Renovating the Gardenia Resort

Interior design expert Blanche Garcia reinvents the Gardenia Resort in Negril, Jamaica.

1. Wall Puzzle

I wanted to create a focal point, yet at the same time display some of the locally made wood carvings. So I pretended I was playing a game of Tetris. First, you measure the wall that your unit is going on. Remember to measure the width and height. Then start drawing in rectangular shapes that fit exactly within the space of the wall. I ended up mixing up the shapes so that some were attached vertically and some were attached horizontally. In the space in Jamaica, I was able to get around 3 to 4 rows of rectangles. Make sure that when you draw them out that they each connect together. Also, whatever items you are showcasing, make sure they fit in the boxes.

Once you have your design down, take the wood that you’re going to use and cut it down to the size that you need. Your depth should be anywhere from 6 to 12 inches. If you plan on hanging items on the walls -- but within the boxes -- then keep the depth narrow. If you plan on stacking items like books in the boxes, then go with a standard shelf depth like 12 inches. Once the pieces are cut, start assembling each of your rectangles using wood glue as well as nails. Now that your rectangle boxes are made, you can either stain them like we did at the Gardenia Resort or you can paint them a fun color of your choice.

2. Designer Sliders

The sliding doors that you saw on the show were completely custom-made. But a great and simple way to customize sliding doors to section off a room of your home is to just modify standard wood sliding doors. Buy a pair of sliders from your nearest big box store, complete with the floor and ceiling tracks. You’re going to end up painting these so your best bet is to buy them unfinished or pre-primed. If your opening is larger than a standard pair of doors, you can always add wood trim to beef up the frames. Next, take a wood saw and cut out the square interior panels so that you’re left with square holes in each door. Now you’re going to trim out the inside of each of the open cutouts and use wood trim to create an X pattern in each of the squares that were cut out.

The trick is to make sure the new interior trim and Xs are slimmer than the actual door, so that they lay inside the door and not protrude past the door.
Gardenia Resort in Negril, Jamaica.
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