One of the publications we read mentioned the large ex-pat community in Merida and an English Library. We found that the English Library conducted home and garden tours every week of rennovated expat homes in the area so we decided to find it and tag along. As you walk the streets most of the buildings and homes are very plain on the outside, rather uninspired with he exception of color. Every once in a while you get a glimpse inside revealing a beautiful courtyard or something really lovely that does not match the plain exterior so we were delighted to see what secrets were behind some of the doors. Our guide gave a brief overview of the English Library, the ex pat community, and the architectural history of the area before leading us down the street to the first home.
Generally the homes are built right to the street and right up against the neighbors,with no walkways in between and with relatively unassuming facades. Once you enter the personality of the owner shows in the renovation with styles from the very modern, traditional to ecclectic. There is always an ourdoor area or courtyard that is part of the house, sometimes it is central, sometimes in the back of the house or it may run along the side with doors opening to the outdoors. Some have pools, all are lush oases offering respite from the heat of day and the noisy streets.
The first house we visited as originally built In the mid 1800's and is now an ecclectic mix of old and modern. It is for sale for $565,000 and a gorgeous home in the Santa Ana neighborhood, not far from the library. The home is filled with local antiques and art objects. Everything about it is interesting. The pool area and master bath are stunning. It boasts three living rooms, two indoor/outdoor areas at either end of the pool and one enclosed formal living room. The kitchen is open and large and there are three bedrooms. The house is built for entertaining and could easily accommodate 50 or more people.
A few blocks away we visited another home, also mid 1800's, this one had more of a traditional feel to it but lovely in its simplicity. This home was much smaller.
The third home, in the Santiago neighborhood and a good long walk was very modern and looked like an ad for Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel, not as grand as the first but with very nice touches and a lovely outdoor courtyard and pool. Tips also is for sale, $319,000.