Panel talk: Designing a dream life in Mexico

A past gala at the La Cienega Design Quarter. Photo: Getty
A past gala at the La Cienega Design Quarter. Photo: Getty
A past gala at the La Cienega Design Quarter. Photo: Getty

Amid the flash and flair of the largest interior design fair in the U.S., one session will discuss escaping to a more tranquil existence.

“Creating an Exit Strategy: Buying, Designing and Building a Dream Life in Mexico,” a panel discussion, features Mérida designer and real estate agent Keith Heitke; and design author Annie Kelly, whose recent book features the homes of Mérida.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

The event takes place 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Downtown, the eclectic Los Angeles showroom owned by Robert Willson and David Serrano, whose fabulous Mérida home is included in Kelly’s book and was featured in Architectural Digest last summer.

Designer Jeffry Weisman of Fisher Weisman, San Francisco and San Miguel de Allende; and architect Manolo Mestre of Mexico City are also on the panel, moderated by Michael Wollaeger, who until recently was design editor of Interiors magazine.

Heitke has devoted years to educating English-speaking audiences to the potential of a new life in Mérida. Not only has his video series brought Yucatán expat life into view, but his house and garden tours were an essential part of any visitor’s itinerary until he concluded them last year.

When the discussion concludes, Annie Kelly and photographer Tim Street-Porter will sign copies of “Casa Mexico: At Home in Mérida and the Yucatan.”

Elsewhere, other panelists will address topics such as “Identity Theft: Maintaining Personal Identity in a Professionally Designed Home” and “Collected: Living With the Things You Love in A Well Curated Home”

The panels are part of Legends, a festive three-day event in the La Cienega Design Quarter, a neighborhood in West Hollywood that has become a home-décor destination.

More than 65 storefronts are handed to an interior designer — such as Nina Campbell or Nate Berkus — who transforms it to a high-concept art piece. Legends also offers trunk shows and cocktail parties, launched with a gala.

Attendance to the panel discussions is free, but a ticket to the keynotes and parties costs $75. 

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