Hang plants in pots on the wall and watch them grow – to make a feature, it's best to stick to one species, repeated as many times as you can. A sculptural living wall makes a great backdrop for an urban garden or verandah wall.
Bring your artwork outside, just for the day. Simply stick it down with masking tape; it brightens up any wall or day. Lay down some chequerboard vinyl, which you can pick up at a hardware store, to give the space an internal courtyard feel.
If you're not ready to wallpaper or paint a wall (or aren't allowed to because you rent), try another tactic. Giant playing cards, available from party suppliers and stuck up with tape, act as art and wallpaper; mix with patterns, such as caning or palm fronds, reminiscent of of the textures seen on your travels.
Mexico is all about indoor/outdoor spaces: plastic tablecloths, mirrors, frames, potted plants, and all sorts of homely bits & pieces flow between the divide as if it didn't exist. Be green and grow your own kitchen garden. I used terracotta pots mixed with recycled tomato and olive oil tins. Very functional and easy to wipe down, Mexican oilcloth can be used as a tablecloth, embracing the vibrancy and colours of the street gardens that exist throughout Mexican DF. The Df is a maze of large leafy parks and boulevards and many of the old houses have window boxes.
My Mexico Recommendations:
Casa No Name by Deborah Turbeville
My Anthropologie friends stayed at the author/photographer's house in Mexico. Their pictures were amazing and inspired me to buy her book. I loved her collections, colour use, & display of things.
Volver directed by Pedro Almodovar
I have seen this movie many times. Other than it being particularly funny, and Penelope Cruz being fab, the interiors of the houses are really interesting esp. when Penelope visits her old village to attend a funeral. The floors of this place are amazing!
I Will Never Forget You...Frida Kahlo and Nikolas Murray by Salomon Grimberg
I love pics of artists in their studios; this is no exception and I have coveted one of these photographs forever.
Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera
Not the greatest book ever written, I don't think, but covers her fantastic & fascinating life.
Colour: Travels Through The Paintbox by Victoria Finlay
This is a constant reference in my library. Great dose of colour history & origins. It's written in story style, which holds my interest.
Infinitus Gracias: Contemporary Mexican Votive Painting by Alfredo Vilchis Roque
Great naive style paintings & images.
Juchitan de las Mujeres by Graciela Iturbide & Elena Poniatowska
Lent to me by Sally Campbell. Amazing black & white portrait photography, of women wearing iguana hats & traditional costumes.
Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Studio Museum
Calle Diego Rivera 2, corner of Altavista Delegacion Alvaro Obregon CP 01060 Mexico
I'm a huge fan of Frida Kahlo and her paintings. Nice little homage to a great & interesting artist. Not so excited by Diego's paintings, but love that they lived in separate houses, joined by a walkway.
Av Veracruz N. 102 Col. Condesa 06700 Mexico DF
Super-cool with fab food, set around a central courtyard. A turquoise , black & white interior, do not miss the private library with a great selection of books, & the roof terrace for sunset drinks. Secure a room looking over the tree-lined streets.