As someone who writes about home for a living, I think a lot about how we shape the places where we live — and the ways in which our homes shape us. Each home tells a little story about the people who live there, offers a little glimpse into their daily lives and, though that, into something deeper. When I saw these photos of Frida Kahlo's "Casa Azul", the house where she was born, where she died, where she lived with her husband Diego Rivera, and where she created some of her most famous works, this fascinating woman, and her fascinating work, began to come alive for me.
Frida Kahlo was born in this house in 1907. Her father, who worked as a photographer, built the house in 1904 in Coyoacan, then a suburb of Mexico City. It was here that Frida grew up, and here that she began painting, after a bus accident, when she was 19, left her bedridden for several months.
Here, in her childhood bedroom, Frida had her mother attach a mirror to the canopy of her bed, so that she could paint self-portraits while lying in bed. Throughout her life, self-portraits continued to be a dominant theme in her work: "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best."
Frida married artist Diego Rivera in 1929 and moved to an apartment in a different part of the city, but the Casa Azul remained in her family. She returned there in 1939, when she and Diego were having marital troubles. They divorced and then remarried in 1940, at which point Diego moved into her childhood home with her. Here, in the home's colorful kitchen, their names are spelled out on the wall with seashells.
Frida died in this house in 1954, and four years later Diego turned the home into a museum in her memory. Her studio, pictured above, has been left just as it would have been in her lifetime. Visitors can wander the gardens and the home and get a little glimpse into her life, and into her work.
Even if you're not able to make the trek to Mexico city, you can experience Frida's home through the pages of Architectural Digest, which has 24 gorgeous photos of the house and the grounds. Check it out here.