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Pets & People

By Shelagh Duncan

doghouse-Spanish ColonialWe love our homes, we want them to be stylish and comfortable, chic and cosy. We love our pets too and as they are very much a part of our lives we incorporate things into our homes to make them more comfortable as well with pet doors, pet beds etc. The other side of the coin is that we also have to reduce the wear and tear that pets can have on our furniture and homes.

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Decorating in the Tropical Chic Style

Tropical Living RoomBy Shelagh Duncan

Tropical chic is a perfect style for those of us who have chosen Costa Rica for their home, or home-away-from-home. It is a casual, comfortable style that adds a touch of the exotic, using jungle themes, restful colors, and natural textural elements. 

This is not the multi-colored jungle-book  look you might choose for a child’s room. Instead, it might be defined as “lush minimalism” since it mixes lots of texture and intricate pattern with simple details and a few large accessories. 

Common motifs might include stylized palm trees, large leafed  plants, monkeys, animal prints, rattan, bamboo, leather, and grass cloth. 

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The Outdoor Kitchen

kitchen alfrescoBy Shelagh Duncan

Outdoor kitchens in many old Mediterranean farmhouses and homes have pizza ovens, fireplaces, grills, sinks and work counters, set in covered terraces, courtyards and gardens.  Today, this trend is growing wherever the climate allows – especially so here in Costa Rica. In this part of the world we tend to live outdoors more and the outdoor kitchen can extend our living and entertaining areas to encompass the garden, pool and beyond. 

Many people were smart enough to include an outdoor kitchen in the original plans when they were building their home, others have either purchased or built homes and now are thinking about adding one. 

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

mirrorBy Shelagh Duncan

Mirrors are not just fancy frames around a piece of reflective glass. They actually have the ability to change the appearance of any given area. A well placed mirror will make any space seem larger, lighter and more ‘together’. 

Try hanging one in a hallway or a dark corner and see how it brightens and opens up the area. Also consider using more than one in a room — treat each one like a piece of art. 

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Create a Warm and Inviting Guest Room

Create a Warm and Inviting 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 getaway oasis, but with a few simple tips you can offer a comfortable, quiet place to relax. 

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The Man-Chair

By Shelagh Duncan

Comfort Chair

If you used to watch Frasier and remember his ‘impeccable’ sense of style, you may remember that he suffered greatly at the ugliness of his father’s grossly overstuffed, battered “man chair” for 11 years. I could feel his pain as that hideous chair created an eyesore in the middle of his very tastefully decorated condo. However, the really painful part came in the series finale when Frasier’s father moves out and Frasier finally gets to put his beloved Eames recliner in the living room. His father comes to visit, sits back in the Eames recliner and says “Hmmm … this is pretty comfortable. I would have been okay with this!”

So what makes a chair a “Man Chair?” Does it have to look like a pillow fight is going on underneath worn out upholstery?

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Mexican Style

Mexican Rugs

Mexican Rugs

By Shelagh Duncan

We all like to add a touch of our own personality to our home décor. Sometimes it is not easy to know how to focus that creativity.  Selecting a particular theme is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. 

This month we are looking at MEXICAN STYLE. It works really well with our tropical homes and you will often only need a few well chosen pieces to make a difference. 

Here are some ideas of how to add that touch of Mexico to your home. 

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8 Ways To Stay Within Your Building Budget

By Shelagh Duncan 

Once you have purchased your piece of paradise, and decided that it is time to think about building a home you will ask your builder “How much will the project cost?” The answer isn’t always straightforward and easy. You see, a home construction budget, in both its creation and its maintenance, is more art than science. 

The best approach to identifying costs for your specific project and location is to talk with several architects, designers and builders. Each will probably give you a different “number,” so you’ll have to drill down into the detail of what that number means. Just remember that the devil is in the details. 

Royal Palm Interiors

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