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Design Lessons from the Condesa DF Mexico City

Tucked away on a leafy street in the hip Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City is the Condesa DF hotel. Located in a charming French neoclassical building , the contemporary interiors have been beautifully renovated by architect Javier Sanchez. The pitch perfect interiors were the vision of Paris-based designer India Mahdavi, whose work you might recognize from the glam Connaught Bar in London or her mod stools that grace the lobby of the Petit Moulin in Paris. The 40-room Condesa SF has dozens of great design ideas to crib. Sources and how to get the look for less at the end:

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LIGHT FANTASTIC:  Moooi’s fiberglass Random Lights give the bar an ethereal sense of cool. The lighting pops against the stunning turquoise walls and ceiling. Painting the ceiling the same color as the walls is a great trick when you have eye-catching pendant lights, it puts the attention on the lighting, rather than a break in color. Note the Bishop bar stools, designed by India Mahdavi, are the same as the ones at The Connaught, although those are topped in leather and these in ponyskin.

SCULPTURAL FURNITURE MAKES A ROOM: India Mahdavi’s table is a work of art.  This table was designed for the hotel but she has a similar version, the Vera Cruz table, available through Ralph Pucci in NYC.  The Bassam Fellows Tractor Stools are based on the design of the seats on Swiss tractors, love the silhouette. They are available in varying heights.

SIMPLICITY FOR SLEEPING: Mahdavi has said that she wanted the guest rooms of the hotel to feel like monks quarters–spare and serene. It’s a smart contrast to the lively public areas. Wood paneled screens, cozy white beds, and simple furniture are all it takes to keep things visually calm.

WOOD FLOORS WARM UP THE BATHROOM: Marble tiles on the wall paired with rich wood floors creates a inviting, soft feeling in a room that often can feel a bit cold.

 A TOUCH OF PATTERN: The floral print on the chairs was a fabric picked up at the Mexico City flea market. The small burst of color and pattern is a cheerful link to the more playful design of the public areas. With everything else neutral, and the green reflecting the colors outside, the pattern fits in with the serene decor.INDOOR/OUTDOOR LIVING ROOMS: The top suite provides two great options for living spaces. The two boxy cream sofas with blue piping provide a cheerful interior perch, while the circular outdoor sofa provides a fabulous place to unwind with friends.

TERRIFIC TABLE:  Love this kidney bean outdoor table, the shape is a great alternative to the standard silhouettes, looks like it would be an amazing setting for a lively dinner party.

While the exterior is traditional French neoclassical, the interior courtyard features the paneled hallways with shutters that open and close.  It’s a terrific contrast of classic with contemporary.

Here are a few ways to recreate the look at home:

At $79 the Woven Abaca pendant light from West Elm is a less pricey, (but taupe) alternative to the $605 Moooi version that comes in  3 sizes in white and black.

West Elm’s Martini Side Table in black, silver, green, and white  has a similar feel to the India Mahdavi Bishop stool. However the original also comes in an additional bar stool height.

Mahdavi’s Vera Cruz table is a work of art. The larger version at the hotel isn’t available at Ralph Pucci (only the Vera Cruz is), but could probably be custom ordered through India Mahdavi’s Paris’ showroom. No less pricey alternatives here, this is definitely an investment piece.

Kiwi Silhouette from Calico Corners has a similar vibe to the vintage floral at the hotel.

The showstopping Bassam Tractor stool are available at Design Within Reach for about $1200. Room & Board created a similar version. Not quite the same impact, but it is about 1/4 of the price of the original.

Photographs courtesy Condesa SF, photographer Jorge Bustos

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