Kristine Woodbridge and Sabrina Calvo are interior designers based in Costa Rica.  Since two years ago, they create exclusive design with artifical flowers and plants under the commercial name “Tulipa Design”. It’s a business that helps business clients and owners of luxury homes meet their design needs through practical and imaginative flower design. 

We found them at several of the LX Costa Rica luxury homes for sale so we interviewed them to learn about their vision and passion… 

“Flowers are a critical element when it’s time to finalize home design or complete a real estate project… it’s the cherry on the cake.”   – Kristine Woodbridge

In this article about interior design tendencies with natural and artificial flowers in Costa Rica: 

Design with natural or artificial flowers?

The right flowers and plants add a final touch to a residential space or a real estate project. Both natural and artifical plants are now widely used in interior design, with Costa Rican homes and projects favoring ferns, orchids, succulents and hydrangeas. 


According to Kristine Woodbridge, co-founder, the most important concern when deciding whether to go natural, artificial or a combination, is the level of concern the client has in the care and maintenance of the plants.  

“Many clients don’t have time or interest to take care of natural plants.  Then , there’s also clients that have design needs in areas without water or light where particular plants or flowers wouldn’t grow properly.”

In the case of artificial flowers and plants, the designer explains that they do not require much care and can be mounted on any surface. In fact, there are people who have `bases` that are significant to them and we incorporate them into the design. The artificial flower is very versatile,” she adds.

However, Woodbridge emphasizes that as designers they suggest to the client that they mix and match both types of plants, natural and artificial, for better results. “For example, the foliage can be natural and the most delicate flowers can be artificial.”

Calvo, her co-founder, added…

“The most popular artificial flowers used in residential and commercial spaces in Costa Rica are orchids, succulents and hydrangeas. In general, the plants that are more prevalent are the ferns.”

Plants and flowers that relax and improve productivity

Kristine Woodbridge says that the arrangements give life to a space and make it look comfortable. “Often people do not know the contribution that a flower or a plant can provide to a specific place, or the various benefits they generate.  This is a positive aspect of both artificial and natural plants.”


“Research has shown plants in general can help reduce stress and improve a persons mood.”

The founders comment that, for corporate and business clients, they realized that plants improve efficiency and productivity in the workplace. That is why green vertical walls and vegetable gardens have been introduced in many offices and buildings in San José. However, maintenance is difficult with natural plants.  So, our clients now aren’t just the luxury homes, we also have many commercial and corporate customers that seek design and sourcing from Tulipa Design.

The same designer says that they not only sell arrangements or design projects, they also advise the client. “There are plants for indoor, indoor with sun protection and outdoor.If an indoor plant is located outside, can fade very quickly.Worse even when it is a natural plant that is not suitable for space, where they can lose life and subtract from the overall design.

As for maintenance, this is very simple, artificial plants are cleaned with a damp cloth or a duster … like a piece of furniture. No need to worry about more details. And with its use allergies are avoided. In addition, the investment with these artificial plants and flowers is done once and can last for many years. Everything will depend on your care.

Tulipa Design: Business perspectives


Tulipa Design founders, Kristine Woodbridge y Sabrina Calvo, told us that when starting the business and choosing a name, they both naturally asked themselves about their favorite flowers. 

“We both agreed that we like tulips and the name sprung from there.  It’s a reflection of our own interests and passion,” stated Kristine.

Sabrina explains that the artificial plant and flower market is attractive to commercial and business settings since it allows for elegant interior design with very low maintenance requirements.   que el mercado de las flores y plantas artificiales resulta atractivo para las empresas, ya que permiten generar acabados elegantes que no requieren de gran mantenimiento.

“We degain with residential interior design and remodeling where we introduced our plants with exclusive designs. Our artificial plants expand the possibilities and improve the space with fewer restrictions. That is why we now also work with many commercial and business projects where, like luxury homes, they recognize the value of design and the practical aspects of simpler maintenance.”

For Sabrina, what makes her job so special is the “natural” feel she can add with artificial plants and flowers.  “Good design and great arrangements must feel natural, regardless of the product.  

“In addition to using artificial plants and flowers, we also incorporate natural materials, such as stones, mushrooms and moss, which make them look different,” explains Sabrina Calvo. For Kristine Woodbridge what makes the work they do different also is their design, which reflects their personalities. “We get involved from the purchase of the product we work with to the final product, in fact, we travel to other countries to look for the product, which we select and then buy, then we see the client’s space and we say what is needed, because not all flowers go with all styles and designs and then we take care of installing it in the right way, ” she says.

Sabrina Calvo adds that the work they do goes beyond the flower arrangement, “we want it to be spectacular in the environment it will be in”. Calvo explains that in the market there are also customers who have the need to rent their products, “in offices and businesses it is worth renting them, since each month or three months the design elements can be changed and thus`refresh the atmosphere and make it look different”.

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