Mexico is a colourful country full of handcrafted tiles, folk art and cacti. It’s exactly this legacy of low-maintenance plant life and traditional craft that make it a rich hunting ground for inspiring décor ideas and vibrant touches that will bring any room to life, no matter what country you’re in. Here are the best Mexican influenced additions you should be making to your living space right now.
Carpets are simply non-existent in Mexican homes, given the hot climate and upkeep required to maintain them in pristine condition. For that reason, tiles are the way to go, but we’re not talking about any old boring linoleum. In Mexico, handcrafted tiles from San Miguel de Allende, or Talavera tiles from Puebla make for the ideal artisanal addition to any floor, adding a welcome pop of colour to the room. If you think they’re too statement-making for the floor, why not use them in the bathroom or kitchen instead?
The world of Mexican artesanías is rich and vibrant, so traditional hand embroidered products like table runners and cushion covers (which often feature multi-coloured animals on a white linen backdrop) are a perfect way to inject a splash of colour into any living space. Often made by artisans in Chiapas and Oaxaca, you can find them all across Mexico.
Just as a table runner might be the perfect statement piece, a rug could be too. Available in a range of different shapes and sizes, these typically hand dyed and arduously hand woven objects are always worth the investment as they’ll stand both the test of time and the shifting sands of interior décor trends. If you don’t want to put one on the floor to be trampled on, you can use it as a wall hanging instead.
Wicker furniture might seem horrendously retro, but in Mexico it can be positively glamourous, from high-backed wicker chairs that will slot easily into the corner of any living room, to the wicker-like (but actually plastic) seats that generally come in gorgeous shades of yellow, teal and pink. Known as the Acapulco chair, they are the perfect combo of modern and traditional. If woven chairs aren’t your thing, Mexican furniture is often hand painted (and almost always hand-crafted), so you should look into investing into that staple, statement piece you’ve always wanted.
Handblown glasses are a staple feature in kitchens across Mexico and will instantly transport you back to sipping cocktails on the beach. Usually available in sturdy varieties of blues and greens, these vaguely mottled objects will bring a subtle hint of Mexico to any home. If you want to make more of a kitchenware statement, some bright and naturally coloured Talavera plates and dishes would be ideal, or choose instead muted brown and orange bruñido pots from Jalisco.
Mexico’s Yucatán region is the home of the traditional handwoven hammock and you can pick them up easily in stores and beachfronts around the country. The best ones to go for are large handmade versions that you can string up across the room to add a laid-back, boho feel to your big city (or small town) life. If you are tight on space, you can also get ones that look like seats, dangle from the ceiling and don’t need to go from wall to wall.
Tin is a popular item in the Mexican artisan world and these petite picture frames, mirrors or religious inspired icons are perfect if you have a small living space to which you want to add a dash of Mexican flavour. Typical of San Miguel de Allende, they’re super lightweight but delightfully kitsch and liven up any abode, whether you choose a whimsical heart design, a floral Frida photo frame or a star-shaped lampshade.
We round off our guide to Mexican interior décor inspiration with perhaps the most obvious yet understated recommendation – the humble cactus. These low maintenance plants are ideal for anyone who wants a touch of Mexico in their household but doesn’t want to invest time in upkeep. Simply pop your spiky addition where you want it and give it some water from time to time. If you want to go all out, get a towering saguaro cactus.