In Old Mexico Spanish Style Interiors, the rooms are either square, large, and coldly high, or in the shape of a long rectangle (as the dining room and the sola, or drawing-room).
Mexican rooms are usually as much as twelve or fifteen feet high; the ceilings are not plastered, and either the great closely studded four-by-eight-inch beams are exposed, or are covered by a painted canvas ceiling, which rises and falls in the wind with ghostly deliberation.
photo credit: ANGELOUX
The walls are usually painted, wall paper being uncommon.
The woodwork is painted, though sometimes there is handsome paneling of French style.
The windows and doors are all long and narrow, two doors or two windows opening French fashion.
All the rooms of a true Mexican house, including the bedrooms, are floored with tile, the Mexican supply house presenting a large stock of different patterns, these proper for a parlor, those for a dining room or bedroom. Such floors may be partially covered with rugs, but often the cold tile presents the only floor surface.
In the more modern houses, and where foreigners have insisted, wooden floors are laid, and rugs are used as elsewhere in the world, but the dampness of the wet season makes carpets at least inadvisable.
Even in the best of the old houses there were no comfortable bathrooms, and the only conveniences were a toilet and a shower upon the first floor, but not always on the second. The Mexican style bathroom is for bathing only; it is a large tiled or cement floored chamber into which no sunlight ever enters, with a drain in one corner and with a shower bath for the warmer, and a movable metal tub for the cooler, season.
The Mexican style kitchen, a great, dark hole at the back of the house, is fitted with running water in a stone or cement sink, and on one side is a wide, colorful brick or tile counter with innumerable square holes where charcoal is burned for cooking each individual dish. Oil and gas burners were found, but few coal or wood stoves, and little electrical apparatus.
photo credit: [ B.A.M. ]
Mexican houses were not well adapted, architecturally, to cleanliness. Even bedrooms seldom got sunlight, and were very liable to be damp, and in the rainy season even moldy. Such scrubbing of the tile floors as was done made them more than usually slippery for several days afterward, and it was at the peril of one's life and limb that the servants of a well-regulated Old Mexican Spanish Style house were kept busy with wash pail and soap.
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