Renovating The Casa Verde Hotel

DIY's Alison Victoria shares her latest tips and techniques for renovating The Casa Verde Hotel in Rincon, Puerto Rico.

1. The Guest Room

I approached this room with a “lipstick on a pig” outlook, similar to that of an Ian Schrager hotel renovation. The skeleton of the room was a great base for me to work from; the furniture was brand new and neutral enough to re-use. The flooring was in horrible condition -- with a budget constraint, my goal was to design around it and bring the eyes up with other design elements.

Your initial view of the room is the sitting area, so warming up the space with color and texture was key. A simple area rug, some pillows, a table lamp and drapery panels make it feel just like home. Next, I painted the back wall in an accent color and matched the drapery panels to make it a seamless transition -- making my own art on canvas above each bed helped to break up the tone-on-tone with the same color used in a different application.

2. Giving the Bathroom a Facelift

In my opinion, the bathroom is the most important space in any hotel room. I replaced the existing pedestal with an all-in-one unit that had plenty of counter space for toiletries, under-counter cabinetry for towels and a new sleek faucet.

Next, I painted the existing mirror white to make it stand out from the fresh coat of green paint on the walls. The radius shower curtain rod with a crisp waffle curtain in white made all the difference. It was less expensive than a frameless glass enclosure and it gives the illusion of a bigger space from the outside, while actually providing more space on the inside.

3. Reinventing the Bar

A common area can be tricky -- especially this one! Situated right in the middle of 2 hotels, the Rock Bottom Bar was the heart of the resort -- and the elephant in the room. My goal was to have function follow form by toning down the “surf shack” theme and using it in a more subtle way. Privacy walls were constructed to block the bar from the rooms, also providing more hanging space for the “living” wall.

By painting the back of the privacy walls, as well as the interior and exterior walls of the rooms, we cut down on the noise level by 75%. We de-cluttered the walls and ceiling of all of the broken boards, and painted the corrugated metal ceiling with sound proofing white paint. After, we added false wood beams to balance the room and offset the white, while adding 2 new fans.

Lighting is everything, so I wanted to illuminate the right areas with the right light. I added 4 new tracks with adjustable heads to wash the walls and provide lighting for the bar staff. We constructed a light fixture out of 200 green wine bottles to mimic the waves of the ocean while providing ambient lighting at the same time. Then, we repurposed some of the old barstools and purchased new barstools to tie in the linear look on the privacy wall built out of cedar fencing.

All in all, we updated the surf feel into a more sophisticated feel -- and turned this Rock Bottom Bar into a new start for these owners!
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