A ColorTherapy Travelogue: Mexico in January

Name: Aruba Pink IB52, Mexico City Yellow IB65, Anchor Blue Ib 94
Brand: Ralph Lauren

For many years now I’ve spent a week in January in Puerto Vallarta on family holiday. One of my favorite things about travel is looking at how another culture expresses itself through art, design and color. This year was no different, and I have quite a few things to report back...

The colors of Mexico are vivid, and reflect a vivid environment: azure blue skies, water so turquoise it’s green, bugambilla, tropical plant life and native dress are all repeated in art, architecture and interiors. Let’s look at a few photos, and note well: these are Mexican variations on the three primary colors.

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I mentioned this last year: bugambilla. It’s a bush with magenta flowers and you see it everywhere. The same color is used to brilliant effect in Mexican interiors, and I’ve had several of my clients attracted to it here in New York for the same reasons. To get a sense of it for yourself, drop into Rosa Mexicana for a pomegranate margarita.

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I’ll call this “cigar-stand ochre” and let the description speak for itself. One thing you’ll notice in some of my photos is the white-washed exteriors lined with bright colors along the windows and doors. I’m not always a fan of yellow, but this I love.

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Ceramics are brightly glazed in Mexico, and a sink like this makes a trip to the loo all the more enchanting. Does anyone know where to acquire these in New York?

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And lastly, how about this Ultramarine Blue? I think of this as such a northern European color, yet here it is a block off of the beach. But if you’re a block off the beach (Ultramarine: the color of the furthest reaches of the sea) then why don’t you?

- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.