Decorating & Design
May 30, 2011
Vacation Home In San Miguel
This past March, I visited the gorgeous city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for the second time, and fell in love all over again. (If you missed my post from last spring, click here.) This time, we rented a Spanish Colonial home nestled in the mountains. It’s actually a new-build, but has the aged patina and timeworn charm of an old Mexican home. We’re actually eager to rent this home yearly as a winter getaway. Here are some of my favourite photos from the courtyard, interiors, rooftop and gardens:
This was the first area I saw when I walked into the building. A lush plant-filled courtyard complete with a koi pond. It was a heavenly welcome. All of the columns were brand new but felt like stone antiques and had soft hand-painted patterns in the arches.
This is the staircase to the second floor at the far end of the courtyard. The crisscross pebble detail added pattern and the honed stone was amazing to walk on. The recessed wall lighting illuminated the treads and looked simply beautiful as the sun started to set.
This space was like an indoor-outdoor area where the staircase met the second floor to the left. I remember when those tin star lamps were totally popular in Canada back in the ’80s and here they were again — but you know, I totally loved it here. It made sense as they are made locally in Mexico. At night, this one illuminated the ceiling with twinkling stars. Heaven again!
And this is the view back to the hills of San Miguel on one part of the rooftop garden.
There was a stunning jacaranda tree up there on the roof.
The bougainvillea trees like this one clashed so beautifully with the terracotta walls.
And look how pretty the blooms look in a simple glass vase on a tray in the hallway.
I loved this grouping of Italian-style cypress trees that provided privacy and framed the structure of the patio.
This was the staircase to the rooftop patio on the next level. Notice how the bougainvillea from the courtyard below spills over the railing — gorgeous! The tilework on the steps is quintessential Mexican design and the whimsical stone mermaid up at the top seemed to keep watch over the house from above.
Locally-made patterned iron gates provided security between the indoor and outdoor areas but still let the air and light flow in.
This was the view through the main living room which featured a wood beamed ceiling at a soaring 15 feet high, a large archway to mark the dining area, plenty of large scale wood furniture and, of course, iron chandeliers. Every room in the house had french doors leading to an outdoor area of some sort.
The highlight of the kitchen was the massive hood over the stove and all of the gorgeous terracotta or hand-painted tiles and dark wood cabinetry.
Special touches included an antique leather saddle displayed as a piece of art in the front courtyard’s arcade, highlighted by a gorgeous iron sconce. An oxidized tiered lantern set against a brick arched ceiling created ambiance in the backyard’s arcade.
This was my bedroom looking toward the french doors that opened to the garden. The panels over the screened bottom section of the doors was a practical detail — they could be opened at night for amazing air flow without the bugs.
I loved the intricate metal work on the headboard.
And the elegant lines on the stone fireplace across from the bed — plus even more french doors!
The bathrooms each featured bath tubs like this one with gorgeous blue and green tilework and gracious steps.
The sinks were hand-painted with floral motifs. I wouldn’t even consider putting a sink like this in my house here, but it was gorgeous there.
I nearly fainted when I saw the size of the walk-in closet.
For me, though, the highlight of the property was all of the water features like this tiered pond that was tucked in at the side of the house with orange trees that we used to make fresh orange juice.
And of course the backyard’s stunning dark-bottom pool with a stone clad hot tub at one end.
This photo was taken from a patio behind the hot tub. The tall grasses added privacy.
Here you can a second patio arcade with loads of seating built around the pool.
That’s me sitting in the shade by the pool.
For bird watchers, the backyard was paradise. Local birds would visit daily, like this sweet yellow bird perched on a frond over the waterfall from the hot tub.
Most remarkable was that this Spanish Colonial gem was neatly hidden behind a wall much like this one so that no one would ever know it was there.