When Portland-based design studio Allison Smith was asked by Doug Dillavou if she would collaborate with San Jose del Cabo-based architecture firm Cubo Atelier to design a traditional hacienda-style home in the affluent Fundadores neighborhood of Los Cabos, she immediately jumped at the opportunity.
“It’s one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done,” says Smith. “The surroundings, the nature, and the ocean were just so beautiful, and I tried to complement that.”
Coined “Casa Oasis” and described as a mix of “artisan-meets-modernity,” the hacienda-style residence sits parallel to the Sea of Cortez and is flanked on either side by the Baja California desert. The 4-bedroom, 5-bathroom residence showcases an open-concept floor plan optimal for entertaining guests and throwing dinner parties.
In choosing the tiles, paints, fixtures, and furnishings, Smith borrowed liberally from her upbringing. Smith says that around “90 percent” of the furnishings were purchased in her childhood hometown of San Miguel de Allende, a city her father loved and considered to be “the ideal environment for creative expression.”
“I’m a firm, firm believer that as an interior designer, you need to become a chameleon,” says Smith when asked about how she approaches the creative process. “I always ask, 'How would I live in this house?' The original intent was to be 100 percent hacienda, but I think the builder [Doug Dillavou] was looking to have more of a modern bent in it and add some of that Northwest thinking, so that’s where he brought us in.”
That Northwest thinking is on display in the design of the ample outdoor area. Given that the topography and climate remains relatively consistent in Los Cabos throughout the year, the two rooftop terraces and a seating area “floats” in the middle of the pool can be appreciated at all times of the day.