Design Inspiration: Tropical Mexico

Design Inspiration: Tropical Mexico

Apologies to anybody who happens to be stuck in the snow at this time, but I am on the beach in Mexico, in a little town just south of Puerto Vallarta. The beauty of the tropics never fails to stun me.

The colors are brighter, sure, but the lighting is also distinct and the textures too. It’s the perfect vibe to bring home, but how to move it? I can not exactly put a palapa roof within my home or plant a garden full of tropicals at San Francisco.

By taking a closer look in the colors and textures of those tropical environments, I found some basic strategies to translate them into decoration. I really don’t require a full sunset in my walls, but a sign of the tropics can help me deliver a feeling of relaxation home.

Sunsets are often a mixture of the vibrant and the impartial — Mother Nature knows a thing or two about balance. Take inspiration from the gorgeous oranges, peaches, grays and beiges at a Mexican shore.

Kimball Starr Interior Design

This balance of bright and impartial means nobody will go blind. This sunset-colored room is vibrant but somehow too relaxing — exactly like the real thing.

The sea is not always grim. In Mexico it ranges from blue to green, with everything in between. This brilliant teal colour is my favorite — do not you just wish to jump in?

Abbe Fenimore Studio Ten 25

This room does not immediately scream tropical, but its colors will be the exact same soothing blues, teals and whites as the Mexican sea. Stick to those natural but exotic hues to create a subtle tropical-styled space.

Old whitewashed brick is over south of the border. It’s not what you’d normally think of as tropical, but it’s a really old Mexican fashion. This brick comes with an authentic charm and a superb texture, and it offers a wonderful neutral backdrop for those colorful accessories.

Amy Lau Design

I really like older, exposed brick in interiors. It has amazing texture and lends a certain elegance to a room — it’s the decorating equivalent of smoking a pipe.

Mexican pink is a really specific color — bright, joyful and almost glowing. You see it on walls, fabrics and rugs here, but also in the amazing tropical flora.

Eric Ross Interiors, LLC

Pink furniture brings instant cheer to a house. Here are at least three shades of pink paired with orange to get a bright, glossy and eclectic look.

Palapa (palm frond) color umbrellas on the beach in Puerto Vallarta are a great example of the natural, earthy style the tropics offer. This side of Mexican decoration is readily translated into a staid and colonial look.

Shoshana Gosselin

Grass-cloth wallpaper (used in panels) adds a tropical but also traditional and colonial feeling to this soothing bedroom.

Weathered hand-painted signs are all over Mexico. It’s a look that is very hard to re-create (because time has done all the work on these authentic pieces), but that does not mean that they can not function as inspiration.

Kailey J. Flynn Photography

The literal cosmetic translation is to use an old hint as part of your decoration. This weathered beauty looks perfect hanging out with its modern friends.

The literal decor translation would be to incorporate naturally weathered items such as this old china cupboard. Search for antiques that show a little wear and tear, or attempt sanding down an inexpensive colored piece of furniture to get a similar look.

inhabiting Around the World: Mexican Modern

Escape: Down Old Mexico Way

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