Pools to Planters

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 our visions. We embarked on a hunt to use the same sapphire tones, while grabbing the colors of the caribe also. A mix of several blues were selected and the project commenced. It was a delight watching this master tile crew work. The surface prepared and the tiling began. The tiny tiles are on 12 x 12 sheets… placed on the surface and later grouted. I had always thought they were put in place one by one!!! Ha! This transition worked and our once dreary piscina (pool) now offered a dramatic, clean line punch. The lush greenery had been kept cut back, but we now welcome the leaves brushing the waters surface. And, yes, that is a shell covered working outdoor shower… used frequently!


To the front now for some true color and design. Again, the flower bed had been concrete and painted the color of the casa… no thank you. I wanted a rich spectrum of color, almost something magnetic to draw every eye. Celadon, sapphire, ocher and saffron tiles were selected. All these colors run throughout our casa in Mexico and in Texas. The tiles were carefully, yet randomly broken, so the puzzle could begin. The casa came with a charming, weathered ceramic sign that Felix reworked and used in the puzzle. Daily I notice tourists drive by in their golf cart, do a double take and a U-turn, to have their picture made in front of the simple, yet surprising plaque. The guys worked rain or shine and the outcome was better than I expected. The garden is lush now… even to the point that I need to “weed out” a few things.

Yet another peek into our approach to remodel, attention to detail (by talented locals) and a desire to make you want to stop and notice. Enjoy the pics!  -E

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