Vibrant colors, bold and distinct patterns with a few rustic furnishings are the trademark of the Mexican style of interior design. This one is all about creating an eclectic feel with over-the-top bright colors that are rich in culture and especially, have a strong Native American influence.
This style blends the Spanish European architecture into the native tribal culture creating some of the most colorful art and decor you will ever see. The idea is to create a warm and welcoming vibe by stimulating your audiovisuals. Let’s get going.
To understand the Mexican style of design, we must look at the kind of colors and fabrics designers use along with the quirky accessories and plants in a home. Let’s take a look.
This style is all about combining warm colors like red and orange with cold colors like blue and green to create a contrast. This adds life to any space. If you can do that with geometric patterns on, say, sculptures, that would be the best.
Remember that the Mexican style involves blending rich colors with woven textures. Then, throw in a couple of accent pieces. Examples of that would be ornate furniture or pieces of pottery that you can’t wait to put on display. If you do this, keep the background of the room simple.
The walls are a backdrop to all the artwork in the room. If you are going for a bold look, which is the hallmark of this style of interiors, pick an earthy tone for the walls. If that seems too dark, go for a neutral color like sand or taupe. Deep blues and golden yellows also work well when recreating this look. Vivid reds and lush greens are also preferred. If you are looking for decorating fabrics, go with primitive prints and patterns.
In this style, you will see a lot of rustic appearances. These are commonly constructed from pine, reclaimed wood and wrought iron. And accordingly, the furniture can be categorized into different styles like Spanish colonial, Tuscan, Santa Fe or Texas Ranch.
Now, we’re feeling it. Spanish colonial furniture has a formal and elegant look. Tuscan has a Mediterranean feel and the last two, as the names suggest, are influenced by the old West.
You also have the option of staining the furniture in dark and copper tones. Talavera pottery is very popular among those who like the Mexican style. It is made of high-quality clay and is typically hand painted with motifs or mosaic patterns in great detail.
Fun fact—it was brought to Mexico by Spanish settlers. It has intricate designs and is influenced by the local flora and fauna. You can get tiles, dishes, trays and other serving pieces. If you want something purely ornamental, you can go for wall art and other decorative accents too.
If you have a love for ceramics, that can be done too. Mata Ortiz pottery is also quite popular. It is a type of pottery that originated in a small Mexican town of the same name. It is made from clay and is the creation of a master potter by the name of Juan Quezada.
If you’re trying to decorate an outdoor space like a patio, you must add a couple of plants to accentuate the style. Landscaping plants like cacti are preferred. You can also opt for something with broad leaves, like yucca and agave. If you can grow dahlias or yellow bells or bougainvilleas in your area, that might work too. You might want to look into that before heading to the nursery.
A couple of landscaping plants and some traditional pottery is all you need for the complete Mexican outdoor experience.
Now, color is a theme that keeps repeating itself in discussions about the Mexican style of design. Folk art, tapestries and pottery are also appreciated.
As mentioned before, Talavera is quite the rage. So, a vase or urn set nicely on a stand will look great next to a side table. This is also used to make tiles, flower pots and candle holders if that is your thing.
Folk art is another key aspect of accessorizing the Mexican way. This includes wooden carvings, religious art, statues and hand-crafted ornaments. If you’ve paid attention, you will also find nicely decorated skulls and skeletons with happy faces. This is a big part of the Mexican lifestyle because of their heritage. A figurine of a skeleton or a skull symbolizes the Mexican Day of the Dead festival. These are usually bright and painted in festive colors. They are typically found dancing or playing musical instruments. This is to show that the afterlife is a happy one. The Mexicans believe that even death is a celebration and not a sad occasion.
Walls are a great place to showcase arts and crafts along with traditional ornaments. You could get hangings made of tin or copper. You could also look for terracotta plaques. These are pretty popular. And keep an eye out for paintings by artists like Diego Rivera. You can also do the same with the use of artifacts. They look great on walls, shelves and even tables. It really depends on where you have space. They can be a focal point but the smaller pieces also do a great job blending into well-balanced decor.
How to Do It Yourself
Now that you have a broad idea of how to use color, accessories, raw materials and plants, let’s take a look at individual rooms.
Styling the Patio
However, we’ll start outside with the patio. This style typically incorporates a lot of ceramic tiles in red, brown and terracotta colors. If you don’t want to spend too much, get ceramic tiles that are stamped with Aztec and Mayan designs. You can also opt for mosaic patterns that are made with small stones. This is a typical feature of Mexican designs. And once again, Talavera Mexican tiles are a great way of staying with the theme. If you have space for a little bit of furniture, go for stuff that is made of rustic wood or wrought iron elements. That’s the way to keep it real.
The Living Room
If you want your living room to stand out, the first element to introduce is a floor rug with rich colors and woven textures. This, combined with colorful couches and cushions or even just one of them looks phenomenal without much effort on your part.
You also want to introduce one or two (not more) geometrical patterns in combination with warm and cold colors. That is what makes the setting rather unique for a Mexican-themed living room.
Use a lot of color. There are no two ways about this even in the bedroom. But you might want to pick a darker shade for the bottom and a lighter one for the ceiling. Terracotta colors, greens, yellows, reds and blues are all great choices.
When it comes to furniture, you can paint the edges to match the ceramic tabletops of your side tables. The set up is typically one of straight lines and the objects are made of pinewood, cherry or walnut. Pick attractive pieces of decor.
Wall-to-wall carpeting is just not the way to go with this style. Find ceramic or clay tiles. You could also go with hardwood flooring and pair it with a nice woven area rug. Curtains can be cotton or brocade. But try to add folk designs on them so that they match your beddings and rugs.
Speaking of beddings, pick linens with floral motif patterns on them. If you want solid colors, dress them up with multicolored pillows in bold colors. The beauty of Mexican design is that curtain rods, mirror frames and lighting fixtures can all be wood or wrought iron. Maintain consistency there. Pick leather for upholstery for a retro look.
Wall hangings and framed photos are also typical of the Mexican style. So, go for some favorites for the bedroom. Woven baskets are also a big hit so pick something that can hold smaller items. However, when done right, this works even for clothing and blankets.
Whether you go for a humble look or a sophisticated one, the fabrics and furnishings must be bright.
This place has got to be an explosion of colors. You need to create a stimulating environment that is also cheerful. Shelves with vibrant colors and furniture that is big are in sync with the theme here. Pottery items made of terracotta or black clay are also considered great additions to the kitchen. And, if it works for you, remember that these things also add a touch of ancient indigenous cultural heritage to the space.
Big, bold and beautiful. These words never belonged more together than when describing the Mexican style of interior design. This style is all about being alive and cheerful no matter the room. That is no surprise considering this is a population that has found a way to look even at death in a joyful way. How can we not salute that, right?
If you can’t quite feel the vibe for the Mexican Interior Design Style why not check out our list of design styles to see if there is anything more suited to you?