Round Top this fall. Embroidered stockings were custom made in Isla and monogrammed in Texas. Inside and out, we celebrate the season with all of the brilliant colors we love, that take us back to our island home.

Our Isla tree was designed using locally bought Christmas ornaments (colorful ornaments and glittery reindeer)… but with the added embellishment of local...

October 10, 2018

That wonderful time of year when school commences, sounds from the football field return, the leaves turn to brilliant hues and the temperatures give us a hint of what is to come. It is autumn and our thoughts turn to soups and stews, jackets and sweaters and the possibility of a warm fire in a stone fireplace. Autumn is a a time to play with rich textures in food, personal style and home decor. And for the budget minded, the autumn decor can actually be used from September thru November!!! That is gives me great delight to invest in quality seasonal decor, knowing full well that it will last through Halloween and Thanksgiving, with only a few tweaks! A jack-o-lantern is effortlessly replaced with a ceramic turkey or a pair of pilgrims. Bargain!!!

This year, so far, I had some renewed inspirations, especially after spending some quality time antiquing at the ROUND TOP ANTIQUE FAIR, a semi...

September 26, 2018

I’m headed back from doing some early bird shopping at the Round Top Antique Fair, as you are reading this post!!! Stay tuned next week, and see which collections I increased on this shopping trip! -- E                           
 

July 18, 2018

With the tranquil, turquoise waters in the background and the calm texture of sand crunching beneath my two dollar flip-flops, I stopped abruptly at the sight on the curb. I hadn’t seen this before on the island, but then again I stay surprised. A young man, intent on his task, chipped away at a rectangular piece of wood from interior Yucatan. His “hammer," fashioned from another piece of wood, hit the machete boldly, as the metal tip honed away wood chips, piece by piece. Thankfully, the machete never slipped, as his legs were his table. Angel, his Mexican name, not to be confused with his Mayan name, worked tirelessly on transforming the raw wood into a replica of a Mayan mask. Now I have seen many Mayan masks, skillfully painted in deeper colors than I prefer, available for purchase on the island, but I have never witnessed the craftsman bearing time worn tools actively revealing the...

June 27, 2018

Now the fun begins! Introducing that authentic touch with the Mexican flair that we adore, by bringing in layers of Mexican history, with the dramatic influences of old hacienda doors, shipped to the island from interior Mexico. Not an easy or inexpensive task, but then we have a secret weapon. Our wonderful friend, craftsman and artist, Raul, who now lives in Aquascalientes, Mexico (which, you may remember from previous posts, we have been lucky enough to visit). Raul and his amor, searched flea markets surrounding the old colonial town of Aquascalientes for the pieces of fascination that would add dramatic influence to our casa. I sent Raul countless pictures of my dream rooms, so he could get a sense of the seamless harmony I had in mind for the casa, and understand the eclectic style I wanted to evoke. Thankfully, Raul already knew our style well, so it didn’t take much to spark his...

June 20, 2018

Back inside the casa this week for a look at one of our easiest projects. The casa was perfect now, except for one thing… and that was only one bano (bathroom). The master bedroom was attached to an oversized bodega (storage room), so we decided to simply cut through the wall between the two and there it was… a bano just waiting for transformation!!! Still needing a tiny bodega to store a ladder and some paint cans, we simply went forward four feet and a new bodega was formed.

The old bodega (to become a bano) simply needed plumbing and additional electrical work. Tiles for floor and for walls were discovered at Home Depot in Cancun and brought over by ferry, as well as the toilet. Sink, plumbing fixtures and glass blocks all available on the island (which while being slightly more expensive, the delivery cost is tiny), so it really was more of a convenience decision. A wood table pu...

June 13, 2018

We are taking a quick stroll back outside this week. Tile, tile and more tile for these two transformations. THE tile guy on Isla is Felix… I have watched him work on many projects at El Milagro, and his attention to detail caught my eye. Felix can cleverly and artfully transform a blank space into a piece of fascination with a distinctive Mexican flare. He can produce stunning effects with a square tile piece or an intentionally broken one. Watch as he transforms our dipping pool into a continuation of the tranquil caribe waters. And then, with a more vivid impact, he takes advantage of my love of vibrant hues and a found object, to make our casa an ultimate example of the unique style of Mexico.

The existing dipping pool had originally been outlined with a deep, rich, sapphire blue tile, so we let that set the stage. The bowl of the pool was simply painted, and that simply didn’t suit o...

June 6, 2018

Perfect pair of palapas in the works and the day finally came. Kitchen demolition was about to change my neat, clean casa into a disaster! Having been through a kitchen remodel in our Texas casa, I knew the drill... or so I thought. I could never have been prepared for the amount of dust that demolishing cinder blocks (homes building blocks) could produce. The cabinets had been previously removed and I had been left to play with a blank, empty floor plan for a week. The crew even built lean- to countertops for me to see how the space “felt”. We were keeping the original footprint and existing plumbing and gas connections. I moved the coffee pot around the makeshift space, deciding where the coffee bar should be, as well as the ice chest... you know, the fridge... for correct placement. I even went so far as to put a small lamp on the plywood counters to create, you know, ambience!

And the...

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