Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

The Artisanal Apartment: Laura Aviva Creates a Mexico City Showcase for Her Design Collection

Search

The Artisanal Apartment: Laura Aviva Creates a Mexico City Showcase for Her Design Collection

May 6, 2024

Laura Aviva collaborates with artisan workshops in Latin America to create L’Aviva Home’s lighting, textiles, and furniture. She approaches traditional craft as a springboard for sophisticated, entirely new designs and loves getting her collaborators to apply their skills in undreamed of ways.

Her pieces land in impressive settings that are featured on the company website. But what kind of rooms does Laura herself envision them in? Based in NYC, she recently bought an apartment in Mexico City to officially declare CDMX her home away from home. And she transformed her new flat into both living quarters and a showcase for what she and her team does.

“Normally, we design products to shine in a range of contexts,” Laura tells us. “With this space, we flipped our creative process and designed a Platonic ideal of where we would like them to live and how we would like to live with them.” Join us for a tour.

Photography courtesy of L’Aviva Home (@lavivahome). laura aviva of l'aviva home in her cdmx apt/showroom. maureen m. evans photo. 17Above: Laura’s apartment is in a 1950s tile-covered modernist building in La Condesa, which she describes as “one of the most architecturally interesting and creative neighborhoods in the city.” The entry is at the center of two halls, one leading to the kitchen/living area and the other to three bedrooms—that’s essentially the original setup, but the resemblance ends there. Laura rejiggered the floor plan (the kitchen, for instance, had been a library) and reconsidered every element—take a look at the Before shots below. 

“A goal of the project was to shine a light on all of the artisans involved and to create a space that feels considered and crafted by hand,” says Laura. She worked with architect Gilda Valencia of Colectivo A on the transformation—”Gilda was a dream collaborator: she oversaw the project as a whole and the construction—because of seismic considerations, we needed structural engineers, too. Gilda made it all happen.” Photograph by Maureen M. Evans.

the small kitchen now sits at the heart of the apartment divided from the livin 18
Above: The small kitchen now sits at the heart of the apartment divided from the living room by a mesquite screen carved by Isaac Castañeda, a third-generation woodworker in his twenties from Guanajuato who Laura was introduced to by a friend. Wanting a space that was partially open, Laura was inspired by screens and latticework in Mexican churches and Barragán’s architecture— “they’re used as a way of creating divisions and filtering light.” Photograph by Fabian Martinez.
all of the built ins, including the kitchen cabinets of stained parota, were ma 19
Above: All of the built-ins, including the kitchen cabinets of stained parota, were made by local carpenter Anastacio Ramírez . The counter is Porcelanato, porcelain panels that looks like stone —Laura had hoped to use a local stone but says this ended up being a better solution: “it takes heat, doesn’t stain, it’s a dream.” Photograph by Fabian Martinez.
&#8\2\20;there were some things i had my heart set on and people humored me 20
Above: “There were some things I had my heart set on and people humored me,” says Laura of the custom-cut hexagonal slate floor tiles made by a local stoneworker. Next to nothing in the apartment is off the rack: even most of the dishware on the open shelves are one-offs created for the space by L’Aviva Home artisans. Photograph by Maureen M. Evans.
after isaac castañeda made the kitchen screen and companion shutters for h 21
Above: After Isaac Castañeda made the kitchen screen and companion shutters for her bedroom, Laura enlisted him to fabricate the large oval dining tabletop; it rests on a travertine base made by the same master stoneworker who cut the hexagonal slate tiles. The Lava Woven Chairs are Habitación 116’s formal take on traditional Mexican seating. In place of straw, they’re finished with durable paper cord of recycled paper that comes in a range of shades: Laura’s choice of deep pink was a departure for her—she’s color shy and typically works in neutrals.

 The pendant lights are L’Aviva Home’s blown glass Tobalá Pendants made in Oaxaca.The collage was a commission made for the apartment by Laura’s friend Maddalena Forcella of Madda Studio, which specializes in naturally dyed textiles and rugs. As for the pine floor, it’s original to the apartment—”it was that orangey yellow that pine gets over time,” says Laura. “I wanted it to feel earthy, so we tried staining it then realized we had to bleach it and start again. It took several tries to get the color right.” Photograph by Fabian Martinez               

the living room&#8\2\17;s wall of windows are original and are what sold th 22
Above: The living room’s wall of windows are original and are what sold the place for Laura: “I wanted the feeling of a Mexican treehouse.” The narrow terrace is now lined with custom copper-faced planters filled with Colocasia, also known as elephant ears. Photograph by Fabian Martinez.
the stoneworker who built the dining table base also created the living room ba 23
Above: The stoneworker who built the dining table base also created the living room banquette and table of travertine. The cushions are covered in Pampa, a cotton-jute from Laura’s friend Zak Profera’s Zak + Fox, The wall lights are L’Aviva Home’s Martillado Collection sconces of chiseled hardwood—”they play like art.” Photograph by Fabian Martinez.
what began as a kitchen screen led to l&#8\2\17;aviva home&#8\2\17;s ju 24
Above: What began as a kitchen screen led to L’Aviva Home’s just-launched Celosía Collection made by Isaac Castañeda—this hanging light of carved mesquite is a prototype. “Celosías—lattices—filter the harsh Mexican light, so we thought it would be interesting to apply them to lighting,” says Laura. “Light filters from them beautifully.” Photograph by Maureen M. Evans.
laura purchased paint locally and tested &#8\2\20;800 different shades& 25
Above: Laura purchased paint locally and tested “800 different shades” to get the right white for the walls. Shown here: a Habitación 116 Lava Chair and L’Aviva Home’s Piedra Collection Sconce off the kitchen. Photograph by Maureen M. Evans.
more piedra collection sconces and ceiling lights of marble and onyx line the h 26
Above: More Piedra Collection sconces and ceiling lights of marble and onyx line the hall. Carved in Tecali, Mexico, they take their streamlined shape from pre-Colombian stone masks. Note the doors and door frames—all redesigned by Laura. Photograph by Maureen M. Evans.
the baño huéspedes—guest bathroom set in the former maid&# 27
Above: The baño huéspedes—guest bathroom set in the former maid’s quarters—has a terrazzo floor inlaid with Verdi Alpi marble, “a stone that was extensively used on CDMX city center building façades at the turn of the 20th century,” says Laura. The companion sink of Verde Luana marble was also custom made. The Lola Vase is by Mexico City star ceramic artist Perla Valtierra. Photograph by Maureen M. Evans.
the seat off the entry, designed by laura&#8\2\17;s friend raul cabra of oa 28
Above: The seat off the entry, designed by Laura’s friend Raul Cabra of Oax-i-fornia and made by Isaac Castañeda, is a modernized version of a partera (birthing) chair. The vase is a vintage piece from Puebla. Photograph by Maureen M. Evans.
laura commissioned marina santana, a ceramicist from jalisco, to make her first 29
Above: Laura commissioned Marina Santana, a ceramicist from Jalisco, to make her first tiles for behind the guest bed—”I don’t like headboards, so this is my nod to one,” says Laura. “I asked for shades of blue to add depth.” The Michoacán Collection bedcover of woven undyed wool and the saddle leather Capa Pendant Light are L’Aviva Home designs. Photograph by Fabian Martinez.
the custom cut slate tiles reappear in laura&#8\2\17;s bathroom.  phot 30
Above: The custom-cut slate tiles reappear in Laura’s bathroom.  Photograph by Fabian Martinez.
the bathtub—&#8\2\2\1;each indentation is the stroke of a hammer& 31
Above: The bathtub—”each indentation is the stroke of a hammer”—by Sergio Velasquez, a fourth generation coppersmith in Santa Clara de Cobre. “He had never made a tub before,” says Laura, “we designed it together; it’s solid copper. There’s a water shortage in Mexico City at the moment so I don’t allow myself to take baths, but it’s my single favorite possession.” The Ban Stool is by Mexico City design studio Esrawe. Photograph by Fabian Martinez.
a popotillo (wheat straw) wreath by oaxifornia hangs in laura&#8\2\17;s bed 32
Above: A Popotillo (wheat straw) Wreath by Oaxifornia hangs in Laura’s bedroom next to a L’Aviva Home Atzompa Collection pendant light. Isaac Castañeda made the perforated shutters: for more hole-punch designs, go to our Trend Alert. Photograph by Fabian Martinez.
&#8\2\20;this apartment took a year of my life,&#8\2\2\1; says laura. & 33
Above: “This apartment took a year of my life,” says Laura. “It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done.” Photograph by Fabian Martinez.

Floor Plan

working with architect gilda valencia of colectivo a, laura kept the apartment& 34
Above: Working with architect Gilda Valencia of Colectivo A, Laura kept the apartment’s basic flow but moved walls and restructured all of the rooms.

Before

the living room formerly flowed into a library, now the kitchen. 35
Above: The living room formerly flowed into a library, now the kitchen.
the kitchen was in a room of its own and had been updated over the years. 36
Above: The kitchen was in a room of its own and had been updated over the years.
a bedroom offers a look at the multi toned pine floors—they required ble 37
Above: A bedroom offers a look at the multi-toned pine floors—they required bleaching first to uniformly stain them.

We’ve been following L’Aviva Home from the get-go. Here’s a sampling:

(Visited 8,211 times, 96 visits today)
You need to login or register to view and manage your bookmarks.

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0