Nestled into the desert mountains of the Baja peninsula, overlooking the warm azure waters of the Sea of Cortez, sits a spectacular holiday escape that blends perfectly into its surroundings, incorporating traditional Mexican architectural elements with a calm scheme that draws influence from its natural environment.
‘My Canadian clients could easily have built a home twice this size,’ explains interior designer Sandra Espinet, ‘but they felt it was important that the home respects the views and the mountain it sits upon.’
This sensitive approach extends to the design of the house itself: terracotta roof tiles, stucco walls, iron details and cantera stone feature prominently in a nod to indigenous Mexican design and materials. ‘The tiles we used are also inspired by the country, as well as the brick-domed ceilings and wooden beams in the ceiling,’ Sandra points out.
It’s only when it comes to other aspects of the interior design that a more unique approach transpires. ‘We freshened everything up by adding a natural Baja feel to the colour palette.’
This meant that in contrast to the strong colours of traditional Mexican interiors, more muted tones from the surrounding mountains and coast were chosen – along with those inspired by the region’s spectacular sunsets. Tans, creams and terracotta form the basis of the palette, while bright teals, greens and peacock-greens have been introduced to add a warm ambience. ‘It’s especially lovely at the end of the day, because the colours we’ve used blend with the sunset,’ Sandra says.
It’s not just about creating a visually stunning environment, however. With a steady flow of visitors and a family dog to consider, the aim was to ensure that the design should not only be beautiful, but practical, too.
‘We aimed to make it user-friendly and natural: there’s nothing shiny and no overly fancy antiques,’ explains Sandra. Instead, the home is filled with more rustic-looking pieces, along with many custom-made pieces designed by Sandra specifically to fit the pared-down, relaxed style.
Creating a beautiful outdoor living space for her client was extremely important as it’s the area that is used the most when the house is occupied. ‘The weather in Baja is perfect all year round and the outside is where most meals are eaten and where everyone seems to congregate,’ Sandra says. ‘The massive pool is incredible and the central firepit and seating within it is perfect for sundowners… it’s a great space to take in the views.
‘On one side of the home you can see the town of San Jose del Cabo and on the other, there is the Sea of Cortez. It’s an amazing vista… but that was always the intention with this project – to put nature first and allow the home to fit easily within it. I could talk about design all day, but the reality is that my work will always be second to the greatest designer in the world: Mother Nature.’
Sanda Espient is an interior designer based in Los Cabos and Los Angeles. ‘My style is ever changing, depending on the client and their home’s location. Mother Nature is the most creative designer I know, so it’s easy to be inspired by a property’s surroundings – something I’d recommend to anyone decorating their own home. Sometimes, of course, one has to look for other elements – in an urban setting, for example, different influences will come into play… perhaps artwork or iconic architecture.’