San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Interior Designers in Increasing Demand

THOSE who can afford interiordesigners and care forpainfully tasteful living spaceswill be pleased to know thatalthough Costa Rica does notboast its own Lenny Kravitz –the North American rock starwho recently took up this art –the country offers plenty of experienceddecorators willing tospend endless time poring overfabrics and furniture cataloguesor even shopping with theirclients.According to Marcela Castro,an interior designer who runsa five-minute decoration segmenton the Channel 6 morningshow “Giras” every Tuesday,until recently Costa Ricans werenot used to interior design.“At first, very few peoplecalled,” said the owner ofDekorela design studio, in SantaMarta de Montes de Oca, east ofSan José. “But this (interiordesign) is booming right now.People are realizing it’s not amatter of buying things andplopping them down somewhere.”Castro provides home assessment and design in bothSpanish and English, makes floral arrangements and decoratesevents, such as weddings, with natural flowers.The decorator, who received training in Spain and hasfive years of experience, said her clients range from newlywedsto bachelors to older couples who have accumulatedhoards of belongings over time.According to Castro, decorating trends have evolvedfrom rustic to minimalist.“The simpler, the better,” she explained. “You can seeit in floral arrangements too; now, people ask for bamboosticks and a single flower, for example.”For more information, call Dekorela at 225-7451.FOR Vicky Jiménez, of Vicky’s Designs, interiordesign is a psychological and holistic science.“We study the client’s tendencies and also the space,”said the decorating expert, who graduated from an artsschool in Miami, Florida, and has 10 years of experience inthe business. “We’re not going to decorate a VictorianBarrio Amón house (in downtown San José) industrial style;you have to understand what the architecture lendsitself to.”According to Jiménez, it is essential to take the psychologyof colors into consideration when painting a livingspace.“Colors mean many things,” she said. “If you arepainting an office, you will probably want energy boostersto raise motivation – red is known to raise adrenaline.Red in the bedroom would mean no rest and waking uptired.”She added that the same concept of healing throughcolor therapy can apply to interior design.“Chromotherapy is a form of holistic healing,” the decoratorexplained. “For example, patients are shown greencolors when they need to relax.”Jiménez said she works inthree broad areas: home assessment,assessment and work, andorganizing.Home assessment consistsof an evaluation of the space tobe modified, for which herclients pay fees that range from$100-300 per room, dependingon the size of the space.For assessment and work,Jiménez has her own constructionteam to make any necessarymodifications, such as paintingor building a stage.Finally, the decorator workson organizing cluttered homes,worth an estimated cost of $300per room.According to Jiménez, themost popular trends in interiordesign are the minimalist, industrialand modern styles.Minimalism is a display ofvery light colors, very straightlines and plenty of open spaces.The modern style entailsemploying lots of stainless steel,aluminum and straight lines,while the industrial is the warehouselook, with exposed pipesand tubes, she explained.For more information, callVicky’s Designs at 551-0779or 395-4748.ADDISON House opened approximately two yearsago in Costa Rica as a furniture import store, and nowoffers a full interior-design service, according to decoratorMario Artavia.The U.S. store has two branches in Florida and one inPanama.“Most of our clients are foreigners who have a moretropical vision for their Costa Rican homes – they’re lookingfor rattan and the like,” Artavia said.Addison House has experience decorating hotels, andrecently designed the interior of several condos at the luxuriousLos Sueños Marriott, in Playa Herradura, on thecentral Pacific coast.The store offers more than 150 catalogues to choosefrom and home assessments starting from $150, accordingto Artavia.

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