I recently visited the Victoria and Albert Museum and the whole place was buzzing with anticipation for the upcoming exhibition featuring clothes and artefacts belonging to artist Frida Kahlo. The collection was locked away for 50 years after her death and has never before been seen outside Mexico.
Frida Kahlo is an enduring style icon. She was born in 1907 in La Casa Azul in Mexico City. Frida’s life was marked by tragic events which became the subject of her paintings. Disabled by polio in childhood and then at 18 severely injured when the bus she was on collided with a tram in Mexico City. The injuries caused her suffering throughout her life and it was whilst she was in recovery from the accident that she first started to paint. A prolific self-portraitist her pictures explore the issues of gender, race, culture in a naive, surrealist style. Many of the pictures incorporate elements of mexican tradition, folklore and native wildlife.
She later returned to live at Casa Azul with her husband the famous Mexican mural painter Diego Rivera. When Frida died in 1954 aged 47, Diego gifted the house to the Mexican people. The house is now a museum and showcase to her flamboyant sense of style and her love of Mexican culture and folklore.
The exterior of the artist’s house is made up of bold colours. Bright blues, vivid yellows and pinks provide a background for the lush green of tropical plants. Frida pets, a parrot and a spider monkey, often seen in her paintings were free to roam around the gardens.
The courtyard and house are dotted with ancient pre-columbian idols as is the pink pyramid built by Diego Rivera.
The interiors of the house are an intriguing insight into the artist’s love of bright colour, South American culture and the natural world. A typical Mexican kitchen with bright blue and yellow tiles, painted furniture and huge Mexican clay pots.
Tiny clay pots spell the names "Frida" and "Diego" next to a pair of doves tying a lover's knot.
In the dining room bright yellow shelves display colourful glassware and traditional Mexican plates
Upstairs in a separate wing which Rivera later built for Frida are her bedroom and studio.
Frida’s love of colour and nature is as evident in her home as it is in her paintings. Her traditional Mexican costume and flamboyant flower crowns are an enduring mark of her style and have become an iconic symbol over recent years. Read on to discover how to add some Mexican flair to your home.
Get Frida’s Style in your home
Create a mix of colourful bohemian style in your home by adding some of Casa Azul inspired style. Tropical house plants are as popular as ever and look great against bright colour blocked walls. Try bright blues and terracotta pinks. Become a collector - Frida’s collection of traditional crafts, textiles, paintings and pottery add colour into her home. The house is filled with traditional wooden furniture against white adobe walls and bursts of colour from painted wood.
Here's my pick of things to add a touch of Frida's style to your home.
Clockwise from top left
Pavel large handled vase from Made.com - £29
Hand painted Day of the Dead Bull Mask from Ian Snow - £45
Bermuda Wallpaper by Mind the Gap - £150
Cactus Stoneware jar by &Klevering available from Amara - £25
Windsor Juliane Chair in yellow from Cult Furniture - £79
Tall Cactus in white ceramic pot from Debenhams - £75
Red and white chest of Drawers from Homesense - £249
Hand turned earthenware vase from Ian Snow - £30
Tropical lovebirds cushion by Jan Constantine from Amara - £108
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All images of Frida Kahlo and Museo de Frida Kahlo are attributed to their respective owners and reproduced under Creative Commons license.SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave