Inside An Artist’s Secluded Mexican Retreat
Sitting on a hill overlooking the Sierra la Laguna mountains near the tip of Baja, Mexico, lies Vancouver artist Patricia Larsen’s home. With the Pacific Ocean in the distance and miles of desert in between, the simple 1,300-square-foot, one-bedroom concrete-block-and-plaster house is located 45 minutes outside of Cabo San Lucas. The spartan structure is so sympathetic to the brutal beauty of this setting that it seems to be an integral part of its surroundings — an observation that makes Patricia smile. “I wanted it to look like it was part of the earth,” she says. Architect Julio Gomez, a young Mexican architect from Oaxaca who shared her aesthetic, helped her create exactly what she had envisioned: “a contemporary house with a clean, modern, timeless feeling.” Click through to go inside the breathtaking home.
To help it blend into the environment, the house was painted a color that closely matches the earth, and the sparse garden is focused on desert-friendly native plants.
For a dramatic contrast to the wicker settee’s stark simplicity, Patricia stained the raw plaster walls in the open-air studio-sitting room with a mix of mud, graphite and plaster. The table is made out of a hunk of weather-beaten wood she found and placed on bricks as a base. To match the natural mood of the decor, Patricia’s daughter wove a seat out of local rope for the old metal Acapulco chair.
The living and dining rooms are divided by a dual-sided brick fireplace in the center. The home’s open plan and neutral palette make it easy to swap furniture from one room to the next. Casually placed beneath a simple farmhouse dining table, a cowhide rug is perfectly in sync with the rustic decor.
Open shelves in the living room serve as both storage and display for Patricia’s collection of Mexican pottery and natural artifacts.
In the living room, fabrics are casually layered — draping a closet, tossed over the sofa for a relaxed look.
In the airy kitchen, an unvarnished antique armoire and simple, open shelves store dishes, bowls and spices.
The kitchen’s raw-concrete sink is modern yet reminiscent of old farmhouse ones.
Patricia fashions vignettes around her home from candles, pottery and her own artwork.
Darkening the walls creates a poetic intimacy in the bedroom, as does the mosquito netting, which is a necessity in this part of the world. A vintage rug softens the feeling of rough concrete floors underfoot. Patricia put her own spin on the lantern by draping it in branches and jewelry.
The simple but beautiful hand-sewn clothes in Patricia’s closet are designed and made by her and sold locally under the label Campesino, which means peasant. The line also includes lighting and homewares.