Living in big cities is great. Think of all those amenities that we have at our disposal. Electrifying nightclubs, opulent malls, tempting food joints … what’s not to love about our cities?
But there’s a flipside as well – you don’t always get your fill of panoramic views and verdant sights. All you see are tall buildings, roads chockablock with traffic and, of course, dust, and pollution.
We know your heart pines for greenery that soothes the eyes, calms the mind and nourishes the soul, and we’d like to help. No, we can’t bring the jungle into your home (or recreate the sweet chirping of the cicadas), but we can help you create a home that’s reminiscent of the tropical décor. Once you’re done, it will be like living in Fiji or the Bahamas all day long!
So, let’s get started, shall we?
First Things First – Throw Formality Out
Tropical living is all about a laid-back lifestyle. The décor is typified by its lack of formality and space oozes a casual vibe. You don’t think of hosting grand tea ceremonies or lavish dinner parties in a beach shack, but you can imagine lounging about comfortably, kicking back and relaxing with your friends over a couple of cold beers.
The long and short of it is this – throw formality to the winds and don’t get hung up on too many do’s and don’ts. Tropical décor simple living at its best, free of unnecessary embellishments and distractions, and less will always be more here.
Stick to a Neutral Color Scheme
Start off with a neutral palette, like shades of ivory, beige, brown, khaki, and mocha. These are the colors you would find naturally occurring in the tropical hardwoods. But don’t take this to mean that you’re going to have a drab home on your hands. These neutral colors make for a great base that allows for accent colors like yellow, red, emerald green, aquamarine, terracotta, coral, turquoise blue, and mustard to shine through. Choose your favorites and pick up drapes, rugs, and cushion covers to make the space pop.
Bring in Sustainable Furniture
Tropical décor is best complemented by tropical hardwood furniture made from mango, balsa, and teak. However, if you’re looking for sustainable options, consider rattan, wicker, and bamboo furniture. Not only are they attractive, but they are also durable – a perfect choice for keeping both indoors and outdoors.
When picking furniture, select a color that’s in contrast to your linen and upholstery to create a visual interest. For instance, dark furniture against soft ivory drapes will look really rich, while light colored chairs will pair well with beige and olive furnishings.
Keep the Lighting Soft and Subtle
Lighting is extremely important in a tropical setting, but instead of harsh, over-bright options, settle for gentle, mellow illumination. Light fixtures should be earthy, rich, and made from natural textures. Lampshades made from wicker, seagrass, and parchment paper feature prominently in this theme. You could even go in for lamps made from vines, rattan, and bamboo or woven material like jute. Common tropical motifs would include palm leaves, pineapples, sea waves, and impish monkeys!
Stock up on Natural Accessories
As casual as the tropical décor may be, there’s plenty of room for accessorizing, and there are plenty of accessories to choose from! Of course, all these elements borrow from the natural surroundings and feature handmade creations made from organic materials sourced from the beach, ocean or the rainforest. Some of the more common accessories you can consider are tiki totems, tiki masks, coconut shell bowls, sea shell encrusted chandeliers, carved wooden items, and light fixtures made from jute.
In addition, sprinkle a healthy dose of tropical plants around the house, including palms, ferns, bamboo, and rubber plants. Exotic flowering options like orchids, bromeliads, and bird of paradise can also make your home come alive. Top it off with an indoor fountain for that comforting babble of water, light an aromatic incense and you now have a tropical paradise where you can relax and unwind at ease.