Quepolandia logo

Creating Your Sanctuary Bedroom

Design Wise

Ideally, the master bedroom should be the sanctuary where you can retreat at the end of the day. A place to relax, enjoy, and encourage a good night’s sleep.

By Shelagh Duncan

It should be able to make you just feel good—it is not important whether it is a large master suite or a small bedroom—you should be able to feel the comfort and serenity in this space. It should be the place to make you feel special, and for you and your partner to nurture and enrich your relationship.

Clean and uncluttered bedroomHere are some simple ways to create this space, and I promise the end result will be well worth the effort.

First Impressions

When it comes to design, first impressions count so decorate, clean and arrange your master bedroom accordingly. Keep the floors and night tables clutter free. Ask yourself what do you see when you first walk into the bedroom? What is the first thing you see when you open your eyes in the morning? For me, I see the big sky and the trees on the mountains in the distance. I love that feeling.

Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


Bulletproof Decorating, Or How to Survive Living in the Tropics

Unfortunately there’s no way yet to create indestructible furniture and homes. However, there are steps we can take that will help them stand up to life with kids, pets & the jungle.

By Shelagh Duncan

Design WiseMy guess is that none of us came here to live a high maintenance lifestyle in high maintenance homes. We know that living here has its challenges, and keeping one step ahead of what life hands us is a constant battle.

So, when we purchase furniture and other things for our home we want them to last. Furniture is an investment and we take time to carefully select exactly what we want and plan on enjoying it for many years to come.Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


In Pursuit of Modern Part 2

Tropical ModernismDesign Wise

By Shelagh Duncan

Last month we looked at the basic differences between Modern and Contemporary design, and now let’s explore the world of Tropical Modernism. That’s a little closer to home…

Tropical Modernism

Tropical Modernism

We saw that this movement was born out of the need to incorporate the Modern aesthetic into a tropical environment. Geoffrey Bawa was a leader in this field in Sri Lanka and understood that in a tropical climate the forces of nature are a thing to be reckoned with and you cannot build a beautiful structure and ignore its environment, so he began to incorporate them.

Read More…


In Pursuit of Modern Part 1

Modern or Contemporary?

Design WiseBy Shelagh Duncan

When we moved down here I was probably more drawn to the Tommy Bahama living room more than any Modern one.  How can our casual and laid-back lifestyle in Costa Rica relate to the cold, clinical steel and concrete interiors that are called Modern?

However, things change… Oscar Wilde penned “With age comes wisdom” and perhaps my new-found appreciation for the modern aesthetic is proof of that. The clean lines and minimalist approach do have a certain appeal, and I must admit, I have always admired the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water

Read More…


Outdoor Rooms – Where Would You Rather Be?

Design WiseBy Shelagh Duncan

The outdoor living area has probably become one of the most important features in North American homes over the last few years. We however, have been lucky enough to enjoy our outdoor living areas ever since we arrived!

We love to spend our time outdoors – who would blame us! With the incredible beauty, and pure oxygen-rich air surrounding us, naturally  the covered terrace is where we prefer to spend most of our time. Typically that area has also become larger than our indoor living room, but how do we bring the inside out and the outside in?

Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


Choosing a Colour Palette for your New Home

Design WiseBy Shelagh Duncan

Building a new house in Costa Rica is an exciting venture for many of us. Sometimes it is our first custom home – our dream home.

There are always many details to think about and many decisions to be made, often ones you had not even considered. Choosing a good custom home builder and project manager who will help you through this process is a whole other topic, and one we have covered previously. However, this time we are looking at just one aspect – Colour – and how to choose the colour scheme for your new home.

Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


10 Simple Things to Make you Happier at Home

Happiness is always an inside jobBy Shelagh Duncan

I know, we tell ourselves “We live in paradise—what’s there not to be happy about? The resulting guilt because we don’t feel happy can just make things worse.

If you believe that our homes are an extension of who we are, we have somewhere to start. But if we are not happy in ourselves, how can we be happy at home? Perhaps we can change this up, and make our home a happier place to be so we, in turn will feel happier. Can this be possible?

What we do within the space we call home—both inside and out—shapes our mood, affects our productivity, and influences our outlook on life. The colours we paint our walls, the textures of the fabric we use and even the artwork on our walls can all influence how we feel. But without redoing our interior design and buying all new furniture what other options are there?

Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


Design Wise – July 2016

Lighting by Shelagh Duncan

“Light is the first element of design; without it there is no color, form, or texture.”  Thomas E. Farin – educator, lighting consultant, entrepreneur

Dining roomLighting is such an important part of our lives, and one we take for granted most of the time. For me, I love lighting fixtures. They are like jewellery for the home!

Visually, light fixtures can add style to your home, and in practical terms the lighting you choose can effectively alter the mood or ambience of a room.

