I can hardly believe that the renovation of Casa Louise is almost done. And the majority of it happened through 2020 without being able to see any of it in person. At one point, because of Covid, we thought we might put everything on hold. Instead, we pushed through on as much as we could. It’s been months and months of emailing annotated photos and sketches back and forth along with some pretty comical interpretations of translated text messages. There were some frustrating moments for sure, but also some really satisfying ones as things started to come together. This reno has been a little glimmer of hope at the end of this seriously hard time in history. I can hardly wait to get back to Mexico to tackle the decorating — hopefully one day soon. Until then, here are a few of my favorite moments in the house so far. Sorry the pics are a bit mucky looking – we still have more to do and loads of cleaning too!
The new metal and glass doors lining the upstairs hall were transformative. They connect indoors and out so beautifully, let in loads of that magical San Miguel sunlight and add a level of polish. Still to come – breezy drapes, a row of light fixtures and art of course.
Finally the living room is painted in the coat of fresh white paint that I always pictured. Just changing the walls from cream to white made such a difference. I’m itching to style the bookshelves under the shells with some wonderful vintage Mexican finds. And while we went back and forth on whether or not to stain the terra cotta floor tiles dark, (I know; a dusting nightmare), I am so in love with them. We’ll just layer them up with some gorgeous rugs… and keep a mop handy!
The old glass cabinet in the kitchen was in rough shape. But I had a fondness for it. Rather than building a new one, we decided to fix it up. We had the back wall lined with ‘V’ groove vertical boards and re-finished the whole thing white to match the walls. Now I’m on the hunt for some small antique brass hinges to tie in with brass accents throughout the house. But it’s so good to have kept this part of the original house.
After much debate, we chose to paint the back of the house and the rooftop in this rich dark green/brown – to play up the intimacy and romance of our compact backyard. Now we just need the pink bougainvillea to grow up the wall and loads of potted plants. In the end we replaced all of the wooden old windows and doors with the new metal and glass doors that operate super smoothly.
Here’s a snap of all the colours we considered. All I can say is that it’s beyond challenging to choose a colour through What’s App.
I love how the dark colour looks on the rooftop though, and it helps to cut some of the glare up there.
This is the top part of the stairs that lead to the rooftop from the front courtyard. We managed to be able to keep the original glazed tiles intact on all the stairs. I love that they have a bit of wear and tear, a few chips here and there. It’s all part of the charm.
The guest washroom came together nicely. We still need some vintage brass hardware on the cabinets and to seal the cantera stone floor to look a bit darker and richer – like the stone on the right. Also tbd: an antique chandelier, wood mirror, sconce, and hooks with patterned towels. There’s actually a ton more to do.
Our guest room will do double duty as a library so we had wall-to-wall shelves built to handle our collection of books with lots of space for display too.
The Boveda ceilings in the bedrooms cleaned up beautifully too.
The small plunge pool and fountain in the back is tiny – just enough to cool off and create some ambience. Trying to squeeze this into the backyard was challenging and at various points we were close to scrapping it but I’m glad we pushed ahead with it. My sis and I are such water babies – I know we will hang out back here a lot!