Even after working on several homes in Mexico, celebrated interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard considers his latest project, Casa El Faro, to be the most inspiring thus far. With a vision to create not just a beach house but a soulful homage to Latin American culture, Bullard worked with architect Juan Zapata to shape an abode inspired by the local landscape and cultural heritage
Dubbed Casa El Faro—“el faro” means “the lighthouse” in Spanish—the 12,701sqft building is dramatically perched on a rocky cliff within the private community of Maravilla, overlooking the Sea of Cortez. Evoking the iconic Acapulco villas of the mid-20th century, Bullard and Zapata wanted to strike the right balance between the interiors and the architecture to capitalise on the breathtaking setting.
“I worked with Zapata to warm up the architectural finishes and add more of a Mexican palette and flavour to the modern structure,” says Bullard of the holistic process. The design approach considered all elements in their totality: low roofs planted with cactus gardens, floors covered in marble mosaics, walls formed with carved plaster and terraces incorporating natural elements. The outdoor views were as important as the interiors, with tall, pivoting glass doors and full-height windows creating expansive vistas.
Inside the villa, the entry hall sets a distinct mood. The patterned green, grey, white and cream marble floor tiles introduce the palette that recurs throughout the other spaces, with playful cactus reliefs acknowledging the indigenous vegetation. With the addition of woven jute-rope globe lights made in a nearby village, Bullard determinedly lays on a rustic appeal to “soften the grandeur of the space and bring it back to a beach house vibe”.
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