As a lover of cool buildings and rainbows, you can imagine my delight at arriving for Mexico Spanish immersion with kids in Merida: a Yucatan city filled with both stately old buildings, and vibrant paint colors.
Join me now on a photographic stroll of the colorful houses in the residential areas around Merida, Mexico‘s Centro, highlighting design ideas to inspire your next decorating project!
The color combination above is my favorite! The azure blue on the left side exemplifies tropical joy for me; it’s the color of Caribbean waters, right? (See these photos of sailboats in Mexico and you’ll agree.)
In Merida, there are many meticulously-maintained buildings — but there are also a number of houses with weather-worn, chipping and faded paint that in some ways is even more beautiful than a perfectly-touched-up wall. Enjoy the symphony of pastel colors blending together over time in the photo, above!
As much as I love faded paint layers, what joy there was in encountering the shocking magenta wall, pictured above! It was the same color as our favorite food in Merida: watermelon sorbet. Yum, both visually and digestively.
You’ll notice in my photo above, the start to an emerging theme in Merida decor. In addition to the abundantly colorful wall paints (mmm, there’s that azure blue again), Merida has fantastic metalwork along its doors and windows.
Above and below, you can see more examples of this ornate metalwork decorating Merida’s houses. As a fan of curly-cues, I adore their abundance in the designs.
One wondrous thing about metalwork is that it provides security and a barrier, but also allows in glimpses of the life within each house — including the bicycle curtains pictured above, and tendrils of plants growing out of the door, below!
Speaking of plants, how lush are those hot pink and white flowers spilling over the wall of the house pictured below? As my travel buddy wondered aloud: How did they get that bush to have TWO different colors of blossoms?
In some ways, the architecture of Merida reminded me of the ABC Islands — specifically the candy-colored houses of Willemstad, Curacao. There’s something about that teal, layered with blues, with accents of pale yellow that evoke the seashore and surf.
The ongoing architectural restoration in Merida also reminded me of the story of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and Pietermaai, Curacao: two areas that were crumbling away in the salty sea air, until some heroic citizens paved the path to fixing it up and maintaining them with new life.
The colors of Merida also remind me of two architectural delights closer to home, in the United States. First, there are the jolly gingerbread cottages Martha’s Vineyard, MA is famous for. A bit further south, there is the eye-popping rainbow decor of Randyland, Pittsburgh, PA.
No discussion of color in Merida would be complete without a shout-out to the fire-red Flamboyan trees! They were in full riot in July when I arrived, and they make me smile from ear to ear.
So what about you? What most stood out to you during this stroll through the colorful houses and ornate metalwork of Merida, Mexico in Yucatan state? If you’ve visited, what was it like? If you haven’t been yet, does it seem like a place you’d like to go to? Do share!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 4.2 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!