Thursday, January 7, 2010

Virtual Vacation: Mexico


As much of the country settles in for a bitterly cold weekend, I can't help but daydream a bit about being somewhere (anywhere!) else. Some place warm, sunny, beautiful and near the water is just the ticket to chasing away the winter blues. Besides, after limping my way through my first week back after a 10 day vacation, I'll admit that I (quite unjustifiably) feel that I'm due for another break already. After all, there's nothing like going on vacation to make you crave more time off.

This Mexican beach house was designed by Chicago-based Kara Mann. Featured in Western Interiors' October/November 2008 edition, this house eschews stereotypical hacienda-style in favor of a modern-rustic sensibility. Dark wood beams and trim are strong counterpoints to the soft white walls and create architectural interest, but are more streamlined and polished than the large, rough-hewed beams typically featured in Mexican interiors.

Perhaps the thing I respect Kara Mann most for is her clean, uncluttered style. Each piece of furniture, each accessory is chosen with extreme care and it shows: they're all pretty darn special, even if they're more understated in nature. There aren't a dozen pillows crammed on the sofa, but the two throw pillows that are there really make a statement. The larger pillow fabric is Donghia's suzani print in pink passion and it's one of my all-time favorite prints. The coffee table is the brickmaker's table from Restoration Hardware and I love the age that it brings to the space.



The floor-to-ceiling fireplace surround is both rustic and minimal. Two mismatched (but quite stunning) side chairs invite cozy after-dinner conversations around the fire. The chartreuse chair is just about the only colorful piece of furniture in the space, but it picks up nicely on the colors in the patterned rugs and suzani-print pillows. The wingback chair's bold and architectural take on a classic shape is quite modern and reminds me of the Rand wingback that I have in my own living room.


I love how all the track doors can be opened up to create a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces. And with a view like that, all you need are some simple white curtains to frame the ocean.



Doesn't that bench out on the covered porch look like the perfect spot for an afternoon siesta?


The perfect spot for outdoor dining at dusk. Kara shows that there's no reason to forgo comfort and style with standard-issue patio furniture. Instead, why not opt for indoor furniture that can stand up to the elements?


Again, the transition from indoor to outdoor is seamless. I wish Kara's portfolio had a shot of the exterior of the house, which I can only imagine must be stunning given the location, deep porches and stone facade.


A great spot to escape the intense afternoon sun while still enjoying the view.


The first of three bedrooms. I love the mix here of modern and traditional. The navy blue sidetable is a great touch and really pulls out the blues in the photographs above it and the rug underneath. The wire-framed Louis XV-style chair is also an interesting, if unexpected, choice but perfectly suits the small space.

I featured this room recently on my post about canopy beds and I think this might be my favorite of the three bedrooms, primarily because of the arched windows and trim. The spareness of the wrought iron bed is also lovely and frames the bed just as the narrow dark crown molding does. The pink accents in the pillows pick up on the fuschia cushions in the living room and, together with the predominance of white and dark brown, create a sense of cohesion throughout the house.


I love, love, love this bathroom. There's just something so Old World about it, but with all the luxuries of the 21st century. The traditional tiles and antiqued vanity are gorgeous, but what really makes this space for me are those screened shutters and how the arc of the window echoes the arch separating the bathtub from the rest of the room.


I can never get enough of a big, dramatic headboard and this one really delivers. I can't help but think though that if the wallcolor were a bit darker (maybe a nice rust or chocolate?) then the headboard was shine all the more. I know though that a darker paint color goes against the open and airy feel of the house, but I think a dark, cool bedroom works just about everytime.


These two mirrors are gorgeous -- anyone know where they were sourced? The floor tile and backsplash are also a great nod to classic Spanish style. Perfecto!

25 comments:

pk @ Room Remix said...

Thank you so much for torturing me with these photos! As I sit in my office and watch the snow blowing outside my window I'll just try to imagine that instead I'm seeing the image in the first photo. :-) Gorgeous home...

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

Yes please!!!

Laura@JourneyChic said...

Love, love, love! The deep magenta accents in the living room are such a pretty contrast to the turquoise ocean right outside. Everything is perfect mix of cool and warm. Thansk so much for sharing! We're going on a warm-weather vacation next week and I can't wait!

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

I feel like I just had a design orgasm (oops! did I just say that?! ;)

Isabella & Max Rooms said...

Where can I book this for a trip?! The architecture appeals to me with the arches against clean lines, of course the views. It is one of the most restful spots I've laid my eyes on recently.
Janell

Nichole said...

That beach house is amazing! I didn't see one thing that I didn't love.

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Gorgeous, I would not have guessed that it was in Mexico. Like you said, everything is special, but the pillows are amazing.

Christy said...

Gorgeous. The outdoor table, the bedside tables, and those surfing pictures on the wall of the bedroom are my favorite things. Now I want to go to Mexico too! We did indeed wake up to snow this morning! Again!

Gina said...

Gorgeous! I am always hoping for more time off...thank goodness my company closes on MLK and President's Day. It's a nice way to break up the monotony.

annechovie said...

That place is gorgeous, but the first photo is breathtaking! Have a great weekend and stay warm, Averill.

SogniSorrisi said...

What a great post. This kind of design style just speaks to me and the beach isn't bad either!

Anonymous said...

kara mann is amazing!!!! i love her work!

Couture Carrie said...

OMG I am in LOVE with this house!

Stunning post, darling!

xoxox,
CC

Cristin said...

What a beautiful design. The bathroom is my favorite too and agree it has an old world charm about it. The bedroom with that gorgeous headboard is second on my list.

Thanks for the vaca! It is not that cold in california, but I would take a trip south in a heart beat.

xo,
cristin

Dumbwit Tellher said...

It almost hurts to look at. I know worship at the church of Kara Mann. Absolutely fabulous, each and every room. How hard to look at when it's 28F outside. Such fun to see her work & the amazing scenery. Hope 2010 is off to a good, although cold start for you both Averill?!

Style Redux 2 said...

Freezing here-could use to escape. Love the arched windows.

Southern Aspirations said...

FANTASTIC post, Averill! I adore the creamy whites with the dark brown wood accents- whether rafters in the ceilings, chests in the bath, or table/chair legs. Totally inspires to head to Mexico... or maybe Morocco? Many of these pics will go to my "save" file!

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

I simply adore the first bedroom. Love the blue accents!

Kellie Collis said...

Oh yes, i would happily come on this trip with you! x

maureen @ The Inglenook Decor said...

A getaway in the winter, that's what we all need! Gorgeous images! A lot of homes in our countryside are hacienda-style {of course not modern like this but the architecture is the same} so it brings back memories. Those shutters look like they have capiz tiles...amazing!

compulsively compiled said...

I've been needing a little vacation, thanks for providing it! What a view.

Elie's Papel said...

What an amazing resort!!! definitely will go on my "where I want to go" list... thanks!

Patch said...

Wow. Gorge! Just gorge.
By the way, we moved into our new apartment in San Diego...!!! Beautiful living space, here we come!

Sherman Unkefer said...

These photos were great! I loved them! It is a beautiful space.

Sherman Unkefer said...

I keep coming back to theses photos wishing I could be there!

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