Tropical decor has become an increasingly popular trend recently.
Jane Drew reports
1. First things first
Chances are your home is already blessed with whitewashed walls and either wood, plain tile or marble floors, and with these basics in place it’s easy to work with what you have to promote an all-natural, sun-drenched vibe.
2. Back to basics
The look you want is simple and pared back, so consider putting the bulk of your furnishings into storage. At the very least cut back on clutter and then add in a few choice pieces that set the relaxed, travel-led tone.
3. Bare all
To establish a light and airy feel, replace heavy drapes with wooden blinds or flimsy sheers, and roll up the rugs. If you want softness underfoot, opt for all-natural fibres, like tatami, seagrass or sisal. Walls are best left bare, save for a fresh coat of white paint that will maximise the flow of light.
4. Think global
Obviously in an authentic island scheme, wood or rattan furniture is imported from source but don’t be too pedantic – concentrate on creating the right feel. Pieces already in your possession, a low-lying Moroccan sedan or Ming-style cabinet, will further the mood.
5. Wood works
Invest in a single choice piece – an Indonesian planter’s chair or Thai day bed. Choose wood, rattan or cane pieces that place an emphasis on clean lines or intricate hand carving. Mid- to light-toned woods, like elm or teak, work best and keep the look fresh and contemporary.
6. Play with pattern
Introduce tropical floral prints or green-based leaf-patterned fabrics to liven up the light toned backdrop. Look carefully to find the designs and colours you like and choose contrasting solids to complement the patterned fabrics so that the effect remains subtle.
7. Let there be light
The trick, of course, is to bring the outside in, and it’s essential to arrange the furniture away from the window in order to let in as much light as possible. Place a favourite chair in front of a window so that you can soak up a sea or green view every day.
8. Colour up
Cooling white and beige tones are at the heart of any resort-style decor but you’ll need to spice things up with splashes of rich but muted tropical colour. Hot hues (no more than three) are best kept for the disposable furnishings – cushion covers, throws and drapes – and you can also add in lashings of green for a fresh, outdoorsy feel.
9. Tropical texture
Mimic nature with layers of different textures. Fabrics should be soft and inviting; remember, this is your version of paradise. You can balance silks and supple cottons with raw, woven hemps and linens, and be sure to add in a couple of natural or artificial palms and ferns.
10. Finishing touches
Too many holiday souvenirs will ruin the minimal aesthetic. Stick to organically moulded ceramics, which will soften the scheme’s clean-lined emphasis, and splash out on a couple of coconut palm, mother-of-pearl and shell-based home accessories. Hang some botanical prints or seascapes to capture that feeling of a day on the beach.
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