This luxurious but laid back Mexican villa was inspired by the colors of the ocean and desert surrounding it
The cocktail of color and style designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard has created in this Mexican villa is pure magic
Wish you were here? We do! What's not to love about a cliff top contemporary house overlooking the ocean?
Situated in the Maravilla Los Cabos residential community Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and designed by architect Juan Zapata, this incredible home is so evocative, we can almost taste the salty sea air.
London-born, Los Angeles-based Martyn Lawrence Bullard designed the interiors of this property and he was tasked to capture the sweeping panorama of a hill top view and to create a sanctuary for a busy entrepreneur-philanthropist and his family. Let's take a tour around this vast space...
‘It was to be all about vacations and down time,’ Martyn says, ‘luxurious but laid back.’ Inspiration for this project came from the nature outside, ‘I chose my color palette from the blue-green hues of the ocean and the sky and the sandy shades and earth tones in the natural rock formations that surround the house,’ he says.
‘The water slide is built into the hillside and winds down into the pool,’ says Martyn.‘ Inside the pool are concrete stools lined up on the edge to perch and whale watch in the the ocean below.’
The house, with its big, pivoting glass doors, capturing the views and the light, and luxurious flooring with marble inlays, has both a grandiose and laid-back vibe. A majestic entrance leads the way to four large lateral floors all with indoor-outdoor terraces.
When in Mexico, why not? This irresistible bar takes inspiration from all around - walls from the agave plant, tiling from the terracotta earth, art from the Tequila bottles on the bar top!
‘Together with walls painted in vivid blues, (echoing the ocean) and greens (reflecting banana plants outside) they create a perfect balance of old meets new, tradition meets modernity and luxury meets comfort,’ Martyn says, which all add up to the charm and lived-in feel of this fun yet elegant family home.
The heart of the house is on the second floor where a large, luxe but relaxed, open plan kitchen-dining-living room opens on to three sides of terraces and to the undulating pool.
As it sits in an open plan space the kitchen island was designed to make a strong statement, like an art piece, with a patchwork of marble.
This space, which adjoins the Tequila bar, is an ode to Frida Kahlo, celebrating her life and the colors that inspired her and features early photography and modern interpretations of pop art inspired by the famous painter.
All the art on the wall was purchased from the Mexican Museum of Contemporary Art. Friend and long-term collaborator Katrien Van Der Schueren from Voila! Creative Studio, was also brought in to create many of the custom artworks and sculptures.
Martyn travelled all over Mexico searching for perfect pieces, from hand-painted ceramics in Guadalajara to locally made accessories in San Miguel de Allende to rugs crafted in Oaxacan. He sourced Mid-century Mexican furniture to reflect the cultural history and crafts of the area and country.
The top floor is dedicated to the grown ups with its main bedroom suite opening onto a meditation and yoga terrace, with breathtaking views down to the ocean, with a further terrace accommodating an outdoor hot tub and its own private bar area with a fire pit.
The terrace outside is designed with views for relaxation, yoga and meditation and has an adjoining spa and steam room.
This space, off the main bedroom with views for miles around, has a fire pit and wind chimney, designed especially for night time drinks.
A mirrored wardrobe in this bedroom is designed to reflect ocean views and the green Aztec-inspired upholstered bed echoes the banana leaf trees on the terrace outside.
‘Linens and woven cottons are the mainstay of the interiors with pops of unexpected hues from traditional weaves and embroidered fabrics,’ says Martyn, who used Mexican desert shades like burnt orange, saffron and terracotta.
The picture-window style view is designed to encapsulate the industrial looking underbelly of the pool slide which looks like a modern artwork.
'The kids room has joy and whimsy, elements that as adults we often miss in our own interiors', says Martin.
'These playful touches were inspired by Mexican folklore along with the colors of the earth, sand and sea below,’ says Martyn.
This is a modern home that has everything the family could dream of and more: casual yet refined, a place to play and relax, with visual surprises in every nook.
See also: A colorful Australian eco home that feels like part of the landscape with internal courtyards, glass walls and wooden clad rooms
A French trilingual editor, content creator, and interior stylist living in Southern California. A compulsive reader of design, architecture, and lifestyle magazines, and an avid traveler, Karine lives and breathes interiors and is inspired by designers Nika Zupanc, Charles and Ray Eames, and Marcel Wanders; architects Luis Barragán and Frank Gehry; artists Gerhard Richter, Beatriz Milhazes, and Anish Kapoor. For the past 12 years, Karine has been contributing to international design, architecture, and fashion publications including Architectural Digest, ELLE Decor, Vogue Living, Design Anthology and MilK Decoration, among many others.
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