A home that balances modern and traditional

Julia Thomson Julia Thomson
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Today we venture south to take inspiration from a beautiful Mexican casa. This home displays many traditional Mexican building materials: white plaster, buff stones and bright patterned tiles.

However, the architects, Taller Estilo Arquitectura, have mixed these traditional materials in a modern way. The result is a home that is a beautiful blend of styles and eras--and eminently comfortable for its occupants.

Looking through Taller Estilo's portfolio, this balanced blend is a hallmark of all of their projects.

Scroll down for a masterclass in how to mix and match--modern and traditional, black and white, pops of colour--to create a comfortable, personalized home.

A courtyard of contrasts

Before we dive into the interior, let's dive into this beautiful pool area. The centrepiece is the pool itself with its dark lining that tints the water an inviting turquoise. The rectangle pool and smooth pavers are definitely modern. But the courtyard isn't at all harsh. The buff stone walls and lush gardens bordering the perimeter soften the more modern elements.

Beyond the pool, the bright blue Acapulco chairs and black framed windows hint at the unique interior that awaits.

Sunny sitting area

Step inside the glass doors, and we find ourselves in a sun-filled living room. A wall of glass makes this room almost an extension of the pool courtyard. Brass light fixtures, wood furniture, light grey upholstery, colourful art and bright accents--chartreuse, fuscia and yellow--add warmth to the all-white walls.

The chartreuse tile floor is a bold choice that gives the main living area personality.

Mix and match modern and traditional furniture

Beyond the sitting area, the tile continues into the dining area off the kitchen. The furnishings in this room show the flexibility of this home's aesthetic. Modern molded plastic chairs surround a very traditional wood table--and it all works.

Note: that the mix of traditional and modern furniture also exists in
the living room (background) with the traditional wood cabinet set beside the modern plywood chairs.

In the dining area, the chairs are neutral-black, white and grey set on light wood legs. The table itself has a dark finish that acts as a hit of black to ground the dining area. The pops come through a very judicious use of a few accessories, and of course that golden-green floor.

White kitchen with personality

Heading into the kitchen, the white envelope reigns here too. White walls and cabinets are punctuated with wood accents from the stools and buff coloured tile on the backsplash echoes the stone used elsewhere in the home.

The designers show they aren't afraid to mix metals, blending a trio of brass pendant lights over the peninsula with a stainless steel sink and faucet on the opposite wall.

Accessories like flowers, vases and jars add colour and interest, and a single stool adds that essential hit of black.

Embrace patterned tile

Stunning tile are a feature throughout this home. In the entry, the chartreuse tile stops to be replaced by light buff tiles which border beautiful patterned blue and white tiles. The bright colours and pattern are a strong reference to Mexican designs.

Again, the rest of the room is kept simple with fresh white walls. The Sputnik-esque brass light fixture contrasts with the very traditional table and chair.

Smooth plaster walls

Tile with personality is the standout feature also in this bathroom. Turquoise hexagon tile cover the floor, echoing the bright shades of blue seen elsewhere in the home.

The rest of room is kept wonderfully neutral thanks to beautifully smooth plaster on the walls, shelves and vanity. Neutral that is aside from the deep eggplant purple vase on the vanity and a small rustic teal cabinet underneath.

Simple bedroom with pops of colour

In the private spaces, like this bedroom, the decor is spare. The white linens, ceiling fan and lamps recede against the white walls. The simple lines of the black four-poster bed and the blue of the nightstands pop when placed against this neutral backdrop.

This simplicity allows the teal tile rug to stand out. Like in the foyer, rather than running the tile wall to wall, the designers chose instead to inset the tile within a light border. This decision adds interest to the space.

Bridging inside and out

In our final space, we return to the (almost) outside. The stone accent wall echoes the walls of the pool courtyard, while the outdoor shower just beyond the black framed glass doors makes this a true indoor-outdoor space.

Within the otherwise all white space, the electric green vase and yellow light fixture pop.

Like the rest of the house, the traditional and modern, inside and out, colours and neutrals come together to create a warm, balanced home.

What features stand out for you in this home? How do you add personality to your space?
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