At Home with Caitlin Garcia-Ahern in Oaxaca, Mexico

July 10, 2019 Elsie Larson

A few months back, Emma, Rachel and I had a chance to visit Caitlin’s beautiful home in Oaxaca, Mexico. Upon entering her home, we were squealing over her rug collection, her incredible outdoor space and the overall effortless, yet honed, aesthetic she had created. We begged her to share her home here on A Beautiful Mess, and she agreed! Please welcome Caitlin Garcia-Ahern, creator of Thread Caravan, to ABM today! I began renting this home in Oaxaca, Mexico in January 2019. Living abroad, I don’t own much furniture, so when looking for a home to rent, it was important for me to find a place that used beautiful materials to construct the house. I wanted the textiles and pieces I do have to really shine. I was searching for a place with a lot of light, and at least a small outdoor area, with two bedrooms—one for me and one to visitors.

I love and spend most of my time in the main common room downstairs. It’s living room, dining room and kitchen all in one—with an entire wall of windows and glass doors that open up into the garden space. I especially love having an open kitchen. I don’t particularly love cooking, but I feel more inspired to prepare things when the kitchen is such an integral part of the common space.

Almost everything in my home is handmade by craftspeople—the furniture, rugs, textiles, ceramics. I source most pieces from our artisan partners or markets during the art workshops I host with my company, Thread Caravan.

One of my favorite pieces is the chair by Indentidad Local (the one under the stairs). It’s woven by hand using lake grasses in Estado de Mexico. The design is traditional, but not common anymore, and several companies are working to preserve production with artisans. 

I also really love the painting hanging in the kitchen area. It’s by Erick Garcia Gomez, a Mexican painter from Chiapas who I met here in Oaxaca, and depicts a woman riding a bull with boots and a serpent as a tail.

During a recent Thread Caravan workshop in Guatemala, I bought a hand-carved wooden bench with tiger faces on either side. It’s a beautiful work of art. I especially love art which is beautiful, but also has a function—chairs, benches, rugs, baskets, etc.

I’ve only been in the home since January, but I’m settling in more and more each day. I’d say the biggest change since my arrival has been the garden. It started out with just one tree that had no leaves when I moved in. The stone pebbles on the ground and white walls seemed so stark and cold, so I’ve cared for the tree and it’s grown its leaves back, and I’ve added a ton of plants to make the space more warm—banana, papaya, blackberry, lantana, bougainvillea, honeysuckle, jasmine, cacti, agave, herbs, cotton, lime, and more.

Another huge change has been my dogs. I moved here with just my one dog, Bowie, but since being here, I’ve started a small street dog rescue project, Caravana Canina. Right now, I have my dog Bowie as well as two fosters, Mami and Tuna. Having more animals really changes the energy of the space, as well as our daily routines.

I fell in love with this home for the natural light, the concrete floors that look beautiful with my rugs on them, and the open floor plan. It’s also outside of the city center, so I get to wake up to the sound of birds chirping in the big tree outside my window.”

Such a magical home, isn’t it? For more inspiration, be sure to follow Caitlin’s company, Thread Caravan on Instagram. xo.

Credits//Author: Caitlin Garcia-Ahern. Photography: Luka Della Santa.

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