Let’s talk about tropical interior design and decorating – it’s one of the most popular design styles that we’re asked about and it’s perfect for the Darwin climate.
Here in Darwin, there are several months of the year that are not really suited to outdoor living – either too wet, too humid, or simply too hot – so we look for ways to bring the tropical oasis feeling to our indoor living spaces instead.
Tropical style can be attributed to several different design styles: British Colonial, Hamptons, Boho, Coastal, Asian influence, or Scandi. These six design styles are very different from each other, yet they also have some very distinct similarities which work to give your home a ‘tropical’ feel.
What is common in designing and decorating tropical indoor spaces is background colours in white and creamy tones – the furniture, décor pieces, and indoor plants bringing colour and interest to the space.
There are a few designer’s tricks to creating an ‘oasis at home’:
Ditch the formality
Set a casual tone with low-slung seating, floor pillows, and wicker or cane furniture options.
Use natural materials on your walls and floors
Use textured wallpaper like bark cloth or weave matting to create a feeling of a tropical island hut. Sisal or jute floor rugs soften without giving added warmth.
Choose vibrant accent colours
The tropics are known for exotic and vivid hues like aquamarine, violet, emerald green, sea blue, oranges and coral. Use vibrant tones for wall art, soft furnishings such as cushions or linen throws, or lampshades.
Create a welcoming entrance
Your home’s entry hallway sets the tone for the rest of your home (as well as being the first impression for any guest!) – make a splash with a standout tropical wallpaper, mirrors, a stylish coastal lamp, and a selection of antique and natural curios.
Decorate with foliage prints and natural materials
Create displays of natural objet d’art, corals and shells and showcase Australian native artworks. Foliage prints on fabrics for bedheads, cushions, or upholstery look so tropical!
Plan for open-plan living with plenty of space for casual conversation whilst enjoying a cocktail or laidback luncheon. Indoor palms, seagrass matting, and ceiling fans will help everyone keep their cool.
Make the most of a view
Have you got a wonderful view across the ocean, or a place where the sunset looks amazing? If you’re lucky enough to have a marvellous view, make the most of it. For those who are not so lucky, make your own view with trompe-l’œil trickery through a painted mural or wallpapered feature wall depicting your favourite tropical island scenery.
Bring the outdoors in
In your living spaces add some candles in tropical fragrances along with fresh or dried bouquets. Play soothing ocean or rainforest sounds through your sound system for a sure way to conjure up visions of being in the great outdoors. Houseplants are not only excellent for decoration; they have also beneficial effects such as purifying the air.
Use soft-glow lighting
Replace your old globes with low-wattage or soft LEDs with a warm, slightly yellow glow. Be creative – woven baskets or old fish traps make great tropical-style shades.
Set-up a spot for a spontaneous siesta
An afternoon nap is a great way to de-stress! Create your own personal siesta spot either indoors in a corner of your living room or outdoors where you’ll be shaded and protected from the elements.
I mentioned the most popular styles of tropical interior design and décor earlier and the 10 steps to creating an oasis at home can be incorporated into each of those six popular tropical styles. Each of the six styles looks and feels very different – although they all mix very easily with each other too.
You may be curious to know more about these six tropical styles, and more important which tropical style best suits you, so I’ve put together a fun quiz to help you work out your own tropical design style – you’ll find it right HERE.
Tropical design is what JM Interiors do best and although it’s SO helpful to know what your style is and the simple ways you can bring tropical style into your home, you may want to go a little further into the process and bring an expert in to help you create the tropical oasis that will allow you to leave your busy working day behind and step into a calm, cool, and relaxing home.
You’ll find a complete list of my packages HERE to find out more about how JM Interiors can help you create a home that you’ll love returning to each day – I can work with you on-site or remotely; distance is no barrier! If you’re still unsure about what you need from an interior designer … jump in and book a DISCOVERY CALL and we can work out which is the best way to get your tropical-inspired interior design project started.