San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Turnkey Decorating Services Do It All for You

When it comes to decorating a home, some people love spending hours wandering through furniture stores, agonizing over light fixtures, poring over paint samples and picking out all the little details such as rugs, lamps and plants that transform an empty house into a home. Others would rather get a root canal. If you fall into the latter category or, for time or geographical reasons, can’t decorate your Costa Rican home yourself, there are companies out there that can do it all for you.

Like the reality show “Trading Spaces,” these companies make it their mission to make your home beautiful, working with your tastes and budget. Some can even oversee remodeling projects, while others offer other moving services such as buying a car or getting a visa.

Artemarmol (289-9595), in the western San José suburb of Escazú, specializes in setting up foreigners with a Costa Rican home that suits their wants and needs, said saleswoman Andrea Rojas.

The store carries furniture and can have pieces custom-made if clients provide photos of a favorite chair, couch or other item. Artemarmol works with clients in two ways: those who are in Costa Rican can come into the store, meet with a designer to discuss their budget and needs and have the designer accompany them to stores to pick out everything they need; or, if the client is outside Costa Rica, this process can be done via e-mail, Rojas explained. The company consults clients every step of the way by sending photos to show them their options.

Lang Interior Design (215-3405, is another Escazú-based store that can fill an empty space with color, texture and light.

The company has a team of workers who can carry out remodeling projects and take care of any painting, electrical work or repairs necessary, said decorating assistant Gabriela Valdez.

Like Artemarmol, Lang Interior Design meets with clients to come up with a budget and discuss tastes and options. They also use e-mail to communicate with clients abroad.

Working with top furniture stores such as Altea and Euromoblia, Lang Interior Designs outfits a home with furniture, rugs, knickknacks and all the rest.

If your needs encompass more than just home decor, working with a relocation service may be your best bet. Concierge Relocation Services (825-5537,, and Guardian Angels (832-2450, 1-877-889-1131 toll-free from the United States, are two companies that will take care of everything for you, from finding a house and decorating it to getting a car and finding a lawyer or even a pet.

“It’s like having a family member in Costa Rica who can do everything for you,” said Concierge owner Magda Bruna. “We offer a very personalized service to take care of clients who don’t know Costa Rica or don’t speak Spanish, so they don’t get taken advantage of.”

In terms of decorating, Concierge takes care of all the details, down to sheets, towels and kitchen utensils. They meet or e-mail with clients first, and, for bigger projects, they work with an interior decorator to get everything in place.

Guardian Angels is a company that lives up to its name by taking your hand and watching over your move to Costa Rica. Finding a house, car and a school for the kids can be daunting to newcomers, especially those who don’t speak Spanish.

Guardian Angels makes all these things happen, according to owner Angela Passman.

For decorating a home, the company can either set clients up with designers or take them shopping to pick out what they need. Like the companies described above, they also work with clients abroad by maintaining communication via phone or e-mail.

“We’re service-oriented,” Passman said of Guardian Angels. “Our goal is to please the people we work with first and foremost. If we don’t get it right the first time, we’ll work until we do.”


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