Dominga is outgoing, beautiful, and full of energy. She likes long conversations and sunsets; she speaks her mind and doesn’t care who tries to shush her; she is fearless and passionate and yet, at the same time, she enjoys quiet moonlit evenings. She may sound like the female lead of a Pedro Almodóvar film but Dominga is, it turns out, the name that designers Maye Ruiz and Daniel Valero gave to their home in San Miguel de Allende, the popular colonial-era city to the north of Mexico City.
On a narrow cobblestone street in the center of San Miguel, Dominga is where some of the most exciting—and colorful—design projects in Mexico are conceived today. At Maye, the eponymous design firm headed by Maye, the focus is on collaborative design, a fearless use of a color, and bold style choices. At the same time, Daniel, an architect by training, creates original pieces that walk the line between design and art at his workshop, Mestiz.
“We wanted to slow down from the fast pace of Mexico City to focus on our respective projects, be close to the artisans [we work with], and find new sources of inspiration,” Maye recalls about the couple’s decision to escape the hustle and bustle of Mexico’s capital to settle in San Miguel. It has proved to be a wise decision. The silence and peace that characterizes their home allows their imaginations to work in overdrive without any disturbances.
A typical day for the couple begins with coffee at the dining table by Mestiz, which is large enough that it can be divided into work and eating areas (on weekends it is often the setting for long dinners with friends). In the mornings, Maye works at home accompanied by Quesadilla (her Chihuahua), whom she walks several times a day, finding inspiration while exploring the alleys and hidden corners of town. Meanwhile, Daniel spends his days in his studio—on the outskirts of San Miguel—or in the workshops of artisans. At the end of the day, they reunite and continue to test their creativity and experiment, but in the kitchen.