Muted Tones Mingle With Light and Shadows to Form a Quiet Mexican Oasis

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By Anna Squier
In San Miguel de Allende, a retired couple uncover serenity in a calm, contemporary weekend retreat.

Designed by Mexico City–based architects Pablo Perez Palacios, Casa La Quinta is a direct reaction to its surroundings and context. Sited in a densely packed neighborhood, the modern dwelling features private outdoor spaces for relaxation, while also displaying a strong sense of traditional Mexican character in a chic, sophisticated manner.

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The courtyards are surrounded by cream colored walls and infilled with indigenous vegetation.

The courtyards are surrounded by cream colored walls and infilled with indigenous vegetation.

In total, the residence includes three patios and an impressive indoor swimming pool. In conjunction with the muted tones and materials, the elements combine to create a serene place to enjoy the Mexican climate.  

The smallest of the three courtyards is accessible via stairs off the kitchen.  Large glazing provides visibility from the main living space.

The smallest of the three courtyards is accessible via stairs off the kitchen. Large glazing provides visibility from the main living space.

The 3,767-square-foot home is arranged around three separate courtyards, each detailed with a unique aesthetic, use, and program. 

The walls surrounding the courtyards, including those of neighboring properties, are all painted the same cream hue and appear to mimic the traditional stucco construction of the area. 

During the day, light and shadows create abstract forms along the facades of the courtyard, providing different perspectives as the sun passes over.

During the day, light and shadows create abstract forms along the facades of the courtyard, providing different perspectives as the sun passes over.

Light and shadows move across the facades, while blue skies lie above, making the courtyards become space for silence and rest. 

The largest of the three courtyards includes a swimming pool and hammock—an ideal spot for rest and relaxation.

The largest of the three courtyards includes a swimming pool and hammock—an ideal spot for rest and relaxation.

The interior is restrained and quiet, formed around an open, flowing floor plan that has direct connections to the exterior elements. 

High ceilings create voluminous, bright spaces, while exposed wooden beams and decking draw in warmth. 

Light and shadows play off the walls of the home, creating lovely contrast and patterns as the sun moves throughout the day.

Light and shadows play off the walls of the home, creating lovely contrast and patterns as the sun moves throughout the day.

Soothing natural colors appear in the furnishings and accents, while darker tones are seen through details in contrast to the bright walls. 

Textured tile floors draw the outdoors in to enhance the seamless tie between interior and exterior spaces. With large windows and sliding glass walls facing onto the courtyards, the discrepancy between in and out is further blurred. 

A rooftop terrace provides views of the surrounding neighborhood.

A rooftop terrace provides views of the surrounding neighborhood.

Sliding glass doors provide a seamless connection between the interior and outdoor spaces.  Green vegetation dots the courtyard, drawing the colors of nature inward.

Sliding glass doors provide a seamless connection between the interior and outdoor spaces. Green vegetation dots the courtyard, drawing the colors of nature inward.

In the main living space, two sofas are arranged around a fireplace, with long pendant lights hanging from the high ceiling.

In the main living space, two sofas are arranged around a fireplace, with long pendant lights hanging from the high ceiling.

Nomadic artwork makes its appearance throughout the home, providing an accent to the mostly white surfaces.

Nomadic artwork makes its appearance throughout the home, providing an accent to the mostly white surfaces.

An open walkway between the bedrooms spans across the open living space, revealing the wood rafters above.

An open walkway between the bedrooms spans across the open living space, revealing the wood rafters above.

Artwork lines the walkway that connects the two ends of the upper floor. 

Artwork lines the walkway that connects the two ends of the upper floor. 

The minimal, modern character extends into the bedrooms.  Simple steel shelves are embedded in the wall above a linear fireplace.  A rattan pendant hangs above the nightstand.

The minimal, modern character extends into the bedrooms. Simple steel shelves are embedded in the wall above a linear fireplace. A rattan pendant hangs above the nightstand.

The furnishings and fixtures have all been selected with the notion of relaxation in mind.  Natural materials, soft textiles, and neutral colors continue the muted palette of the construction.

The furnishings and fixtures have all been selected with the notion of relaxation in mind. Natural materials, soft textiles, and neutral colors continue the muted palette of the construction.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Pablo Perez Palacios Arquitectos Associados (PPAA)

Builder / General Contractor: Felipe Argueiles FANARQ

Structural Engineer: BVG Ingenieras

Civil Engineer: BVG Ingenieras