Every Paint Color in This Gorgeous Modern Mexican Home is Our New Favorite

published Feb 5, 2020

Every Paint Color in This Gorgeous Modern Mexican Home is Our New Favorite

published Feb 5, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Juan Pablo Ochoa and Ruben Padilla, the designer of Estudio Toribia
Location: Colonia Americana—Guadalajara, Mexico
Size: 1,130 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, Owned

When Juan Pablo and Ruben Padilla were remodeling their Guadalajara home, they had three goals in mind: improve natural light and airflow, make the space look and feel bigger, and maintain the essence of the ’70s.

House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

They did this in several ways. First, they moved the kitchen to the backyard to open up the home and make the space more inviting. This also opened up the view of the beautiful backyard garden, and allowed more air circulation and natural light throughout the bright home.

The ’70s references can be spotted in every corner: in the bright pops of color, the concrete tiles, the patio walls, the refurbished yellow steel framing, and the overall decor. All of these elements are united by larger-than-life plants, including an Alocasia calidora (elephant’s ear) and Philodendron xanadu in the living room.

Their home today pays homage to the modern architecture of their hometown and the rich textures of Mexico. “We took inspiration from all the diversity and richness from the architecture and landscape in our neighborhood,” Juan Pablo and Ruben say. “The predominant style is regionalismo tapatío, but we applied it with a contemporary approach, using local materials, national craftsmanship, and native vegetation.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: In two words, it can be described as “neo-regionalism.”

Inspiration: Regionalismo tapatío, our city and its complexity, colors we love, steel work, floor design, and local materials. 

Favorite Element: Juan Pablo’s favorites are the refurbished steel work in bright yellow and the plants. Ruben’s favorites are also the steel work, plus the tiles. 

Biggest Challenge: Creating a more spacious social area. We decided to open up one of the rooms in order to connect it with the living room and place the dining room there. There were a lot of structural challenges. By the time the new beam was being placed, our electric system overcharged and we left seven of our neighbors without light! But they forgave us, and now the space feels more open. It’s perfect for hosting.

What Friends Say: They love dropping by. The plants are always the center of attention, and a lot of people are in awe of our bathroom.

Biggest Embarrassment: Some of the carpentry wasn’t finished by the same carpenter, so we had some problems, especially in the closet.

Proudest DIY: Our plants, tile pattern design, and the kitchen.

Biggest Indulgence: We had to put a fence in our garden because our two dogs loved to dig in it. That had to stop!

Best Advice: Understand how light enters your space and how air flows. Also, consider the things you like to do at home to optimize every surface area.

Dream Sources: We love bringing home objects from our travels. We always search flea markets and craftsmanship stores. We also love supporting local Mexican designers. There is so much diversity and quality. We love Nimia, Dendrón, and Chimiyu.



  • Comex — Lituania (patio)
  • Prisa — Golden Splendor (steelwork)
  • Prisa — Slight Chrome (interiors)
  • La Perla — Hydraulic mosaic floors 
  • Arca Atelier — Carpentry
  • Steelwork restoration and new pieces — Jesús Hernández


  • Lounge chairs — Patzcuáro
  • Mirror-covered pot and base — Alfarería González
  • Tonalá clay pots — Alfarería González 
  • Naked man in the jungle — Radriguez (@radrigue5)
  • Lithograph set — José Guadalupe Posada
  • Glazed clay pot — @dendron.mx
  • Ashtray — @nimiamexico
  • Bookshelf — @estudiotoribia
  • Dani Scharf illustration — @danischarf
  • Huizache Japanese mask — @huizacheceramica
  • Red crystal chandelier — Passed down from from grandma


  • Kitchen furniture — @estudiotorbia
  • Ceramic wear — Capula, Michoacán
  • Set of lithographs — @abrilcastilloc



  • Bathroom unit — @estudiotoribia
  • Tonalá clay pots — Alfarería González
  • Clay skull — Capula Michoacán
  • Woven basket — Patzcuáro, Michoacán

Thanks, Juan Pablo and Ruben!