Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Courtyard & Kitchen

One of our new neighbors told us that the ceiba tree in the courtyard was already big when he was a kid...35 years ago. It's huge now and shades the central patio here at El Portico. We've planted a shade garden with lots of ferns and wild orchids.
On one side of the courtyard is this original arcaded portico with it's antique stone column. And on the other side is the ultra modern kitchen. On the stone wall on the east there is a fountain and pond. On the west wall there is a guest bathroom and a utility room.

The kitchen sits in the middle of the property with the courtyard on the south and the pool on the north. The appliances are GE profile. There's a dishwasher and a ge monogram wine fridge. There's plenty of room for 2 or 3 cooks to work at the same time and the island makes it comfortable to hang out til dinner is ready. The counters are all polished cement. The floor is limestone. There is purified (reverse osmosis) water for drinking and the ice.

El Portico

The portico has a couple of sofas and this is where we hang out in the evenings or where we set up a large table when we have dinner parties. Beyond the old well on the portico is an old water tank that used to collect all the roof water. Now it houses a w.c. The floors are cement tiles that are were probably added to the house in the 1930's. We renovated a house around the corner that has the same tiles and the previous owner's parents redid that house in 1930 when they married. The 4 rooms of the orginal house here all have these 'pasta' tiles. The tiles came to Yucatan as ballast in ships from Marsailles, France orginally. Now they are produced here in a nearby village.

The Master Bedroom Suite

The master bedroom suite is on the second floor above the portico and guest room. When you open the old colonial doors onto the courtyard you feel like your in a tree house. The room opens to the south onto a large terrace. The antique hardwood beams were a gift from the owners of Villa Maria hotel. They came from that beautiful casona when they renovated the guest rooms. The floors are new cement tiles. The floors in the bathroom are one of our favorite patterns made from the old templetes of the 19th century. We have a king size bed and the room is still large enough for a seating area on the west side. On the south side there is an iron arched door to the private terrace. There are views of San Juan to the south and the main square to the east.

The bathroom is very large and light. The glass tile tub is big enough for 2 people and 2 dogs. There are two stone sinks on the opposite wall and lots of shelving and closets.

The Upper Guest Room

We call this the Tejaban Guest Room. When we first saw the house one could hardly go beyond the first courtyard because the old tile roof had collapsed and years of debris had been accumulating in the crumbly walls of the old kitchen. So when we built the new kitchen we decided to put this bedroom up stairs and recreate the old Marsailles tile roof.

It is the quietest room in the house until the sun comes up and then a group of parrots arrive if there are any avocados or nance fruit in the neighbors trees.

Downstairs Guest Room

This is the only bedroom downstairs. It has a view beyond the portico into the shady courtyard. One of the nicest things about the house is that it is divided into 4 zones. Guest can live independantly of one another and meet in the kitchen or by the pool.

The Pool Lounge

There is a lounge that provides much needed shade and a launching pad for the neighborhood cats to jump from one wall to the other.

The Pool & Tejeban House

Beyond the kitchen is the pool. This is a view of the Tejeban house. On the opposite side is a shady lounge area.

Our new house

This is the facade of our new house that we will be renting starting this fall (2007). It will soon be on our website

It has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and it is 4 blocks from the main square in Merida.

Monday, September 10, 2007

El Portico del Candelaria