Last week I enjoyed a welcome break in spectacular, tropical Cancun, a resort destination located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. While I was (mostly) diligent about avoiding emails, like many people in a creative field, my design brain never quite turns off.
If you are a regular reader, then you know that color has been a reoccurring theme of late, whether via the symbolism of Feng Shui, or in more tangible ways, such as exploring unusual combinations on the color wheel. Although I gravitate towards subtle shades in most garden designs, while in Mexico I found myself continually captivated by the explosion of color that greeted me almost everywhere I went.
A few things that inspired me:
From Casa de los Suenos website
Brilliant color is everywhere, most notably on Isla Mujeres, a tropical gem just a short ferry ride from the mainland. While touring the island on golf carts, we were drawn to the small but stunning restaurant and resort of Casa de los Suenos. It was not just the views of the ocean visible through the lobby, or the cool and inviting infinity pool, but the artfully painted stucco walls that made us choose this as our lunch destination.
Usually I find electric pink bouganvilleas to be a bit garish, but the juxtaposition between the cool stone and brightly colored bracts creates an interesting contrast.
A burst of color can make even the most mundane features exotic – in this case, a bright blue wall turns a sign pointing the way to the bathrooms and the beach a work of art.
Elsewhere on Isla Mujeres, we explored an odd little property that contained a restaurant, museum, private club and gift shop specializing in custom jewelry. While I’d seen plenty of jewelry by this time, the colorful parrots halfway up the walk lured me in. The proprietor told me she had opened up the jewelry store because everyone walked up to see the parrots anyway so she might as well make some money—a good reminder that a punch of color in the right place makes a bold statement. (And a good marketing strategy; I’m wearing my new earrings even as I type this.)
Back at our hotel in Cancun, I spent several early mornings on the beach before most of the guests were down yet. My favorite view? This lone, red lifeguard tower—a spot of vibrant color highlighting and grounding the azure water and white sandy beach that stretches towards the horizon. This is probably my favorite image from the whole trip.
What will I do with all this inspiration? I’m not sure. Perhaps I should have taken a tip from my sister, who instead of wandering around Casa de Los Suenos snapping pictures, opted to hop in the infinity pool after lunch and simply enjoy the day. Yet even now I can’t help noticing, doesn’t her orange bathing suit look terrific against the smokey blue water and bright green palm frondse?