Tropical Decor

Kim Stone

A room dressed with tropical decor will create the tranquil atmosphere of an island paradise. With inspiration from scenic spots - like those found in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Bali, and Fiji - you will almost be able to hear the ocean waves and smell the perfume of exotic flowers.

Tropical Decor Basics

The color palette found in tropical design is drawn mostly from natural elements such as the sea, sky, and vegetation. Hues may be deep and rich or may fall on the lighter, brighter side. The sea and sky provide a range of blue tones, while the sun-drenched sand offers various golden tones. Other colors come from tropical foliage which is lushly green with brilliant flowers in a rainbow of colors.

Popular colors in tropical décor include:

  • Blue
  • Yellow
  • White
  • Green
  • Red
  • Orange

Furniture in tropical style rooms is often made of teak, wicker, rattan, or seagrass. These materials add a lot of texture and interest when used in the design of chairs, tables, and ottomans. Sofas in tropical settings typically feature an open wood frame with upholstered cushions. Sofas and beds can also be framed with rattan, woven from wicker, or covered in seagrass fiber. Arm chairs, coffee tables, and ottomans are sometimes made entirely of wicker or seagrass.

Exotic hardwood floors like rosewood or bamboo form a richly colored base on which to place tropical furniture. Rugs made of seagrass are a perfect complement to island motifs and create nice contrast on top of dark wood floors.

Floral patterns are usually found on fabrics used for tropical upholstery and window treatments. These natural patterns may be subdued or vibrant with hues of red, orange, blue, and pink. Silk fabrics are regularly found in elegant tropical decor. Theses silks are available in solid colors as well as botanical patterns. A modern tropical design might feature solid silk fabrics in hues of bright green, pale yellow, or rich red.

Tropical Accessories

The theme of a tropical room can be greatly enhanced with the right accessories. If the chosen design is mostly neutral up to this point, then bring in some accent color with bold accessories. If the tropical décor features color in fabrics or paint, then use this existing palette as a launching point for adding coordinating accessories. The first element to include is verdant tropical foliage like:

  • Palm trees
  • Orchids
  • Banana trees
  • Plumeria
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Hibiscus
  • Caladium
  • Draceana
  • Protea
  • Bamboo

Whether you choose real plants or life-like faux versions, choose a container made of wicker, bamboo, or rattan to continue the tropical theme. Other items that will boost your tropical décor are beach objects such as shells, coral, driftwood, coconuts, and rocks. You can also bring in tiki statutes, decorative wood carvings, and pineapple designs for authentic island flair.

A trickling fountain will add the element of water to a tropical room while creating a soothing ambiance. Decorate walls with botanical prints framed in bamboo or wood to play up the verdant motif. The bed in a tropical bedroom is often crowned with a wispy white mosquito net which instills both romance and drama. For the adventurous decorator, consider adding a fish aquarium or parakeet for a truly interactive tropical design.

Tropical Decor Resources

Touch of Class - Furnishings and accessories with a tropical theme.

Tropical Breeze Décor - Tropical accessories for your walls, table, patio and bathroom.

Tropical Decor