The Pandora's Box Home

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Cervera Sanchez Architects in Merida, Mexico, have proven their worth in restoring historical buildings and adding their own modern flair. Today we'll take a look at their Casa 45, a restoration project to preserve and transform a boxy colonial style home into a surprising contemporary, whilst still keeping an element of the nostalgic aesthetic. 

This home is a mere 220 square meters, but seems to be much larger than its physical boundaries. As you'll see when we take a tour of the rooms, the interior provides an unexpectedly spacious and bright atmosphere. In addition to the triumph of space and dimensions, the house is also a delight of eclectic style and materials. Let’s not waste another minute…

Historic remains

An outside view of the home clearly depicts how the historic aspect of the building has been preserved. The colonial façade of this Mexican house has been given a fresh coat of paint, but the structure has been maintained for the sake of architectural heritage. The classic finishes brings about a nostalgic feeling in any onlooker, but good maintenance and the fresh look ensures that the building does not seem neglected or anachronistic. 

This street view of the house makes it seem small and quite limited when it comes to interior possibilities, but prepared to be stunned, as we take a look at the inside of the house. Come along!

Expansive passageway

Here we get a better look at the surprising inner dimensions of the house. Looking from the outside, one wouldn't have thought that the interior could be this large. From the exterior view we also did not see the second storey of the home revealed here by the stairs leading upward. These features were ingeniously designed and integrated by the architects to use the space for the home optimally whilst keeping to its nostalgic aesthetic seen in the façade. 

Here we can again see patterned tiles, but in a different colour scheme and in different motifs than in the previous room. This ensures a continuous element in the home whilst still adding variety. 

Easing in

We start with this lounge or foyer area of the home. As we can see from this vantage point, it does seem well within the visual dimensions of the home we saw from the outside, but it's just one room of the house. That being said, the space is spacious and inviting. 

The patterned tiles on the floor adds a Mediterranean charm to area, whilst the white walls and ceiling, in conjunction with the clever lighting, makes the room seem much bigger and full of life. 

The furniture in the room is minimal and simple: two stylish armchairs with extended seating area, and a modest coffee table. A comfortable and easy introduction to the home.  

A courtyard with class

 Corridor & hallway by CERVERA SÁNCHEZ ARQUITECTOS
CERVERA SÁNCHEZ ARQUITECTOS

PRIMER ESPACIO ABIERTO PARA LA VENTILACIÓN E ILUMINACIÓN NATURAL

CERVERA SÁNCHEZ ARQUITECTOS

The house even has space for a courtyard, and an elegant one at that! The flooring from the interior is continued in the courtyard space, and the space flow effortlessly into one another. The walls are all vividly white, which makes the area feel much larger. 

To the left is a pebble bed with some vegetation and potted plants, as well as a sculpture. This feature space is also strategically lighted to present the right mood, which is altogether peaceful and promoting of mindfulness. We can also see that this area is covered by a grid to let in natural light and fresh air into the space in order to make it a retreat within the home. 

A kitchen with colour

The kitchen of the house is just as spacious and generous as the preceding rooms. In fact, there are many elements which perpetuates the design style of the house in this room. This walls and ceiling are white, and the floor a light-coloured concrete. This all makes the room feel bigger, seamlessly integrating into the other areas in the home without barriers. 

The architects employed strong task lighting concentrated above the work spaces of the kitchen, which is an appropriate choice for the function of the room. 

The patterned tiles make their appearance once again, but with a burst of colour and variety we have not seen before. This lends a charming and fun character to the kitchen, surely making it a great place to cook and share meals in. 

Subtle aesthetic features

eclectic Kitchen by CERVERA SÁNCHEZ ARQUITECTOS
CERVERA SÁNCHEZ ARQUITECTOS

VISTA DESDE LA COCINA HACIA LA ESCALERA

CERVERA SÁNCHEZ ARQUITECTOS

From this vantage point in the kitchen, we get a good glimpse of the homes artistic qualities. Since all of the interior spaces are painted white, a big task had been created in the way of decoration. Although the white perimeters expand the rooms and make it feel lighter, the designers did not want to create impersonal space without the character of beauty.

This problem was solved by adding subtle features, like soft, textured lampshades, neutral wall art in the hallway, and one focal art work in the kitchen area to bring in some vivid colour. We think you'd agree that the house now has a beautiful appearance without being overwhelming or leaning too much on a particular interior design style. 

Spectacular back yard

eclectic Pool by CERVERA SÁNCHEZ ARQUITECTOS
CERVERA SÁNCHEZ ARQUITECTOS

PISCINA EN PLANTA ALTA Y ESCALERA DE ACCESO A TERRAZA EN TERCER PISO

CERVERA SÁNCHEZ ARQUITECTOS

Casa 45 has one last surprise for we say goodbye. The back yard area of the home is simply stunning. Hosting a lengthy, raised swimming pool, the concrete of the house flows right into the outdoor space and is transformed into a recreation area. 

We can see a spacious terrace area in front of the pool—perfect for entertaining. This area is well-lit for any kind of party, and provides easy access to the pool. Natural elements supplement the concrete fixtures in the form of bamboo fencing and some tropical plants. This house certainly has much more than what initially meets the eye! 

If you'd like to take a look at another fabulous restoration project, go back in time with: A Nostalgic Villa Full of Charm.

Were you as pleasantly surprised by the home's interior as we were? Let us know what you think about the home!
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