When I started designing the Costa house, my Dad, who is in construction management, gave me the 1, 10, and 100 speech. The idea is that anything you change on the plans is basically costs $1. Once the plans are finalized and construction has started you are looking at about $10 if you change your mind, and once construction is underway and things are ordered/ installed you are looking at $100 if you decide to go a different direction. Of course, these aren't actual numbers but it always helped to have this formula in the back of my mind, even though I sort of discounted it since I am someone who rarely changes my mind when I am designing a space. In fact, I think my greatest strength as a designer is that I have a clear vision for each project that I take on and I rarely deviate once I've created a design scheme in my head.
What I failed to recognize is that the Costa house really is different than any other project that I've ever taken on. This is a build starting from the ground up and it's one that we have been working on for years. Up until this summer, the bulk of our planning has been focused on the structure and it's only in the last few weeks that I've been able to focus on the part that I really know, the finishes. Throughout this entire process I've been convinced that "I wouldn't change a thing" and I had assumed that the finishes that I used for pricing were going to be my final choices. Considering that I have already purchased all the plumbing, furniture, lighting, and soft goods for the home, I really didn't think there was much that I'd want to change. I mean, I had designed the house of my dreams already, what more could I possibly want?
Well, it turns out that there are about 100 little things that I needed to finalize and while doing so I started questioning some of the choices I had made. I picked a lot of those finishes two years ago when I was fairly new as a designer and in the last few years both my taste and experience have evolved so much. A lot of the choices I made now seemed a little too "easy," and I have to wonder if at the time I was just repeating things I had seen and liked (for instance the fish scale tile in the kitchen) or is it just that two years have gone by and some of these elements I chose have become really popular. Through my more mature eye some these decisions seemed boring, and a little to predictable, and it really threw me for a loop. Using my dad's model we were at the $1 stage but in a few weeks time it was about to jump to $100 so I knew I really needed to dig in and make changes to the design of this house so the end result was something I would love and be proud of.
So, that's what I've been doing these last few weeks. I've tried to write a number of blog posts about the house and other topics but my mind is so consumed with this project, I truly can't focus on anything else. At the end of last week I met with my architect and together we walked through the plans, inch by inch and made so many changes, I thought my head would spin. I've had a few days to sit with them and I'm so incredibly happy that I went with my gut, and spoke up, because now I am confident that this house is going to be everything I ever could have wanted and so much more. I'm at the point of no return and for someone who is incredibly change-adverse, I'm actually happy to say that there is no going back.
I'd love to do multiple posts detailing all the changes I've made but honestly there are so many, I'm not even sure where I'd begin. (Also, I'm in Costa Rica and have fully adapted to the laid back way of living where even writing an email seems like a daunting task. If you've ever been down here you will know exactly what I mean). Instead I figured that it's better to share with you all what the inside of my brain, and soon to be house, looks like. The images below contain many of the actual pieces that will be in the house along with my final "inspiration" for the finishes.
As you can see the house will be a mix of light wood, cement, tile, decorated with simple pieces and textiles that will bring with them a very global feel. It's not too far off from where I started, but I definitely think the overall aesthetic is lighter than I ever imagined it would be. I'm a girl who loves black and navy so it's interesting that I found my way to a house that is white with hints of baby blue. I feel, with every inch of my being, that I've made the "right" decisions and now I (hopefully) just get to sit back and watch it all come together. Xx
Top image from San Giorgio, Mykonos