Courtyard Casa in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

When I imagine my perfect house, I always think of either a seaside property located on a coast overlooking the water or a large ranch-type of home with beautifully landscaped grounds and acreage beyond imagination. This hacienda style house, designed by a New Yorker David Howell for John Houshmand – a furniture designer – comes pretty close to what I see as my dream-come-true abode of the distant future. It is the uncomplicated architecture, the relaxed interior ambiance and the close connection with nature that I find serene and harmonious.

When working on this casa in the artisan centered town of San Miguel de Allende, David Howell abandoned high-tech building techniques and limited himself strictly to traditional construction methods and local materials, such as concrete or volcanic rock. By doing this, the updated courtyard-style hacienda becomes a testament to the artistry and skill of regional craftsmen as well as a product and a natural extension of its surroundings. Furnished and decorated to a large extent with Mexican antiques, textiles and handcraft, the interior design emphasizes the authenticity of this wonderful space.

The light, airy kitchen is brightened by handmade ceramic tiles in yellow colour. The domed bóveda ceilings throughout the house feature a very elaborate brickwork.

The main seating area is decorated with local Mexican textiles and artwork. The concrete pieces like the tub are bespoke and locally made.

Seating area.

Second seating area.

Bedroom. Terra-cotta floor tiles absorb the heat but remain cool to touch.

One of the eight bedrooms in the house. The colour scheme of neutrals and oranges makes the interior ‘merge’ with the outside landscape.


The bedroom is an open plan room meaning that the bathroom is not separated from the bedroom.


The walls in this bathroom are surfaced with rough grey plaster.

Shower cabin and wash basin in the bathroom.

Seating area was created in one of the vaults.

Aztec clay masks adorn the bare walls.




The exterior of the house, paved in rust-coloured stones that were already used by the Aztecs centuries ago.

*Source: David Howell Design, Architectural Digest

10 thoughts on “Courtyard Casa in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

  1. Tu blog ha sido todo un descubrimiento, Joanna.
    Ya tienes una nueva seguidora y un enlace de tu blog en nuestro blogroll de inspiración.
    Besos desde Madrid.

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