Last week Sophia and I went native - we slept on the balcony in hammocks all night. Well we made it most of the night until it started to rain at 3 am. Then it was back to the stuffy back bedroom where your only relief from the stagnant air was our precious oscillating fan. You lay on top of the sheets just waiting for the soft breath of air from the fan to flow over your body. You know you are in a tropical island with no A/C when your child says, " I want a fan for my birthday." (Sure beats having to fork over the dough for a Wii.) Sophia did not have to wait quite so long to get her wish. We have since graduated to one fan each so we can enjoy our own individualized, uninterrupted flow of air. Ahhhh - the pleasures of roughing it in Mexico. I will save Stan washing laundry in a plastic tub for another blog. Anyway, we will certainly appreciate a return to modern conveniences when our house is done.
In the mean time our house is finally beginning to take shape and the house is developing the Caribe/Moorish quality I was wanting. Sophia's bed is a small masterpiece and it doesn't even have the woodwork on it yet. The woodwork is going to be a little tricky, because in the average Mexican mind new is preferred and modern is in vogue. However, in my mind old is best and the more beat up it is the better. Give me an old turquoise shutter with chipped paint and the wood grain poking through and I will shout, "Perfection!" While others are deciding how many coats of polyurethane to cover their wood with, I am searching for drift wood to use as a frame on a mirror.
The house design has always had an organic and textural style. Stone floors, rock walls, grass roofs, and hardwood beams add a very natural and earthy element to the house. Throw in multilevel built-in gardens, a few trees, a live bamboo wall and numerous vines cascading over walls and hopefully we will have a tiny tropical paradise. It is exciting to see what I have envisioned take shape.
Lucy Chavez, my wonderful architect, laughs at me. She says I get these ideas, but I don't really think out how they will actually work. I say, "That is what I pay her for!" And she does make it happen some how. She is there almost everyday guiding the workers by the hand and me too sometimes. I am there with my folding chair, measuring tape, graph paper and pencil scribbling up changes or details just ahead of the workers. Today's assignment was finalizing the shape of the shower walls. I also redesigned my concrete sofa to a double chaise design. Today Lucy and I were standing on the roof as the workers were walling up the final level of the stairwell. As we were looking out on the gorgeous panoramic views from where we were standing, Lucy looked at the workers and said, "Why am I building that wall?" We decided to stop the wall and leave the stairwell open on top since it led to an outdoor patio anyway. In doing so we preserved a beautiful panoramic view that would have been blocked at several vantage points in the house by the top of the stairwell. I love Lucy's sensitivity to detail and willingness to change things.
Now that we have reached the roof top it is all about finishing the acabado ( the stucco-like finish) and the interior details. So tomorrow I will be there with Lucy and my graph paper, measuring tape and bottle of water. Dreams are truly in the making and in this case dreams are coming true.