If you've lived in LA for any length of time, you've no doubt noticed the heavy influence of Mexican elements in the architecture. Of course there are the ubiquitous red clay tile roofs, but most older buildings proudly bear the stucco or wrought-iron elements of early-20th century design trends. I recently moved into a new apartment that is for the most part very traditional and nondescript, except for one element--Mexican talavera tiles in the kitchen, the bathroom, and adorning the stairs leading to my front door.
When faced with a design element that bold and that...erm...immovable, there's only one thing to do: embrace it! Which is what I did. I was looking for a change anyway, and once I started looking into the more folk-art-y aspects of the Californian/Mexican design sphere, the happier it made me. Bright colors, strong patterns, and a handmade quality give Mexican folk art an unbridled joy that I find sorely lacking in the popular revival of mid-century modern design.
Just a little bit of Googling led me to the open doors of Artesano's, a delightful little shop on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank. They import their goods straight from Mexico, and they offer everything from larger furnishings like equipal chairs and tables to accent pieces like talavera pottery. If you're a Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos fan, they have the COOLEST skeleton and skull pieces!
My friend Natasha and I stopped by the other night (while we were enjoying Ladies & Gents Night Out) and I snapped these photos, but I have definitely made more than a few shopping trips here. So far, I've collected a pitcher with matching glasses, a soup tureen, an accent table, and a wall mirror--I'm biding my time until I can add a couple more things to my collection. Currently, I have my eye on the cutest little tequila set...
If your interest is piqued, I highly recommend you stop by the store and look around. They seem to be pretty family-run, and everyone who has helped me when I've shopped there has been extraordinarily friendly and helpful. They have a decent return policy (two weeks with receipt, I think, but don't quote me on that) in case what you get just doesn't work in your place. And while you're there, you should sign up for their newsletter--every once in awhile they have sales and sometimes everything in the store can be up to 25% off!
And when you're finished, you should definitely go next door to the Luna Vine Wine Bar for a little post-shopping wine-and-tapas break. Because you deserve it.