With the Frida Kahlo exhibition ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up’ just started at the V&A what better time to think about the ways we can capture some of that Mexican vibrancy and passion in our own homes and let the colours of the land of margaritas, tequila, chocolate and sunshine flood our sitting rooms.
And the starting point has to be just that: colour. Rich hues of reds, oranges, pinks and blues (think of the cobalt blue of Frida’s house) are typical of Mexican décor. And to make it work don’t be afraid to be bold in your choices.
But if the thought of all that colour is just too daunting or you don’t think it’s going to work for you under our rather greyer English skies then stick to white walls and introduce the colour through furniture, rugs, china and accessories.
Pattern is important here: woven Oaxacan rugs mixed with patterned cushions make a room warm and inviting. And mix and match; it adds far more interest to a room, as does adding layers with throws and rugs. The mix of colours, patterns and textures will work well in this context.
In the kitchen, bathroom or stairway especially one of the best ways to introduce pattern is with hand-painted tiles – for splashbacks, worktops, basins or even whole walls. Combine with an ornate mirror for a wow factor.
Anchor all this colour with carved wood which is a traditional feature of Mexican homes. Maybe carved wooden doors or simply a decorative panel, headboard or cupboard.