I remember vividly when the song “Summer Time” of Will Smith hit the charts. We were jamming on its groundbreaking tunes at the summer parties. Good memories.
For us here on Curacao, to be honest, it is year-round summer. The sunny weather, blue skies, warm sandy beaches, the breeze… ahhh... I love my island!
Many came as tourists and landed here buying a second home to escape harsh winters and enjoy the laid back lifestyle and kind locals.
I met these clients from Canada (mind you… Canada can be really cold in Winter!) and they were having a long stay on our “dushi” (meaning sweet in my native language Papiamentu) island Curacao. They asked me to incorporate some Caribbean taste to their veranda, since they enjoy that beautiful look over the lagoon and that nice chilly breeze at night. Also, a great place to gather with friends visiting them as well.
While conversing with them I noticed something very important. They were open to learn and explore our island, our culture, and our locals. To me it was fascinating!
You see… when visitors from other countries, especially big ones populated by millions, visit our islands, we tend to think that they have it all. That they are not interested in knowing smaller countries and especially getting so deeply interested in being part of it on the long run and invest in real estate, offshore businesses etc.
It made me realize more that we have to be prouder of our country, wherever it is and carry our culture high with so much pride. And mostly they opened up my eyes again about change and taking risks. Fear can be a tricky thing they told me. If they had the fear to travel all the way down to this Caribbean Island named Curacao, with so much potential, they would have never had the chance to invest in real estate for their next generation and contribute to our foreign exchange. Moreover, if they did not have the guts to jump and become successful entrepreneurs and business owners back then, they would have never had the chance to experience these great opportunities to travel the world and invest.
Something that we have to reconsider. Spreading our wings in different directions and fly high like eagles looking for phenomenal opportunities worldwide. Just get out of the box and explore!
After long interesting conversations, I learned that they liked bold designs yet with a sophisticated touch.
Well then… their wish was my command!
I shopped around at different local stores to come up with the perfect design for them. The villa was located in a gated community, so it was not a problem for leaving decor out. For the day of the makeover, they were about to host a dinner at the end of the day. So, I started to think of bright colors, but yet with a neutral to tone it down. The perfect combination would be taupe, red with a touch of vintage decor. That is where the white cabinets come in to store the plates, glassware and cutlery and the rustic whitewashed dining table.
Whatever that was used had to be resistant to outdoors, especially against the saltpeter in this case, since they were located near a lagoon.
This couple liked entertaining outdoors and fell in love with our climate. That give me an insight that the furniture had to be resistible yet stylish.
After delivery of all the goods, I started with the setup. Had to be quick. The layout was quite simple. A comfy seating area had to be created for hosting guests and also a dining area for the picnics and late dinners.
The furniture were very comfy and durable. The colors where perfectly combined with the red and other under toned decor to keep the balance. Fluffy throw pillows added a much-needed pop of color to the sofa and chairs. When choosing furniture always take into consideration where it will be accommodated and its purpose, so you can make a wise decision on investment.
For the setup of the dining table, I used a vintage look with faux wooden benches as center piece. The candle holders where adorned with red candles and for the guest’s comfort and interest to the eyes, red pillows were added to each high armchair. It would be a long night of entertainment, conversations and laughter and a comfortable seating was certainly a priority.
Details like vintage photo frames, wooden decorative ducks, and candles among others, gave this space an elevated fresh look. Just as the clients requested.
Just a tip…
When designing your veranda, do not limit yourself. Go overboard and implement the style and colors that you feel more comfortable with. After all it is your space of relaxation and comfort.
Make it a space of your own to enjoy, relax and even dance during summer time and all year round.
Nadin Benito is a well-known International Interior Designer at Welcome Home Designs, based on the beautiful island of Curacao where she has more than 20 years of design experience under her belt, as well as being a producer of her own TV series. During the illness and passing of both of her parents in less than 1 year apart, but also 3 of her close friends, Nadin founded Welcome Home Foundation - Curacao which is dedicated in designing Pro Bono for a good cause, namely for Cancer patients and Cancer survivors, who went through drastic life changes, by designing an area in their home/ location completely for free including all decorative items, to give them hope and help them gather much needed strength.
“As an Interior Designer, I had the opportunity to experience the importance of creating beautiful places at several Cancer patients’ and survivor’s homes, in order to give them hope and also to contribute to their prompt recovery after all the chemotherapy and exhaust. By experiencing the passing of my own parents, 3 close friends and other close family members due to Cancer, it gave me the ultimate push to continue with this noble work... Designing for a good cause… An area where the Cancer patients feel welcome and at peace. Cancer does not take a break. But with this noble cause, we can ensure that hope for these patients and survivors won't either…”
Visit Nadin at www.welcomehomefoundationcuracao.com.