We have many lighting choices available that will add that special something to a room, and make it feel complete. Lighting options range from the edgy Industrial style, to sleek Modern and Contemporary styles, and from Rustic fixtures to the latest On-Trend designs.
Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


What Type of Window Covering Should I Choose?

Bedoom-copyBy Shelagh Duncan

Where Do I Start?

Window treatments have been a part of life for most of us. We consider it one of the finishing touches for any room. There are many window covering options available to us here just as there are back home, and a huge variety of different styles, fabrics, textures and colours to chose from. However, once we move to the jungle and have are lucky enough to have staggering views, or perhaps total privacy afforded by lush vegetation or  a lovely large lot,  then covering the windows can be a secondary consideration.

Having said that, the other thing to consider is function. Why do you need to cover this window? Is it for privacy, do your rooms get too hot, is the early morning sun too bright, or do you just want to soften the feel of the room? Perhaps it is in a bathroom, where the builder decided in his wisdom that a large window in middle of the shower area would be a really good idea! Whatever the reason there is usually a great solution – but you have to know how to find it.
Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


From Rocks to Recliners  –  The History of Upholstery

By Shelagh Duncan

Egyptian couch

Egyptian couch

One of the things we learn early on in CR is that Tico chairs and sofas leave a lot to be desired in the comfort department. The mattress, chair and sofa are the most important pieces in your home. They are where you will spend most of your time typically, and so they need to provide good quality and comfort. But a comfortable, upholstered piece of furniture wasn’t always an option.

When did we humans stop sitting around in the dirt or on a convenient rock and start wanting the comfort of something better? Well, nothing happened fast in the  history of mankind but about the time Stonehenge was being erected and we were just beginning to work with bronze, the people of ancient  Egypt were already enjoying their leisure time with semi-comfortable furniture.  If you had the prestige, power and ‘purse’ to allow some leisure, then there were animal hair-stuffed cushions, fine fabrics draped across daybeds and gilded and decorated chairs to offer relaxation.
Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


How to keep your house cool and comfortable this summer.

Modern ceiling fanBy Shelagh Duncan

This seems to be have been one of our warmer summers and it gets harder to keep our homes cool. A/C is expensive and we all know it is better to breathe in the wonderful, oxygen-rich air that surrounds us than any ‘processed’ air.

I was just up in San Jose for a few days, and it was a fair bit cooler up there. There were some big breezes passing through—which were great—and helped make up for all the other stuff I don’t really love about big cities! Coming home, I was reminded just how humid and warm our little part of Paradise can be. This is not a bad thing—but we do need to be able to be as comfortable as we can in the heat, and maximize our enjoyment while living here.

Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


Create a Warm and Inviting Guest Room

Guest RoomBy Shelagh Duncan

Now is the time of year when we enjoy visits from friends and family. We all want to make their stay as enjoyable as possible, so when arranging the guest room, think about your experience in your favourite B&B or 5-star hotel. Take your cue from the special touches that made your stay so memorable.

You may not have the budget to create a luxurious getaway oasis, but with a few simple tips you can offer a comfortable, quiet place to relax.

Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


Retro Style: Outa Sight? Or Not Your Bag?

By Shelagh Duncan

We all know that styles are cyclical and, of course, the world of interior design is not exempt. The best aesthetics will resurface again and again. For a while now mid-century-modern design has been gaining popularity and, perhaps for good reason.

Mid-Century Modern examples

What is Mid-Century Modern?

Mad menThe shift probably began after the wave of oversized and over-the-top French-Provincial and Tuscan Villas had us all feeling, well over-whelmed. Inevitably, we began to yearn for more simplicity. Then came Mad Men.

If you’ve ever seen an episode of this stylish, smart and tightly crafted show, then you’re already familiar with mid-century modern design. Mad Men has been credited with helping fuel a resurgence of interest in this style. For seven seasons we were hooked watching cool people living with a retro vibe.

Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


MOLD. Friend or Foe?

Mold spores

Mold spores

Some Easy ways to Protect your Home (& Boat) from Mold

By Shelagh Duncan

What is Mold?

Molds (and mildew) are fungi. Fungi are not plant, animal or bacteria, they are microbial. They are responsible for such wonderful organisms as the delicious edible mushrooms, they are the makers of the “miracle drug” penicillin and the yeast that makes our bread rise, our fine wines ferment and our richly flavoured cheeses taste so good. They play important roles in bio-technology and food science in the production of many foods, beverages, antibiotics and enzymes.

Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…


Decorating in the Mediterranean Style

By Shelagh Duncan

Okay, so you have your new home and now you have to furnish it. Or, you have purchased a house with some furniture and want a fresh look: whatever the reason, if you are looking for a unique and pretty way to furnish your home, consider the Mediterranean Style.

Mediterranean images

Because the area is so diverse, you will have a multitude of looks from which to choose. The furniture is as eclectic as the region. Very few types of design style can offer the rare combination of exotic looks and rustic simplicity that have come to define the Mediterranean style.

Royal Palm Interiors

Read More…