I’ve always told Carlos that when retirement comes — and it cannot come too soon — I’d like to settle in Merida, Mexico, near the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula … or … maybe high in the mountains in San Miguel de Allende, a slight trek north of Mexico City. Both places are arty and historic and just so beautiful, but, this week, it’s Merida where I need to live.
This home, located in the city’s historic center sits on an oddly shaped patch of land that made it slightly more difficult to reimagine the former colonial home into something a bit more modern, but I think they worked it out just fine.
The original house is just sixteen feet wide and some 131 feet long, with an irregular “L” shaped bend at the back. In addition, the walls on either side are shared with neighbors which caused a difficulty of access to machinery and construction tools.
But, as I said, or Tim Gunn said, they “made it work.”
The ground floor consists of a main hall, a wine cellar — and goddess knows I loves my wines, a guest bathroom and double height indoor garden; the open plan living, dining and kitchen are just beyond, and a garden with a small pool is just steps away.
Upstairs are the private areas; a guest bedroom and bath, and the master bedroom and bath with its own terrace overlooking the pool. These two bedrooms are connected by a bridge over the central garden.
Since the project is located in the historic center, it was governed by strict regulations, and so the first two bays of the existing property remain as they were; the original masonry walls and reinforced concrete slabs are preserved, but are enhanced by gray and white exposed concrete and wood with a walnut finish, and the gorgeous wall of brightly painted Mexican tiles.
The indoor garden gives the house more natural light, as well as ventilation. The interior is also integrated with the outside through the large windows at the back that can be fully opened, creating a single space between inside and out.
It’s the perfect place to retire … with a glass of wine and a dip in the pool.