Inspiration in the Studio

Designing Vacation in Costa Rica!

The only problem with interior design is that it goes with you wherever you travel! As many of you know, my daughter Jacqueline is studying abroad for the semester in Costa Rica. The thought of not seeing her for 3 1/2 months did not sit well, so of course, we had to go visit. It was a wonderful vacation….no work and no cell phone for nine days!

As a designer, having some down time to dream and ponder helps inspire creativity for future projects! Traveling to new places also helps spark creativity and this trip was no exception. Here’s a few casual ideas that are sure to appear at some point in future projects:


Jackie at the Taco Bar in Jaco waiting for her favorite meal, fish tacos. The open air dining was the perfect spot for these swings that double as bar stools! ¬†We loved them…fun and practical too. Check out the crafty lighting in between the swings made from coconuts!


At the resort, there were no downspouts to the gutters. Instead, there was a uniquely designed chain system that guides the water to underground drains. A subtle detail that makes a good design even better!


Also at the resort was the local Los Suenos Design Center. I had a great conversation with designer Lucia Esquivel. Our conversation confirmed that design challenges are universal no matter the location. What I found most interesting is that many of the furniture lines sold in Costa Rica are manufactured right near home in North Carolina!  Thanks Lucia for your hospitality.


This is the view from the front steps of the Design Center….not bad!


Here’s Dan and I on the path from the marina to the resort….a natural tunnel formed with ficus trees. No timbers or nails required for this structure!


Since I’m combining family vacation with design elements, the natural beauty of the Costa Rica coastline can’t be ignored. Our son, Brian, enjoyed the challenge of some world-class surfing.


I spent most of the week relaxing by the pool and catching up with the happenings in Jackie’s life.


And, my new best friend is Douglas, the pool bartender who makes the best pina coladas ever! Douglas, I miss you already!


Vacation is over and it’s back to work….relaxed and inspired! It goes with our family motto, Work Hard and Play Hard!