Casa Bonita

Written by Leah LeMoine Category: At Home Issue: May 2015
Group Mid-Level
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Embrace el estilo Mexicano in fresh, modern ways.

Mexican design – much like Mexican cuisine – is una mezcla, a mix of vibrant influences, from pre-colonial Indian crafts to territorial architecture to last year’s trend of “Mexican Modernism,” characterized by sleek, modern lines with pops of exotic materials and splashy colors. It’s an aesthetic people in the Valley are intimately familiar with, especially natives.

“A lot of us grew up with this as our culture and our feel,” says Jenni Linzy, marketing and events coordinator for Frances, Phoenix’s preeminent vintage boutique. “People all year round come here for Día de los Muertos stuff, and it’s not just specific to the holiday. This stuff stays on the shelf all the time and it always does well because it’s a part of our lives; it’s not just a date on a calendar. I think that’s very important for this region.”

To keep your home from feeling like a neighborhood Mexican restaurant, Linzy advises restraint and balance. “I think the trick is keeping it fresh and thinking outside the box so you’re not just thinking sombreros and just the sugar skulls and things, but really delving into the culture,” she says.

That cultural connection permeates the merchandise at Pandora’s Box in Scottsdale. Owner Annabelle Maldonado, a native of Chihuahua, imports the bulk of her stock from her home country. Her own home is full of the Mexican elements she says her customers clamor for – tin angels, wooden santos, silver crosses, candles, milagros and one-of-a-kind wood carvings. Maldonado says the décor “always” reminds her of growing up in Mexico. It’s special because it’s “handmade and [makes you] appreciate all the artisans that we have in Mexico,” she says. “Being there [and] knowing them is where you value the beautiful things that they can make.”

Frances (above)
10 W. Camelback Rd.,
Phoenix, 602-279-5467,
Frances carries an assemblage of Mexican and Mexican-inspired items, from painted hats and striking cuffs to floral blankets and agave- and cactus-shaped jewelry holders. Marketing and events coordinator Jenni Linzy has a soft spot for the hand-sewn fabric cactus (middle of top shelf) from local artist Sigh Foo. Prices range from $20-$200.

Pandora’s Box
7366 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale
“Don’t do everything matchy-matchy because that’s not a nice thing,” owner Annabelle Maldonado says. “Mix and match. A beautiful smaller piece with the accent of an old, one-of-a-kind accent – that looks very pretty.” Prices for the woven baskets, angel wings, crosses and milagros range from $15-$50.
Pandora's Box
Arizona Tile Arizona Tile
5151 W. Bell Rd., Glendale, 602-547-9838
14700 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale, 480-991-3066
8829 S. Priest Dr., Tempe, 480-893-9393,
The Seville Deco collection is inspired by Mexico’s famed Talavera tile. The inserts, decos and listelles range from $4.37-$10.74 each (retail; contractor prices vary by project).
Mexicana Rose
6300 E. Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek
The Kanab sofa has a turned alder base and hand-tooled Mexican leather front and back.
Mexicana Rose