Hola! I’m taking over Lee Steele’s spot here as guest editor to introduce the new look of Yucatán Magazine, a collaboration between Mr. Steele and myself. Hope you like it.
Originally, Yucatán Magazine started 12 years ago online and for the past three years and 10 issues, it has been quarterly and in print — first as Yucatán At Home, then Yucatán Magazine. Yucatán Casa will be a twice-yearly Home issue, and in 2024, we will have even more projects.
This is The Design Issue, but to paraphrase an old adage, the sooner you design something, the sooner you can RE-design it. As with all things, you don’t always get everything right on the first go, and redesigning is just part of the process.
I’m an artist these days but I spent a big part of my career in New York at magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, Allure, and Us Weekly and I must say, after a 15-year break, it’s exciting to be making a magazine again!
And yes, that’s my casa on the cover. If this seems fishy to you, let me say that even before I had any idea of joining the magazine, Lee had told me he planned to feature my house, which was designed by the in-demand young architect, Erik González of González Estudio.
I first came to Mérida six years ago (for dental work, long story) and was here when COVID hit in February of 2020, which is also when I met Erik. After I returned to New York we kept in touch and, thanks to the internet (and the miracle of Facetime) I actually bought my house without ever setting foot inside.
Erik also designed, and is currently building, a home here for my old friend, Sean Strub, who is the current mayor of Milford, Pennsylvania. Sean published Poz magazine in New York and 25 years ago, I redesigned it for him. And now we both have houses in Mérida. Everything connects.
The beautiful architecture of the Yucatán is a big draw here, whether you want a restored colonial, a hacienda, or to build a contemporary design, it’s endlessly fascinating to see how incredibly different personal style is, especially here.
Sometimes the temptation seems to be to imitate the conventional (cliched) idea of what Mexican interior design is, but the more I see, the more I’m amazed at the endless possibilities for creative innovation.
Casa Ocea, the home of art consultant Tiffany Thompson and chef Ted Habiger, is a beach house in Chuburná Puerto that’s also an artist residency, filled with work created by Yucatán artisans and artists from around the globe. (Stay tuned for amazing photos of Tiffany and Ted’s recent wedding in our next issue, Celebrations.)
In addition to our new look, we have a new column, Shopping with Louis Navarrete, which will cover a wide range of sourcing items here in the Yucatán. An interiors wizard Louis says, his chief interest is in “the beauty and quality of line interpreted by different cultures.” Louis has designed and built several unique and beautiful residences in Mérida, including the one he shares with artist Ric Best, the subject of our retooled art department, now called Studio Visit.
Ric was photographed by Patricia Robert, who also shot her own charmingly sophisticated house, Casa Versailles. Look for more of Robert’s beautiful photography in these pages.
I’m so thrilled to be in this great city, working on this magazine with Lee, his staff and an ever-growing group of creatives in our beloved Yucatán. Stay tuned for many more exciting things to come!