Last week, I shared our big Mexican secret.
It’s a quite a pretty pad now but it wasn’t always so.
Here are the before (and after) pictures of our Mexican property before we bought it. I know we are a little biased but we personally think the transformation is significant. And we are especially proud of it since it was accomplished with very little money.
Parts of it looked quite crazy before. There was bright blue paint and blue trim work everywhere. The blue paint could have been a nice affect but what made it terrible was the fact that it was applied poorly. It was blotchy and didn’t have straight lines which really stood out against the white walls. And there was a little too much of it everywhere – even in random places. The prior owners went blue crazy! The kitchen counter was painted blue.
There was blue paint trim work under the couch.
Blue trim in the hallways.
Even a blue wall and blue trim work in the bathrooms.
And blue wasn’t the only color problem. There was also this very very very yellow room.
Despite these unpleasant paint colors, the property really appealed to us. We overlooked most of the colorful flaws because we realized it had great bones including thick cement walls, a marble and stone flooring, nice tiled bathrooms and showers, good cabinets and even built-in cement furniture.
Since we used our entire life savings to buy the place we had very little money to renovate it, that required doing everything on the cheap. The fact that it had great bones meant we didn’t have to do any major construction and could get away with simple cosmetic changes. All that was required was paint, decorating and doing a little cleaning and minor repair work.
The first thing we did was paint. The cement walls were in perfect condition but needed to be repainted. Since the exterior of the home is vibrant white and very Moorish looking,
we decided to go with the same concept for the interior…very white, very chic.
Once all the blue trim and blue and yellow walls were painted white, it was a major transformation.
Our next project was to replace all the electrical outlets and controllers. Since the home is located about 50 feet from the ocean and is exposed to tropical weather, the electrical outlets and switches yellowed terribly. For a few bucks each, we changed every single yellow switch and outlet with bright white ones. Now that they are white, they are hardly noticed on the wall.
Furniture and decor was easy because we bought almost nothing. The home came with furniture owned by the prior owner which was awesome! (It’s typical in Mexican home sales that most the furniture and art are included in the sale of the home). Half the furniture in the house was made of cement. I thought that was pretty amazing. I love the cement couches, cement bed frame and nightstands. We never have to worry about them breaking or getting damaged from the tropical humidity.
All we needed to do was have the couch cushions upholstered. Everything was transformed white.
We also had these Mexican equipale chairs changed from forest green…
…to clean white.
A local artisan did this upholstery work for us. It was done for less money than we could have even purchased the fabric for. They did such a skilled job that all the couch cushions and even the equipale furniture looks new. The fabric is a special thick high quality canvas fabric that can be used outdoors and is resistant to stain. So no worries about the white!
Then my mother-in-law came up a brilliant idea that made a large impact! Since it was difficult to ship objects to Mexico and very expensive to buy them there, she suggested we let people vacation at our place for free as long as they brought items we needed. All they had to do was stuff extra things in their luggage. That worked out beneficial for both our friends and us!! We had friends who enjoyed a great vacations and in turn we received much needed items. This is how we received most of our modern kitchen appliances including a toaster oven and coffee maker. Some people were very generous and brought us other items including pretty decorations, nice rugs and towels. It was genius plan and made the quickest advancement into getting our place looking and operating like a real home.
Much was accomplished by simply removing art that didn’t fit the new decor and rearanging other items to different rooms. We moved chairs that were crowded in the living room to provide additional seating options in the bedrooms. We also removed cluttered art from the living room and hallways and mixed it up in the bedrooms. We tried to leave everything very white with simple pops of color here and there.
The only indulgence we made was this gorgeous table. I found it at a local furniture store in Zihuatanejo. It is one of the most cherished things I’ve ever owned. It looks and feels like wood but is actually made from a plant root. It is a masterpiece and was only $200 so I don’t feel so guilty. It’s something we will probably always keep forever.
It’s the easiest decor makeover we’ve ever done!
Here are some side by side shots of some of the rooms before and after: