Marjorie Skouras brings a dilapidated historic casona back to color-saturated life
By Alyssa Bird
Photography by John Ellis
- Product designer and decorator Marjorie Skouras relocated from Los Angeles to Mérida, Mexico, to restore a dilapidated 19th-century mansion in the Santiago neighborhood of the city’s Centro Histórico.
- 3/14In the entry foyer, Skouras commissioned local artisan Miguel Rivero to paint a grisaille-style flora pattern on the walls. One of her light fixtures hangs above a 19th-century French table and English majolica vases.
- 4/14Most of the original flooring has been restored, including the tiles in the sala grande. Skouras designed the light fixture, the side table, and the iron cocktail table base, which is topped with antique leather and glass. The chaise longue is a one-off piece by London-based artist and musician Alannah Currie, the 18th-century Italian settee is upholstered in a Fortuny silk, and the Aubusson tapestries are from the 19th century.
- 10/14In a guest bedroom, the armoire is an antique piece found in Mérida that Skouras had painted to match the circa-1900 bedside table and cabinet from Sicily. The painting is by Neil Stokoe. The original floor tile, known locally as pasta tile, is “highly unusual and cannot be reproduced,” notes Skouras.
- 11/14A sitting area in the primary bedroom contains a 19th-century French settee, an antique English majolica side table, and a vintage Chinese floor lamp. Skouras commissioned a series of watercolors from Allison Cosmos based on the flora of her native California. The primary bedroom required new flooring, so Skouras chose new tiles that were in keeping with the rest of the Art Nouveau flooring in the home.
- 14/14Rivero painted the mural in the primary bath, which features a Brazilian granite floor, a 19th-century Mexican bathtub, an antique French console, and an Italian chair from the 1960s. “At one point during construction, the bathtub actually sank into the ground and needed to be hoisted out,” recalls Skouras. “It was actually our very first purchase for the home.”