Friday, May 11, 2012

The Newest Merida HHI Airs Tonight!

Just a reminder! A fifth Merida-centric HHI airs tonight in the US:

Renovated Colonial Homes in Merida, Mexico Episode HHINT-3704H San Francisco based couple Betty and Karen are cooking up a business plan down in Mexico and all their friends are invited to the party. The Yucatan Peninsula is a hot locale for adventurous restauranteurs, but when home financing isn't an option can these expat foodies find a colonial home to die for with enough cash left over to fund Betty's venture in southern cuisine? Find out, with professional real estate agent Arturo Novelo, when Betty and Karen follow their dreams to Merida, Mexico.

Let us know what you think!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Loving the Pasta Tiles

It isn't possible to consider a house in Merida without thinking of the possibilities offered by the pasta tiles.  It seems like there are an infinite number of patterns and colors and combinations,and just when you think that you must have seen them all, you run across another pattern or color combination that you've never seen before.

These tiles add color and texture to Merida's homes and can set the tone for rooms from formal to exuberant to playful to quiet.  They can be set in "carpets" surrounded by polished concrete or by tiles of a single color, or bordered by patterns of blocks or lozenges or vines and leaves.  I have even seen a door sill set with a band in a pineapple pattern, which is an old sign for "welcome" in the deep south where I grew up.

If you are lucky, the ruin that you buy will still have its original tiles, and if you are REALLY lucky, those tiles will suit your own tastes.  If neither of those things happen, though (or if you happen to choose a lot that has lost its house),  it is still possible to have tiles custom made in the same way that they were made 100 years ago in the colors and patterns that you want.  And if you are a fan of "reduce, reuse, recycle," we've been told that it is also possible to renovate your Merida casa with reclaimed pasta tiles.

We took these pictures in houses that we viewed with LeAnn, in the City Museum of Merida, and in stores and barbershops and cocina economicas open to the street (where people were uniformly pleasant when I rushed in off the sidewalk, pointed my camera at their floor, then gave an embarrassed smile and rushed back out again...I got the sense that I was not the first person that had done it.) 

I've even stuck my camera through the ironwork of a crumbling abandoned building and pointed it at the floor to see what it would pick up. 

Half the fun of thinking about a Merida renovation is wondering which tiles are going to be the ones that set the tone in your own Merida home.  When we are in the States and daydreaming of what we might build someday, these are some of  the pictures that we flip through to imagine what we might choose for our own twist on the Merida pasta tiles.