Creating the ultimate Mexico-style home

Mexico style at home. Photo: Courtesy
  • Mexico style at home. Photo: Courtesy

Last week I wrote about one of the top two décor styles most folks select for their homes in Mexico – beach style. This week, we will focus on the other favorite décor style among expats – Mexico style.

One of the reasons people prefer this style is because they love the vibe and vitality of Mexico. The southwestern decor style, also referred to as Santa Fe style, evokes feelings of warmth and comfort. By adding key pieces such as Mexican Talavera pottery, blankets and vibrant color schemes, you achieve the added dynamic feel of Mexico.

Color is a cornerstone of this style, yet must be used wisely. To keep from overpowering with color, use a warm, rich neutral color on walls, and the bright colors in accents. Start with a wall color reminiscent of the desert landscape. One of my favorite wall colors for this décor style is Behr’s Adobe Sand. It’s a perfect backdrop to make those colorful décor pieces pop.

For window treatments, opt for shutters, coverings of natural materials or fabric drapery made from a heavier weight fabric such as canvas, burlap or thicker cotton. Neutral colors are best since again, you want the focus to be your décor items and not overwhelming.

The best choice in flooring to achieve the Mexico style is with warm terracotta tiles. Remember to include a sprinkling of brightly colored accent tiles either once every few feet or in a border. You can also add bright accent tiles as a back splash or on counter tops in your kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor terrace.

For furniture, go oversize. Select a few, large pieces rather than many smaller pieces. Large wood headboards, chests and chunky cabinets are perfect. For wood, pine is a good option, especially when it is finished with a natural wax stain. The more knots and imperfections in the piece, the better.  Pine will work in our climate as long as it is pre-treated for termites and kiln-dried, so it does not crack or bow. Select one or two wood pieces and stain them in a distressed bright color to really make a statement. A distressed sofa table in a bright red, yellow or teal is stunning in a dining or living room. Wrought-iron furniture and items with antique forged iron handles also make great signature pieces.

For the sofa or sectional, select a frame with a relaxed style and a performance cover in a neutral color. If you prefer leather, a natural color such as Palliser’s Dallas Saddle is an excellent choice. Give it life with colorfully patterned cushions in teal, rust, and sun-yellow.

Décor items should all be bold and colorful. Striped serapes can be thrown over sofas, ends of beds and even used as decoration on walls. Woven rugs and pillows will pull the look together. Talavera pottery, candles and copper décor add the finishing touches. For lighting, choose wrought-iron lamps, candle holders and wall sconces. Make sure to keep all illumination soft to bring out the warmth and vibrancy of the walls and décor.

For more info on this décor style, email me at

Sheryl Novak is an expat from Canada who has owned a home in Mexico for over 10 years. She is the owner of SOLutions Mexico, an online furniture store and an expert on sourcing all styles of furniture, for all budgets, in Mexico. Buying a home in Mexico? Email to get a free home inventory list.