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  • Writer's pictureKristy Morrison

Affordable Transformations -Tropical Living Room in Costa Rica.

With my background in interior decorating & home staging I see potential in EVERYTHING! I can see a room and I get excited and inspired by what the space is as well as can be with a some effort and a small budget. If you have an endless budget from the start than you may not like this transformation because when money is no object ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Here I'm going to transform this living room on a small budget using majority of what you see here over a two week period.


First step is to Inventory what you have to work with & fixed elements.

-Terracotta floor tile -Fixed element.

-Couch & 2 Chairs -Forest Green in older style

-Coffee & End Tables -wood / glass

-Small Tv Stand

-Long glass dining room table

-Round dining room table

-Wooden hutch in corner.

-Various miss matched artwork

-Ceiling fans

-Low/poor lighting.

Second step is to brain storm on what you can transform easily also keeping durability in mind.

-Couches & chairs -Slip Covers = brighten up the room.

-Metal / glass dining table -Spray paint & move out doors.

-Wood -TBD on site poss chalk paint

-Walls -Paint to brighten up.

-Curtains -Neutral = keep

-Generic art repaint for better colour scheme.

-Paint the floor tiles -Not suggested due to wear & tear.

I chose to not go for the "all white look" we see in almost every home transformation show out there because this will be a rental and white does not stand the test of time. Especially if we're going to be a kid & pet friendly villa.

Third & Fourth Step -Turn your IDEAS into a vision board / Shopping List.

When I made this vision board I would look at stores I KNEW I had access to here in Canada which I would load up into a hockey bag and bring on my flight. This is for generic stuff that will help with a cohesive base plan. Then when I arrive in Costa Rica and finish all my paintings / base set up then I'll tour the country looking for any statement pieces I can use. Be it a statue, an art piece, a large potter anything.

Fifth Step -What do you know about decorating in a foreign country? Research here is what I found.

-Rugs aren't often used due to them getting mouldy easily with the high humidity.

-Hardwood floors must be a specific kind that can take the humidity fluctuations and tile is suggested more often than not.

Sixth Step -Tools for transformation (Buy vs. Bring)

-Paint -Buy

-Spray Paint -Buy

-Paint accessories -bruch/roller/tray -Buy

-Drill -Borrow (we know people there)

-Wood table & Chairs -buy locally

-Slipcovers -Bring.


Not too shabby for a few hundred bucks & some elbow grease eh!?


Pura Vida

Kristy & Eric

Dog Paws & Sandy Hair Be sure to check out our Villa Rentals.

Thinking of Buying / Selling in Canada or Costa Rica? Feel free to reach out and I'll be able to connect you with a trusted professional in your market.

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