Reviving Casa Cartago: A Tale of Rejuvenation in Dominical

At the heart of Dominical, a house came alive, embodying a unique blend of traditional roots and modernity. Casa Cartago, an ambitious remodeling project, sought to retain its original allure while incorporating new touches that would truly make it a luxurious home. 


The owners, from Colorado, were enamored with the style of the house rather than with its particularities. The small terrace, the tiny kitchen, the dark interior – all these elements sparked their dilemma of whether to sell or remodel. After sharing their concerns and hopes, we, at Natural Instinct, stepped into the scene to breathe new life into the building with our highest standards of luxury interiors. 


Our first move was to revisit the layout, with the intent to make it brighter, more open, and more welcoming. We proposed a design that would address these issues, ranging from architecture to internal design and furniture. The idea was to break down the barriers that made the house feel tight and dark. 

A thick wall separating the kitchen and living room was replaced with a large arch, replicating an existing one, which allowed for a seamless flow of light and space. The result was a transformed social area that combined the living room and kitchen, leading to an extended terrace. The house became a vibrant, illuminated space that warmly invites social interaction.

Our clients’ active participation in the project was another unique aspect of the Casa Cartago remodeling. Their dedication was palpable, from selecting the finishes of materials to inspecting the furniture, even visiting the workshops to choose marbles for the project.

New Kitchen, Same Passion

The kitchen was a special area of focus. It was designed from scratch with the client’s preferences at the forefront. As the client loves cooking and has a large kitchen back in Colorado, he wanted to replicate the same vibe in his Costa Rican house. He brought photos of his Colorado kitchen, providing us with a tangible understanding of his expectations. The design morphed into one with neutral colors, that gave him the same comfort as his Colorado one.

The style adopted for the house was Spanish-colonial, with a modern twist. We employed travertine extensively for the floors, counters, and furniture. Elements such as aged iron, marble, and mosaics were used in the kitchen backsplash, enhancing the aesthetic appeal. Indirect lighting provided a soft, welcoming ambiance throughout the house.

The project also featured the use of teak for the terrace and interior furniture. The architectural aim for the terrace was to maintain continuity with the interior design. As a result, a prominent stone arch was installed, adding an iconic element to the space.

The process of transforming Casa Cartago was a testament to how a house with traditional architecture could be modernized without losing its original essence. It was indeed a challenging endeavor considering the house was already 20 years old, but we met these challenges head-on, navigating each step with care and diligence.


Today, Casa Cartago stands as a beacon of thoughtful design and client-focused execution. From the initial consultations to the final delivery, it was a journey marked by open dialogue, mutual decision-making, and a deep understanding of the owners’ vision. We’re grateful to have been a part of this transformative process and look forward to many more.


This beautiful journey was also documented in audio-visual materials, providing a comprehensive view of the transformation process. Stay tuned for our upcoming releases to get a detailed look into the making of Casa Cartago!


By melding the Colorado kitchen spirit into the Costa Rican house, breathing new life into an old structure, and actively involving the clients in the process, we turned Casa Cartago into a unique blend of comfort, style, and tradition. The result is a testament to the power of well-executed luxury interior design and a proud embodiment of our client’s dream.