the places I visit on the island paradise where I live

Having left Ohio in 1981, I have been moving south ever since. First to Florida, then for the last 17 years, I have lived on the island of Cozumel with my husband and two dogs. Expat, designer, writer, photographer ... all my passions with a Mexican twist!

Mar 28, 2014

Cozumel: The Land of Procrastination

License plates office next to our store

It is happening again this year. The last day to get the 20% off for license plates renewal is Monday, March 31st ... so here is the situation in the plaza where our store is. The people who have procrastinated but want to get the discount are out in force. I was told yesterday there was a four hour wait to pay.


Wrapping around past our store
The line is getting long and I remember two years ago, the mood changes. Sometimes patience wears thin and the group becomes grumpy. Other times, it becomes more festive. When I reported back in 2012, Parking Lot Madness, it became almost festive the last day. People waited so long, they brought along food and drinks. I think I even spotted a cooler or two. 

Line by the entrance to the plates office
License plates change this year, and many of the plates are not even in yet. For motos, there are none as far as I know. For cars, it seems to be hit or miss. I was told those who paid in January and February have plates available. But I have spoken to a few people who paid in the last few days, and they were given plates right away. We were told to come back in May for ours. If you paid and don't have new plates, be sure to keep a copy of your tenencia payment with you while driving.

Downstairs waiting to see Augustin
The line is even wrapping around the plaza down on the first floor. Typically this is where one of my favorite guys, Augustin, works. He verifies VIN numbers for new vehicles and resales. It appears they are doing more than that now to control flow of people. If somebody knows why they are holding some folks downstairs, let me know.

I had to park at Super AKI lot as the parking lot is full and all our spots are taken. We are supposed to receive an order from Uttermost this afternoon, so hopefully they will arrive after the plates office closes at 3pm. If you want a sneak peek at what is arriving, check it out on our Facebook page here.

Mar 21, 2014

A House Reborn: Part 2

Photo by Miguel Nunez
The labor of love I have been working on since December 24th is finally finished. Guests are enjoying the house this week. It is hard to believe so much great work was done in such a short time. The dining room is especially lovely, with the 240 cm long base and the chunky glass top. The dining room chairs are also wonderful and really practical. They are made of a high-tech vinyl that looks like fabric. Great for those wet bathing suits!


Photo by Miguel Nunez
The living area has a wonderful curvy blended leather sofa with two swivel chairs. Our website guy also took photos for us with more detail of the furniture. I am anxious to get those online, but these were all I could find for today.


Photo by Miguel Nunez
The master bedroom has a large scale new group from Ashley called Demarlos. I just love it combined with the beautiful photography of Miguel Nunez. Throw in the wood beam ceiling and the promise of the blue ocean beyond, and you have quite a lovely scene.

What everybody dies for .... the beach.


Mar 12, 2014

Cozumel Condo

Cozumel condo decorated by The Magic of Design
One of our favorite projects this year was a condo we designed in the north with clients from the states. We think the condo turned out beautifully. This is a shot of the great room. The clients had a local artist do the painting and all the furniture and window treatments were provided by The Magic of Design.



Mar 1, 2014

How to Successfully Furnish Your New Condo or Home in Mexico

Penthouse model in Palmar condominums

You’ve made a dream come true and bought a great vacation home in Mexico, Bravo! But you have no idea how to go about furnishing it. Maybe you’ll rent it and have a management company, or you want it all to yourself to enjoy – either way you are ready to get started but don’t know where to turn.
 You work all the time in the United States or Canada and only get a few quality weeks a year to go away with your family. The last thing you want to do is spend the entire two weeks of your vacation driving from Cancun to the Riviera Maya or crossing on the ferry to shop the mainland. It’s your vacation time you want to enjoy your place in Cozumel and go diving! 

