Hola amigos! Today (May 5th) is Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday that’s celebrated every year on May 5. Although truth be told it’s a relatively small holiday in Mexico, in the United States it’s become significant in its celebration of Mexican-American culture. In honor of Cinco de Mayo we’re showcasing some key Mexican-inspired decor elements to help you discover how you can incorporate some of the beauty of Mexican interiors into the design of your home or business.
Mexican Travertine Tiles
Although Italy is famous for its travertine tiles because it has one of the largest deposits in the world, Mexico also offers a beautiful selection of tiles. Travertine is a natural stone that forms near water. Since travertine comes from all over the world, you’ll find it in colors that range from beige to dark brown.
Mexican travertine tiles also come in a variety of shades, and you can spot it anywhere from ancient Aztec ruins to modern homes. The stunning colors in Mexican travertine make it an excellent choice for the home, and you can use it for your shower, countertops, and floors. While the stone is durable, keep in mind that it’s also soft, so it’s best to use it inside and in areas with moderate foot traffic.
If you love the look of a Mexican villa and you’d like to recreate it in your own home, terracotta tiles are a classic design element you’ll want to include. The rich mineral clays in Mexico produce beautiful tiles that range in color from dark brown to light cream. In ancient times, terracotta was dried in the sun instead of an oven. Today you can choose Mexican terracotta tiles to get a traditional and rustic look in your home.
These tiles are good for floors, walls, and countertops. If you use the tiles in the kitchen, you’ll want to make sure they’re sealed very well. This is because terracotta tiles are naturally very porous, and liquids and water can easily seep into their core and stain them.
Another classic that immediately brings images of Mexico to one’s mind is Talavera tile. Although you might not know Talavera tile by name, you would certainly recognize it when you see it. These handmade tiles feature bold and bright colors and often have hand-painted patterns glazed onto the surface. Authentic Talavera tiles come from Puebla and the nearby communities of Tecali, Cholula, and Atlixco, because of the quality of the natural clay found in these areas.
If you like the look of the dynamic and random patterns of this iconic tile but your home has a Western decor that’s more understated, you can find this style of tile in subtle colors that will blend in perfectly. Another option is to choose tiles that offer a modern black and gray color palette that’s ideal for contemporary homes.
Santa Clara del Cobre, which is a small town located in the heart of Mexico, is known for its production of hammered copper pots. Artisans in this town have been working with copper crafts since the pre-Hispanic era. At one time, the copper mines around the area were plentiful, and locals made jewelry, decorations, bells, and tools with the metal. While the mines were tapped out by the 20th century, tons of copper still arrives in the town every week in the form of recycled copper wire and automobile parts.
Artists continue to use many of the same ancient techniques developed by their ancestors to mold and hammer everything from pots to sinks. Items can take days or months to create depending on the thickness, size, and decorative features. If you want to incorporate some copper vases into your own home, consider going with a recreated look.
Along with copper pots, a great way to bring Mexican style to your home is with a Zapotec-inspired wool rug. These popular rugs make it easy to add warmth and a bright pop of color to your floors. Teotitlán is a small village in Mexico known for its handcrafted rugs.
Most producers use foot pedal looms to make their woven rugs. They also use natural materials, such as indigo, to dye the wool. Another feature that sets Zapotec rugs apart from others is the use of the cochineal bug for natural dye. When mixed with other ingredients, such as lime juice or flowers, this insect can produce colors ranging from yellow to purple.
When you’re looking for ways to bring the beauty of Mexico into your home, choosing a few of these design and decorating ideas is an excellent way to go.