Step Inside an Oasis in Todos Santos, Mexico, Where Bold Colors and a Playful Spirit Rule the Day

Interior designer Faith Blakeney doesn’t believe in always doing things by the book. What she does believe in is kismet, and the notion that one’s stars, during any turning of the tide, align only briefly. Which explains why, on a trip some years ago to Todos Santos (a town on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula), she had zero qualms about flagging down a semitruck full of handmade furniture in 100-degree weather, mere moments after her client, a Belgian-born, LA-based, Oscar-winning producer, had signed a deed for a home there. “It was written in the stars,” Blakeney explains of the serendipitous experience, “because right there on the side of the road, for about $50, we purchased our first furniture for the home—two wonderfully rustic chairs that ultimately found new life in the built-in breakfast nook.”

It was an auspicious start. “My client fell in love with the town’s breezy spirit and its proximity to Los Angeles and decided he needed an oasis there,” says the designer and founder of her namesake LA-based design studio regarding how the project came about. The producer entrusted Blakeney with the interior design even before he knew which home he would buy, although, as Blakeney recalls, “this time was meant to be nothing more than a light renovation.” But fate had other plans. As it turned out, the home—previously used as a surf shack—needed much more attention than Blakeney or her client had originally anticipated, and several meetings with the architect and general contractor made it clear that most things needed replacing.

Blakeney took it as a sign to reincarnate the dwelling. And so she did, but not before removing the ceilings, floors, doorways, and a handful of walls. In her eyes, more space meant more possibilities, including an elevated ceiling and beautiful arched windows in every room, which she put in place right away. Even so, she was careful about keeping one foot in the past. “We were very intentional about trying to maintain a local sensitivity while infusing the home with the wishes and dreams of the client. We worked with a lovely female architect, an engineer, a general contractor, and a design assistant, all from Mexico, to forward that cause,” she avers.

For a designer and client that share a Bohemian bent and feverish flair for color, a shell as nondescript as this was the perfect canvas. “The family is eclectic, artistic, playful, and worldly—a perfect match for Mexico’s fun and vibrancy. I wanted this place to be a tribute to the country’s beautiful, bold use of color,” notes Blakeney, who scored a lucky jackpot of characterful vintage finds, handmade Mexican treasures, and such grassroots novelties as artisanal tile and native wood furniture without even stepping off the Mexican peninsula. What she couldn’t find nearby, she sourced from farther afield. The locally made wooden desk in the living room and the hammered-copper sconces in the daughters’ room were commissioned from mainland Mexico, and the electric wall mural in the bedroom is a labor of love by her sister (the artist, designer, and Jungalow founder, Justina Blakeney). She also commissioned Todos Santos–based Argentine artist Saskia Onvlee for another mural in the daughters’ bedroom.

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