Showroom of The Magic of Design 2011
Freeing up your vacation time and allowing you to shop from your home in the US or Canada is where an interior designer’s service (like ours) comes in.  Here is how it works:
1.       Let the designer know right off the bat what type of furniture you like. Do you like modern, clean lines? Do you want traditional furniture? Do you want rattan or wicker? Cut out some photos of things you like, scan them into your computer and email them to the designer.  Tell the designer what you are interested in. All the best furniture manufacturers’ catalogs are available online, for the lines we represent, so you could also look through a few catalogs online to see what is available.

2.       Just because you’re in Mexico doesn’t mean you need to order things only made in Mexico. It is a global economy today. Furniture is made all over the world, so you should have access to anything you would like. We import furniture from all over … rattan and hardwood with veneer from Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Mexico. Upholstery from the United States with a comfort level unmatched around the world. Rustic style furniture is available in Mexico and it has its place, but if you have a small-scale condo, it may just be too big and bulky.

3.       So now the designer comes in armed with choices. You show us your plans. We make suggestions and work closely with you to bring your ideas to reality. If whoever is making the design decisions can come to Mexico and meet with the designer, that is the easiest and simplest way. But I have worked with many clients whom I never meet until the day they walk in their place when it is completely furnished.

Client's living room accent table & lamp

4.       Work with someone who is in Mexico full-time. If the designer you are working with is in the United States or Canada, how will they be able to coordinate the shipments? They need to check the items as they come in, deliver and install them. All the beds will need to be assembled. Most dining tables and chairs are shipped unassembled, too. Assembling a house of furniture is not something you want to do when you arrive.  You want to be able to put your feet up and sip a margarita, not figure out if you have enough screws to put everything together. If something is broken, the designer in Mexico can return it or replace it. We install everything so we know if a part needs replaced.

5.       By working with a designer, you don’t have to worry if something will fit. We measure your place and if something doesn’t fit or looks oversize, we can arrange to return the item for credit  and get you something else. When we don’t like the way something looks, we will tell you. We are professionals. That is why you hire a professional and guess what – it costs you nothing extra.

6.       Don’t pay everything up front. I hear horror stories of clients who go online, without a designers help, and pay 100% up front for furniture they have never seen. When they arrive, the furniture doesn’t look like they thought it would. A sofa is delivered when they ordered a sleeper and nobody is there to help them straighten it out. We require a 60% deposit and balance before delivery. We live in the Riviera Maya/Cozumel area full-time; you’ll be able to find us, so we can help if a problem arises. 


7.       You’re in Mexico… work with a Mexican company. By working with a Mexican company, you are covered under Mexican law. People tell me all the time that they want to support the local economy. I know we buy furniture all over the world, but all our employees are Mexican except me, I am from the states, but our corporation is located in Mexico. All profits support the local community. We pay Mexican taxes, sales tax, rent, salaries, pensions etc. here in Mexico.


At The Magic of Design our goal is to make your new home or rental property beautiful to look at and comfortable to live in. We have been in business here in Cozumel for 8 years. But interior design has been my passion since 1987 when I worked for Carole Korn Interiors and other design firms in Florida. This business is what we do full time, it’s what pays our bills. So we are very customer driven and will work very hard to keep you and the friends you refer to us as lifelong friends and clients. We want your experience with us to be stress-free and fun. Furnishing a new place should be like Christmas morning all bright and shiny, or  like that feeling you get with the first whiff of new car smell.
So there is it is a nutshell. An interior designer is there to help you bring your ideas to reality. They have the pulse of what’s going on in the furniture and decorator markets around the world and they have your comfort at heart.





The Magic of Design is run by professional US interior designer Luh McDevitt. Luh has over 20 years’ residential and commercial experience in interior design, including 7 years as a Director at prestigious Carole Korn Interiors in Florida, USA. Luh has worked on countless hotel, resort, condo and restaurant projects. For more than 14 years she has lived in Mexico, where she has worked on over 1,900 projects to date and over 3,000 people have bought her products.

The Magic of Design Furniture & Interior Design  website

https://www.facebook.com/magicofdesigncozumel/