For our first shopping outing, let’s start with some basics. What’s the most important element of a room? What makes it successful?
Well, suffice it to say that no room is a success if it’s not somewhat comfortable. One of the smallest elements in a space and one that can have a big impact, as well as add another layer of comfort, is the humble pillow.
For the earliest decorators, it might have been just a smooth stone on the floor, but it evolved into a sewn item stuffed first with straw, horsehair, feathers, or down, to today’s modern fiber fills.
Coverings can be made of almost any material, from cotton to linen, silk to wool, or (gasp!) polyester! The addition of a pillow (or 12) can transform nearly any room.
Here are some of our favorite examples from in and around Mérida, plus a few online options for virtual shopping that offer the ease of not leaving the house. But do get out and visit these spots. As well as being practical, this new column also celebrates the joy of retail therapy.
Every once in a while, if you’re lucky, you come across a great antique textile. Why a fragile, hard-to-find piece of fabric, you ask? Because a big part of what makes a house a home is having personal items that are not necessarily store bought. Plus, the art of the hunt and the process of having something made is part of the fun. The small embroidered pillow, left, is made from the top of a huipil, beautiful but tiny. No problem, just add a bit of beautiful fabric to increase the size and you have a unique item. Antique fabrics can be hard to find, but when you do locate one, snatch it up! Chances are you won’t find another one like it. We have a secret source that we’re happy to share. They will whip up covers for you and even supply the fills. Lourdes at My Living Room, 551-127-0553
1. CALLE VEINTE
For designers or just anyone with good instincts, my favorite name-brand source for high-end fabrics is Calle Viente. They have a big selection from Designer’s Guild to Camengo and beyond. They also carry a good supply of ready-made pillows (above), all made with top-of-the-line materials.
Calle 49 No. 250, Col. San Ramón Norte, Mérida.
999-944-8605; Instagram: @calleveinte
2. TALLER MAYA
This collective specializes in beautiful items all made in the Yucatán by skilled craftspeople. No two are exactly alike, and the fabrics are all hand-dyed and hand-woven (above). There’s also the added bonus of helping traditional crafts stay alive in the beautiful Yucatán.
Calle 60 # 417 x 45 y 47, Mérida; Tel. 555-256-0097 x 100; Instagram: @tallermaya
3. CORAZON MAYA MARKET
The Slow Food Market is on Saturdays, and while most are hunting for their favorite homemade goodies, you can also head just across the street for a nice selection of handmade pillows and textiles, mostly from Oaxaca. Tell owner Claudia Diaz we said, “Hola!” If they’re in stock, pick up a copy of our magazine while you’re there.
Reforma y 33B, 999-274-5460; Instagram: @corazonmaya47
Xicalico is a stylish shop inside the collective Casa T’ho, with a contemporary flair that draws inspiration from the past. We came across this beauty, a mashup of Porfiriato style, meeting our tropical flora and fauna. The fabric is soft crushed velvet, and the colors are extra saturated, which makes this a dramatic counterpoint that would work well in either a modern or traditional environment.
Paseo de Montejo at Calle 43, Mérida. Instagram: @xicalico
5. ANTIGÜEDADES DE SANTO REMEDIO
Handmade locally, another modern take on traditional crafts was found at Antigüedades de Santo Remedio on Reforma. These large-scale pillow covers (above) are made with a gross point pattern of stylized flowers edged in lace. Imagine granny’s dress done up as pillows on sturdy canvas.
Calle 72 422, Centro, Mérida; 999-637-5621
6. TELAS BAYON
But there’s no need to sacrifice style if you find yourself on a budget or just want to change the look of a room seasonally (it’s always hot here). These serape covers are made to fit standard bed pillows, which work perfectly on the ends of a sofa or as an extra luxe lumbar support. A meter of this inexpensive machine-woven stripe will easily make two shams. And at this price, get a different pattern or color and switch them out whenever the mood strikes to create a different look.
Calle 49 No, 250 Col. San Ramón Norte, Mérida; 999-948-9662; Intagram: @telasbayon
Online and with a retail branch at La Isla Mall in the north, for some, this is a go-to for a room refresher (including an actual room freshener). There are scores of pillow choices (like above) for practically every decor, and you can also get your blank pillow inserts here. La Isla Mérida, 999-518-3669, zarahome.com/mx
Photographs by Patricia Robert