On a first-time trip to a small surf and yoga town in Costa Rica in 2010, Michelle felt an immediate connection to the ocean, surf, nature and culture of the country. Four years and many trips back to Nosara later, she finally decided it was time to make a change and leave the city.
Now Michelle lives 200 meters from the Pacific Ocean and most mornings start in the ocean with an early surf, and then the rest of the day is spent designing luxurious beach villas, hotels and restaurants.
Creatively, it was a completely reviving challenge to change the environment, climate, function and client for which she was accustomed to designing in Toronto. Never before did she have to consider things such as torrential rain, earthquakes, extreme humidity, salt erosion from the ocean, jungle wildlife, etc.
One of Michelle’s main design principals is a respect for and connection to place and nature. Her designs strive to find the right balance of modern style with rustic elements while blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor space. Locally sourced materials and labor, as well as energy and water efficient design is important to her and her clients.
Michelle was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and obtained her Honors Architectural degree from the University of Toronto and interior design certificate from Ryerson University.
She worked in Toronto at a private downtown firm for 10+ years where she completed numerous commercial, corporate and retail projects for a variety of clients ranging from mining giant Glencore on the 69th floor penthouse of First Canadian Place, to the first office in Canada for British technology company Dyson in an 80-year old brick-and-beam loft building.