Casa Higuera and Casa Sofia were designed and built in three stages. The casitas at Casa Higuera were completed in December 2001, the Casa in September 2002, and Casa Sofia in December 2005. With the assistance of his father LaRue, Aaron first designed and built Casa Higuera, serving as both architect and general contractor. We sought to combine modern design concepts - the open plan, indoor/outdoor living - with local building techniques and skills, such as ample use of the pre-Columbian palapa (thatched) roof. In Casa Sofia, we built on the successful design of Casa Higuera and added several new elements, most notably the expansive, Spanish Catalan-style vaulted ceilings over the top floor, built by craftsmen from central Mexico using techniques passed down the generations from craftsman to craftsman. The colorful hand-blown glass blocks are also unique to Casa Sofia; we designed them and had them manufactured in a glass-blowing workshop in Tonala, Jalisco.
Indeed, one of the joys of building in Mexico is that nearly everything is hand-made and usually comes from a family-based business. Windows and doors are not off the rack but are designed with a local carpenter, bricks are purchased from the family that made them, and the bathroom and kitchen tiles are individually hand painted and fired - to site just a few examples. In addition, Aaron worked with our masons on the site every day to achieve the attention to detail that makes Casa Higuera/Casa Sofia so distinct. As a result, our place has the feeling of being crafted rather than just built. Many of the forms you will find in Casa Higuera/Casa Sofia are sensual and expressive, a choice we made to reflect the forms found in the coastline and ecosystems that surround our place.
The Mexican tradition of arts and crafts is strong and vibrant, and we chose to furnish our places exclusively with arts, crafts and antiques found throughout our travels within the country. From the state of Guanajuato, the painter Gabriel Morales is responsible for much of the paintings of rural life and folk-religious subjects you will find throughout our place. In the same region, we found most of the antique furniture, old mesquite doors, and domestic and ranching objects, as well as all the intricate tin-work that you will find in our bathroom mirrors, wall lamps, and many decorative objects. In Delores Hidalgo, we found the hand-painted provided all the hand-woven rugs, based on designs from pre-Columbian Mexican civilizations, as well and many of the fantastic Zapotec clay and wood sculptures. The framed Mexican film posters (from Mexican cinema's golden age) and vintage family photographs are from Aaron’s growing collection and salvaged from “junk” stores throughout the country. In the two houses you will find many coffee-table books on the arts and crafts of Mexico if you are inspired to read about the objects around you.pottery that you can see in all the table lamps and much of the vases, tableware, coffee mugs, and decorative plates. All of our hand-blown glass, including the colorful glass blocks used in Casa Sofia, came from the state of Jalisco, as did all of our textiles (colorful bedcovers and couch material). Oaxaca
Sayulita tropical climate is a plant-lover’s paradise, and we have landscaped our place to reflect this lushness. On our property you will find a plethora of flora, including seven types of palm trees, five types of bananas, and six different varieties of flowering hibiscus – just for starters. You will also find the enormous, centuries-old higuera tree from which we named our first home. These are the oldest trees in the region and we are blessed with not one but three of them. Unlike almost any other place in Sayulita, we have chosen to develop just a fraction of our whole property, leaving the rest of the land undisturbed and allowing our guests to enjoy the natural beauty around them.