The 12th edition of Fundación BAI’s Showcase of Homes will be more spectacular than ever.
Yucatán Magazine, among the event’s sponsors, got a peak at two of the seven homes on Sunday’s tour.
Louis Navarrete, an interior designer, and Ric Best, an artist, and insatiable book collector, came to Merida in 2017. Louis says his objective was to find “a ruin” that could be transformed to fulfill all their housing needs and dreams. Ric throws back his head and laughs, “Well, we were successful beyond our expectations. We bought the ugliest house on the block,” he says.
But the colonial-upper fixer in Mérida’s Santiago area had all the appointments they hoped for: high ceilings, a fountain, spacious rooms, and interior and back gardens. Louis spent his childhood in Santiago, Cuba, and felt immediately drawn to this property because it resembled his grandmother’s home.
Ric meshes his fingers together when asked to describe the decorating style and tries to explain, “I would say it is sort of like Comic-Con meets Downton Abbey.”
“Perfect,” says Louis. “We love our home so much and never want to leave.”
Another property where we were allowed a sneak-peak was also elegant and expansive, but it could not have been more different. This is a hint at the variety of homes that will be on view.
When the owners came upon the property 15 blocks south of the Plaza Grande, they were struck by its history.
The home not only served as a multi-generational residence but also as the family business headquarters for a time — a large bakery had been installed on the grounds.
Peter Benedict has redesigned several homes in Merida, and he certainly excelled with this one. The ceilings, floors, wiring, and plumbing have all been redone. Features such as a large airy kitchen and an emperor-sized main bathroom add contemporary comfort that complements the days-gone-by elegance.
This free-standing home features a soaring façade, an attractive front yard, and a two-car garage, none of which are common to Centro properties. The back gardens and pool area are highly well-suited to outdoor entertaining. One fantastic feature is the novel way Peter re-purposed the old wood-burning bakery oven. No photo is provided here because such an out-of-the-box innovation must be seen to be believed.
Peter’s wife, Deborah, created an endemic garden that enhances the home’s design elements. Original contemporary art and sculptures are tasteful and add to the overwhelming elegance of this property.
Peter says that the family’s story was the inspiration behind the renovation of this turn-of-the-20th-century quinta — a city-sized plantation.
“I wanted to respect their traditions and what the house meant to them. It was important for Debora and me to see that the family members were pleased with what we did.”
Founded in 2005 in the US and in Mexico in 2007, Fundación BAI A.C. is a non-profit organization working to prevent teenage pregnancies and the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. The nonprofit also provides education and promotes scientific research, and works to empower health professionals in the community.
Many fundraising events enable the BAI Foundation to continue its work. Its most popular event is the annual Showcase of Homes.
About the 2022 Showcase
The Showcase is a self-guided tour between noon and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6. Ticket-holders will be given a map and wristband but must supply their own transportation between all seven houses.
Yucatán Magazine Coverage of Past Showcases: