• Laurie Rudd

Resort Redux

Contract Designers From Clive Daniel Home Transform A Resort I N Costa Rica

Spread Across 175 Acres Of Natural beauty, the Pacifico at Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, is a lush playground in the center of paradise.

The mixed-use resort with beachfront vistas and shimmering pools recently got an upgrade, via the hospitality division of Florida-based Clive Daniel Home. Nancy Wood-house, vice president of the division, and her team were chosen to create the design plan for all the outdoor living areas at this luxury destination, featuring three pools, a beach club and a lazy river.

They approached the plan in a way that’s familiar to contract designers—function first. “For any project, we are always given the scope of the project and a layout plan for required seating or lounging,” Woodhouse says. “That could include lounges or dining tables. It also may include cantilever umbrellas or fire pits.”

design The design for the beach club included lounge seating custom built of natural teak by local Costa Rican artisans.

With the basics in mind, the designer and her team worked with the property’s architect and the landscape plan to lay out all furniture and accessories.

Obviously, the guest experience figured largely in their outdoor design strategy, providing both the expected and sometimes the unexpected—think seating alongside the lazy river and custom teak furniture crafted by local artisans.

“Inspiration comes from the desired experience,” Woodhouse says. “If resort living is in the plan, then for any amenities or outdoor pools, we want to enhance the resort style.”

Whatever the look, durability is not just a consideration in contract planning—it’s a requirement. And beyond the usual endurance necessities of outdoor furnishings, the furniture, accessories and textiles must be warranted to withstand the commercial demands of use, as well as the brutality of the elements.

“A lot of times the manufacturers are residential with contract warranties,” Woodhouse says. “We need to make sure our selections fall within the contract warranty, especially in umbrellas.”

Particularly with shade, wind tolerance is a huge factor. And for commercial applications, the requirement of substantial weight combats two forces—Mother Nature and human nature.

Cast aluminum chaise longues and chairs by Costa Rican manufacturer Castelle encircle the pool and poolside bar. Cast
Handcrafted Handcrafted furniture at the beach club is crafted of heavy teak to be windresistant and deter movement.

“People love to move furniture around,” Woodhouse says. “We have to have things that do not move easily.” For this reason, the use of pillows in contract projects is minimal. Woodhouse says they “do not go crazy with pillows.”

The selection of a color palette is often one of the most creative tasks of interior or exterior design. For contract applications, however, color choices are pre-defined by what’s used across the commercial property from garbage cans to signage.

“Very few times have we selected colors,” Woodhouse says. “There is generally an established brand, and we work with the project’s master plan. It all needs to make a statement.”

Creating outdoor style in paradise is a high point for any designer. For Woodhouse, the greatest reward transcends the beautiful locale.

“The highlight of any project is the end use of the space,” Woodhouse says. “Often, we can see how spaces are being enjoyed to this day. The beauty of it is how our design holds up and how people continue to use the areas to photograph moments and to make memories.”

Laurie RuddLaurie Rudd | Contributing Writer, Casual Living

As a 30 year marketing and publicity veteran and owner of Laurie Rudd Public Relations and Marketing, Laurie Rudd has been promoting and writing in and about the outdoor living segment for the past twenty years. Currently, her passion for the outdoor industry is on display in her work for multiple outdoor manufacturers as well as the premier trade publication in the outdoor category, Casual Living. Laurie Rudd is a graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a BFA in Communication Graphics and has been a member of the International Casual Furnishings Association since 2008.

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