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Hillsborough Home Mashes Up Mexico, Spain, Morocco, and…Indie Folk?

Lauren Murrow | September 9, 2015 | Story Interiors National

“We call it Mexi-modern,” says homeowner Julie Crosby of her Hillsborough home, a vibrant mashup of Spanish, Moroccan, and Mexican influences. When she, her husband, Brett, and their two daughters moved in to this Spanish colonial revival three years ago, the previous owners had obliterated all traces of its history with pink wallpaper and floral upholstery. Julie razed the countrified kitsch and set out to meld her own modern aesthetic with the home’s original character.

She enlisted designer Michael Hilal of Homepolish to help her stretch beyond her minimalist leanings. “My biggest problem was that I liked every piece best in white,” she says of her former furniture collection. Jokes Hilal, “It looked like she had cleaned out Restoration Hardware five years ago.” The pair started in the formal living room, where a sea of taupe seating was replaced by a pair of velvet and welded-metal chairs from Casamidy in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; pod-like, Moroccan-inspired reading chairs from Ligne Roset; and a whiskey-colored leather daybed.

The dining room’s antiqued brass lanterns were offset by splashy fiberglass shell chairs in mismatched neon shades. In the pool house, fish-scale tiles create a gradient of sea-glass hues.

Julie’s sister, artist Tasha Loudon, made her nieces’ headboards from Mexican Otomi embroidered fabric found during the family’s last trip to Punta Mita. But the most striking work by Loudon, who created much of the art in the house, is in the master bedroom, where hand-painted lettering—lyrics from “Home,” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros—fills an entire wall. An arty alternative to wallpaper, the mural is meant to appear scribbled and slightly imperfect. “We didn’t want it to look like one of those ‘Live, Love, Laugh’ stencils,” says Hilal dryly.

Despite the attractions of the home’s interior, the family can frequently be found in the backyard, which serves as a second (poolside) living room. The towering oak tree bears a wooden swing and a handwoven hammock, its branches and the nearby pergola twinkling with dozens of Mexican and Moroccan lanterns. “We wanted to bring some of San Miguel home with us,” says Julie.

Originally published in the September issue of San Francisco

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