When you gaze at this Zapopan, Mexico, house for the first time…you see books, gracing all kinds of spaces in this light-spirited Casa Barrios Viesca by Hernandez Silva Arquitectos. Although it’s not a house with walls entirely of bookshelves, it has the next best thing: beautiful wood grain shelves that line a balcony with glass-walled rails that soar three and four levels high on the upper level, in a truly inviting interior décor for bibliophiles. Positioned on a geometrically-shaped lot, this home was also an economical build: in fact, according to the architects, the house cost roughly 40 percent less than other homes of a similar size. A key to this thriftiness is simple materials: plain cement floors with a little color added, along with reused tiles, help balance luxurious touches such as Venetian mosaic.
With a streamlined design, the exterior facade is topped by a flat roof, with side expanses of glass that give it a floating appearance. Shaped like an L inside, the home features a color palette that’s surprisingly warm. That effect? Partially due to the terra-cotta tones of cabinetry, in a mellow blend with sand-colored tile covering work surfaces. The kitchen, dining area, seating area, and outdoor courtyard all blend together in an open plan that makes for an easy, casual ambience. You can chat with the cook as he or she prepares dinner, relax on the grass and enjoy the nighttime breezes, or pitch in and assist on the large center island — and then curl up with one of those many books afterward. Economical and graceful, this is a luxurious and inviting home by Hernandez Silva.