Tropical Style of Decorating
You may not live in Key West, St. Bart’s or St. Tropez, but that does not mean you can’t bring in your favorite elements with the Tropical Style of Decorating. If you add just the right touches, when you come home each evening from fighting traffic and a cranky boss, entering your house will be like a mini-holiday. You do not have to go out and purchase all new furniture because over-doing the style will be just as bad as having nothing at all. It will be chaotic and bring on more stress.
To begin your Tropical Style of Decorating, start with a clean slate. This means have your walls and floors as neutral as possible so you can add elements that are meaningful. Think of the color of sand. True, some of the most exotic tropical beaches have stunning white sand, but the light beige is the norm. If your home or room you want to transform already has neutral carpeting, you are off to a great start.
Window treatments can be something as simple as grass cloth or bamboo shades or a little more on the expensive side, white shutters. You could also use wooden blinds. If you prefer to use curtains with your shades, fluffy sheers in white or pastels will work just fine. If you were planning on re-doing your current floors and really want a Tropical Style of Decorating, go for bamboo. It is not as expensive as hardwood and lasts just as long. Depending on in what climate you currently live, tile floors would also be appropriate. Whether hardwoods or tile you can use area rugs that may have a ‘beachy’ look to them. These area rugs can also add interest to your neutral carpet.
Tropical furniture is never heavy. You will see a lot of wicker, bamboo and rattan. What really looks nice is to have an over-stuffed sofa upholstered in a pale linen, cotton or other natural fabric. Add several rattan side chairs with colorful seat cushions that may have patterns of sea shells, star fish and other sea life. If you do not think your current sofa invokes a tropical feel, simply purchase a thrifty slip cover in the color and fabric of your liking. No matter what you decide to have and in what color, it must be comfortable. Tropical living is all about comfort.
Many decorators may suggest using figures of monkeys or other jungle creatures but that can take your look over the top. Get large clear glass ginger jars and fill them with shells of all colors and sizes. Find a tall, plain umbrella stand and fill it with palm fronds. An old-fashioned hanging wicker bird cage can hold a stuffed parrot – and you will never have to change the papers! If you are a fish aficionado, have you ever considered getting a small salt water tank and having a pair of colorful tropical fish?
Nothing says Tropical Style of Decorating more than having two or three nice size tropical plants where they can enjoy as much sunlight as they can. It doesn’t matter if they are blooming trees or plants as long as the greenery is substantial. How about a nice palm tree?
Too many tropical objects laying around may make your room look more like a souvenir shop. Pick your decorations with care. Look for unique objects like brass crabs, beaded star fish or colorful fish-shaped platters. Wall art can be framed travel posters of exotic tropical locales or framed prints of beach scenes and rolling oceans.
In the Tropical Style of Decorating, you do not have to do everything in one day. Remember, you are on tropical time which is slow and lazy. You will find a perfect print one day and you may not find another inspiration for several weeks or a month. Take your time – you are on vacation!