When Sandra Espinet’s clients approached her about renovating their potential second home in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, there was no hesitation. In spite of its outdated finishes and aesthetic, after taking one look at the stunning oceanfront property located in the upscale and ultra-private neighborhood of Villa del Mar, she gave the homeowners the green light to purchase the nearly 6,000-square-foot home. “They knew going in this was going to be a big renovation, but it is such an amazing lot and property that [I knew it would be] worth it,” says the designer, who splits her time between her homes in San Jose del Cabo and Los Angeles, California.
Espinet, who previously designed the couple’s primary residence in Texas,
began working with the homeowners on slightly reworking the footprint of the home but mainly tearing out the existing finishes such as those in the kitchen, the home’s flooring, the pool tile, and the entire terrace. The extensive work on the home included plastering all of the walls, designing and installing custom built-in shelves, new plumbing and tile work in every bathroom, new carpentry in the kitchen and baths, and not to mention switching out all of the existing lighting to energy-efficient LED lighting. “It was a big deal,” says Espinet. “Before we could get to the fun stuff there was a lot of work to be done on the bones of the home.”
Though the layout of the home barely changed—the kitchen was expanded by taking a portion of a guest bedroom closet and another guest bedroom was extended for additional space—the interiors were dramatically transformed from a stale look to a fresh, modern Moroccan-Mexican aesthetic. To achieve a beach vibe, Espinet opted to incorporate a color palette of natural linen, teal blue, and salmon—all a nod to the natural hues found just off the home’s expansive outdoor, ocean-facing terrace.
The most dramatic change was to the terrace and pool, both of which were torn apart to install Mexican marble tiles, which seamlessly transition from the indoors out. “The outdoor living space was extremely significant during the redesign,” explains Espinet. “Because the weather in San Jose del Cabo is so great year-round, you have those doors open most of the time so the inside and the outside had to be equal, of the same caliber.” Espinet added outdoor furniture by Giati Designs and JANUS et Cie, Moroccan-inspired tile detailing amongst the larger marble tiles, and durable fabric by designers such as Giati, Perennials, and Summit in neutral patterns to achieve an upscale yet comfortable outdoor living space. The infinity-edge pool, which was outfitted with Pebbletex tile, fades off into the horizon and serves as an extension of the casual lounge area. White chaise lounges, which pop against the bold colors of the ocean, line the outdoor living area to accommodate sun-bathing guests.
On the interior, the color palette was brought to life via cantera stone pillars, exposed wood beams, and colorful fabrics by Fortuny and Donghia. In the family room, wood inlay in the custom built-in shelving is accented with pale blue to tie in the ocean’s hue with the interiors.
The orientation of the home is ideal in that every room boasts an ocean view—including the impressive master suite. An antique wash was applied to the majestic custom-made bed, built locally by Mexican artisans. Espinet then draped sheer Italian fabric over the canopy for an ethereal feeling— “It’s so luxurious,” she says—while Anichini bedding completes the luxe look that the homeowners wanted for their private retreat. The rest of the well-appointed home boasts pieces, which Espinet and the homeowner, who was deeply involved in the design decisions, found while shopping in Los Angeles and Mexico. To achieve the Moroccan-meets-Mexican aesthetic, Espinet incorporated locally made pieces, such as the master bed, to complement Moroccan-inspired elements including the lighting, iron work, wood accents, and some of the tile work found throughout the home.
The end result, says Espinet, is a dream home for the Texas couple and their family, who vacation there several times a year. Though the redesign of the home’s interiors resulted in a lengthy renovation process, the couple and Espinet are thrilled with the end result. “It’s an absolute dream home,” she says.
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