AN ARGENTINEAN COUNTRY HOUSE

When I was young I moved quite a bit. Some houses were more special than others, but there were some, just a few, that felt like home. When my parents rented this one, my mother felt her soul met her body inside of the house. That’s how strongly she felt she belonged there. Even though she only lived there for five years, she would like to become an ombú, this tree below, so she doesn’t have to move. As a tribute to this hard retreat, I start this section that tries no more than to peek inside of Argentinean’s homes. Which makes me wonder ¿who are we? While I may not be the right person to define our identity I do know this house feels like a piece of our beloved pampa although it lies in the heart of San Isidro, a suburban residential area.

IT IS PAINTED IN PINK. Like most traditional country houses, even like our government’s house too, the ‘Casa Rosada’. Legend says that houses were originally this color because they were painted with a mixture of lime and cattle’s blood.

IT HAS A BIG OMBÚ STARRING IN THE GARDEN. This tree is actually an herb and became a sort of landmark in the province of Buenos Aires; serving as a resting spot for gauchos who found shade in the tree-less pampa. Plus, the garden has a water reservoir and the house is surrounded by splendid veranda to survive the hot summer days.

Moreover, its temporary guests are as Argentinean as one can get. That means for at least the past five or six generations and as many of us they:

LOVE MIXING ENGLISH PIECES WITH LOCAL FURNITURE. Even though Argentineans descended mostly from Spaniards and Italians, English people did their bit and built our railway system (amongst many other things) and also left us some of its traditions as playing field hockey at highschool, polo, house decoration and gardening!

My grandmother used to say that Spanish furniture was far too dark. Sometimes so black, it felt like a coffin to her! French furniture was mostly used in fancy apartments while English in houses. This Chesterfield belonged to my grandmother and was upholstered in red leather. The coffee table was bought at an antique store (Diego Durlach Antiguedades).

PASSIONATE ABOUT HORSES. Horses are as symbolic to us as the Eiffel Tower is to France or the Coliseum to Rome. This drawing is from Pepe Gonzalez Guerrico a gaucho from San Antonio de Areco; a quaint little village 100 km north from the city of Buenos Aires.

These pictures are from Juan Lamarca, a photographer who became very well known in Wellington, Florida.