An Artist’s Colourful Home in Valle de Bravo
Images by Ana Laframboise
This week we return to Mexico to visit the home and studio of artist, yogi and proud Gemini, Fernanda Caballero. The vibrant home set amongst the greenery of Valle de Bravo is a labour of love, designed by Fernanda and her partner Aldo. Filled with treasures from their travels and many (many!) animal friends including cats, dogs, turtles, a rescued cockatoo and a ferret named El Buki, the space in many ways is a reflection of Fernanda’s colourful approach to life and has become a true sanctuary to the creative couple over the past 24-months. A special thank you to our friend Ana Laframboise who captured Fernanda’s world so beautifully for this piece.
“We’ve lived in this place almost two years now, it doubles as a studio and our home. We moved in just as we were about to finish constructing it in November 2019, we were really eager to move to our dream house after getting married in April that same year. It turned out to be perfect timing because by March 2020 the pandemic had begun, and our home embraced us in a time where everything and everyone (including us) was going loco! We felt very lucky that we got to live and nest in the house we designed together. I love that every little space and corner was designed by us and it all works together as our safe haven. Both Aldo and I really put our heart and soul into creating this house. When we are home everything feels at peace even if it isn’t.”
“A funny thing about our bedroom is that I was very stubborn about two design-wise decisions that at first Aldo wasn’t really sure about. Firstly, our orange carpet (my favourite in the house) which we found in Marrakech and spent two days negotiating on the price, and secondly the golden velvet curtains which surround the whole room. These two elements make me really happy and I think give the room a very specific language and feel. Aldo ended up loving them more than I do – I think.”
“At night when we close the curtains we are surrounded by a golden haze which feels really dreamy, and it's kind of 70’s… a bit kinky and fun and cozy. I really love this room! There’s also the bathtub which we decided should be built in the middle of the room with a view to our garden. Behind it I have my dresser, designed by Aldo, with a vintage mirror we found in Mexico City. My altar, or puja, is also an important part of our room. That’s where –some– of the magic happens.”
At night when we close the curtains we are surrounded by a golden haze which feels really dreamy.
“There are so many special things in this house that I love. Since both Aldo and I are artists and designers our home has a lot of our own pieces – Aldo’s sculptures and my paintings. We also have very special pieces from beloved friends and a collection of textiles and ceramics that we have built little by little while traveling. A very special object though, is our antique opium den which was found by Aldo in a market when we started dating. We had only met three times, and one day he called me and said “hey I have a gift for you, it’s going to be the centerpiece of our house someday”. I was like “yeah ok”, but it actually ended up happening just like that. It is the heart of our home, and it divides the house area from Aldo’s studio. It also has the best view to the garden, it is definitely my favorite piece and favourite spot to spend time.
“I have painted since I was a little kid, but it started gaining force and direction around 2015, when I was finishing my bachelor in interior design. My practice and process is constantly evolving, as it should, but I think that I finally understood that my art needed my full attention and discipline in 2019.”
In addition to Fernanda’s artistic practice she’s also an avid Yogi, teaching classes and facilitating retreats highlighting the importance of connection both with yourself and those around you.
“I danced since I was very young and I’ve always been interested in different sports, but dancing was my main thing. When I was fifteen I got injured before a competition, which at the moment felt like the end of the world for me, but that’s how I discovered yoga. It was part of my physical therapy. At first I hated it, I was very young and all I wanted to do was to dance. But little by little yoga did its magic, and I became addicted to it. I started attending every class I could, understanding what it was really about, essentially, I became a yoga geek. I decided to really start studying the whole discipline and spiritual practice and enrolled in my first teacher training. I started teaching classes daily when I was nineteen and was always the youngest student in the trainings I attended. I really learned a lot about life, about death and everything in between from my teachers and colleagues. I'm still learning, we all are. In 2016 I co-founded WAYS meditation & yoga escapes or retreats with one of my best friends. We started doing this because we recognised the importance of bringing and re-connecting people to nature while they’re on their own spiritual path and process. It’s such fulfilling work and keeps me whole and centered.”
At first I hated it, I was very young and all I wanted to do was to dance. But little by little yoga did its magic, and I became addicted to it.
“Veintiséis Taller Textil is a project Aldo and I started in 2018. When we started dating we noticed that we both had a lot of antiques and textiles from our travels that we had been collecting on our own. Then we moved in together and we had a lot (A LOT) of stuff. We decided to start a more formal collection, and have a showroom to sell some of it. It’s based in Mexico City on the first floor of Aldo’s main studio in La Roma, and we usually welcome visitors only by appointment. What I really enjoy about it is that it is a project with which we tell a little bit of our story, everything in there was found in our trips together, everything has a why, everything has a little story behind it.”
“[Outside of yoga and my creative practice] I’m mostly in my garden when it’s sunny. I get bored rather easily but I really like having my routine at home, if I’m not gardening and spending time with all the animals I’m practicing aerial silks or playing the harmonium or weaving. I enjoy studying a lot, so I’m always enrolled in online classes as well. I also love watching 90’s & 2000’s sitcoms and I adore sleeping and cuddling with my dogs, and Aldo obviously haha.”
“For the rest of the year, I’m trying not to plan that much, since everything is changing by the minute with these very accelerated times we live in. My only plan is to keep working hard on myself, to keep doing the inner work from which everything blooms. I look forward to having enough time to do everything that I want to do, and I’m very grateful for that. I have a solo exhibition in November that has me kind of wired up at the moment. I'm also moving my studio to a bigger space which makes me really happy and a little bit nervous. I just try to enjoy life and have fun and dance with whatever comes up, just like a palm tree.”