Suitable for working out or sleeping in

gymCasa Nana faces east-west, but we were intent on having at least one room face north to catch breezes from the Gulf of Mexico. Somehow, we needed to build something perpendicular to the house without sacrificing our narrow yard. So, atop our rear casita, which is also oriented east-west, our architect devised single room adjacent to the roof terrace.

It’s glass on two sides, wide open to the north, with a privacy wall on the south. We can look out and see the Hyatt, relishing memories of their concierge-floor lounge. There’s no sink, toilet or closets, just a fan and air conditioner, and a water spigot on the south terrace. As they dry, the pinkish chukum walls are taking on an agreeably soft tone that changes hues along with the quality of light. Its one embellishment is the shocking yellow opaque glass.

The terrace is uncovered, but will have built-in benches, so the glass room will also be a bodega de cushions. But if we’re as focused and disciplined as we think we’ll be, it will serve mainly as an exercise room with dumbbells, maybe a medicine ball or an exercise machine.

A Hyatt view from the terrace.

A Hyatt view from the terrace.

It could also be a yoga room, should we take up yoga. Or maybe it will just be a place to stretch on a mat. And while I’m down there, what’s wrong with just a 20-minute nap? Yes, we could do that, too. The room has so much potential for an artist/designer as well. We’ll  indulge in unhealthy beverages on the terrace at night, and pay for our sins in the workout room during the day.

This is our most modern room, the terminus of the transition that begins with the traditional front rooms. From old to new in 47 meters. The huge folding doors are a marvel. The main house utilizes sliding doors, but here atop the rear casita we have massive glass hinged aluminum pieces. On our most recent visit, the fabricator popped by and he was beaming with pride.

The room was almost an afterthought when we listed our “requirements” to the architects two years ago. “Oh yeah, and we want a workout room somewhere,” was how I remember we discussed it. They dutifully took notes and came up with a brilliant floor plan. On paper, the room looked interesting, but actually walking through it was an unexpected “wow.” Once the pots have lined up against the privacy wall and the plants are in the planters (and a drink is finally planted in my hand) this might be our very favorite room.

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  1. As much as I love the old colonial stuff in Mexico, the modern stuff is generally very good too. I think Mexicans in general are much more in touch with their artistic sides than the average Gringo.

    And be careful with that invitation, I might actually take you up on it, LOL. Saludos.

    I’m with you on the snow. Ugh! Thank god I’m now in San Francisco. More or less, at least.

    • It’s all going to melt away by Christmas, which is unfortunate timing. High of 54 Sunday in Boston! I haven’t been to SF in 15 years, and it’s where Paul and I first became aware of our disenchantment of the twee and quaint and started to appreciate the modern. I wrote about that once…

  2. That’s the great thing about Mexico. They can just build whatever, and it flies. Here, I’m sure some building department would be working overtime to think up a reason to prohibit your little penthouse.

    Me? I think it’s fabulous.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we’d love to be somewhere where we’d have to worry about staying cool.</i

    • Thank you, Kim! We’ll keep a spare yoga mat reserved for you. I’m surprised at how modern we’ve gone. I came for the “old hacienda” look, but I ended up being influenced by how modern today’s Mexico really is. No one even complains when a new US chain comes to town. Viva PF Chang’s and California Pizza Kitchen, they’re saying. So I guess I’m not required to embellish anything with Talavera tile, pretty as it is.

      Where I’m writing this while watching snowfall number 3 and it’s not even officially winter yet.

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