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10 Tropical Interior Design Ideas to Get You Inspired (with Pictures)

Tropical Interior Design_DESIGNECOLOGIST_Unsplash

The tropics connect with parts of the human soul as no other environment can. Hundreds of millions of people live in the tropics, and everyone else goes to visit the tropics at least once, if not regularly. The tropics are a deeply popular part of human culture, and they evoke emotions and a longing to relax. These powerful draws also compel people to design their homes with tropical interior designs, which help bring out these tropical feelings on a regular basis.

Whether you have a deep personal connection to the warmest parts of our planet or simply want a fun design for a rental property, there are plenty of ways to bring the tropics home. Here are the tropical interior design ideas to inspire your next project.

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The Top 10 Tropical Interior Design Ideas

1. Feature Bright Colors

The tropics are known for a pattern of bright pastel colors. Colors such as turquoise, sunset orange, bright red, and emerald green instantly evoke images of quiet beaches and vibrant rainforests. Utilizing these tropical colors is a simple way to bring a burst of character and tropic ambiance to any space.

Color is a great way to help bring a design to life, and there are dozens of ways to incorporate tropical pastels, from something as small as a dish set to as expansive as a full repainting job. These colors can be used in a bedspread, artwork, welcome mats, or accent walls. The ultimate choice is up to you, but there is nothing more tropical than bright, vibrant natural colors.

2. Utilize Rattan Furniture

Rattan is one of the staple features of any tropical-themed space. Rattan furniture is durable, light, and airy. It evokes images of porches, beachside patios, and leafy parlors. Rattan furniture has been used in tropical climates from Key West to Mumbai. Rattan furniture is water resistant, can be easily moved, and has that natural wood look that ties in well with a tropical feel.

Rattan is the perfect addition to any tropical space. There is a large variety of rattan furniture available, from seating to tables and shelving, so you can choose the rattan pieces that fit your individual needs and design preferences.

3. Indoor Tropical Plants

Bring the tropics directly into your home with the use of live tropical plants. There are many beautiful and distinctive tropical plants that make great houseplants. Tropical plants crave consistent water, year-round warm temperatures, and lots of light which are all conditions easily replicated inside.

Plants such as hibiscus flowers, bamboo, orchids, and more can be easily grown indoors to add splashes of leaves and natural greenery. There are tall palm-like fronds you can use to flank a doorway or small, low-maintenance tabletop bamboo. The natural plants will instantly add a touch of tropical nature to your interior spaces.

4. Lots of Natural Light

Natural light should be a big consideration for many tropical designs. Large windows or skylights can bring in the sun which is a persistent feature of any tropical location. The natural light will really help your colors pop and will highlight natural accents.

Dark and shut-in are the antithesis of most tropical characteristics. Natural light will immediately pair well with almost every other idea on this list. Keep windows clear and do your best to allow the light to flow freely into your spaces to get the most out of the benefits.

5. Add Jute, Burlap, and Woven Items

One easy way to add a touch of the tropical to your home is by using jute, burlap, and woven items. These items are often used in indoor-outdoor spaces because they hold up to the elements better than other traditional cloth. Jute and burlap have a rugged natural appearance that can feature in many ways.

You can add burlap as a table runner, buy woven furniture to compliment your rattan pieces, or add jute throw rugs to give your indoor space an indoor-outdoor feel. These materials are very popular right now and procuring them and adding them to your current design should be easy and affordable.

6. Simple Tropical Accents

You do not have to go overboard to get the tropical feeling that you desire in your home. Some people like to stay on the subtler side of design. Simple tropical accents can bring that fresh warm feeling into your spaces without having to wallpaper your entire house with bold patterns.

Adding a jute throw rug or a picture of a bird of paradise bloom can bring in hints of the tropics without diving in too deep. Simple accents like table adornments, artwork, rugs, pillows, and small furniture can spruce up a room without having to redo everything in your existing design.

7. Plenty of Floral Patterns

Flowers are a massive part of any tropical scene whether artificial or natural. Tropical flowers have complex blooms and bright colors. Not any floral pattern will do. There are classic and traditional floral patterns that give a completely different vibe than tropical flowers.

Make sure your floral patterns feature tropical flowers and not just any old flowers. Tropical flowers can be used in many ways from wallpaper to accents adorning bathroom towels but featuring a tropical flower of any kind will instantly upgrade your tropical design. Common tropical flowers include hibiscus, jasmine, orchids, and angel’s trumpet.

8. Include Tropical Animals

Something not often seen in other designs is the use of animal imagery, but animals can be used to great effect in tropical decorating. There are a wide variety of animals you can use and a wide variety of ways to use them. Some of the most popular tropical animals to feature include flamingos, monkeys, and parrots.

The animals can be customized for your personal flavor of the tropics. A Florida-inspired tropical design might feature pelicans or dolphins, while southeast Asian tropical could have tigers and elephants involved. Animals can be used in wallpaper, artwork, statuettes, or table runners. The options are numerous and have plenty of flexibility to show your own personality and preferences with the design.

9. Look to Use Natural Features

People go to the tropics to spend time outdoors. Whether that is lounging by a beach or hiking through a steamy jungle, the tropics are brimming with wild nature. If you want a more natural tropical feel in your designs, try adding natural features. Dark rich woods, bamboo, and stone are all great ways to bring some of the outdoor tropical flavors indoors to great effect.

Even small touches of natural materials can enhance the look of any tropical design and add a level of authenticity not often seen. Trading ceramic accents for stone accents, for example, can make a world of difference when nailing the final touches of your tropical paradise.

10. Use Palm Motifs

Few things are as inherently tropical as the image of a majestic palm tree swaying in an ocean breeze. Palm trees only thrive in tropical climates, so it is only fitting that you use the image of palms in your tropical designs. Palm tree motifs can be used in a variety of ways from throw pillows to wallpaper to artwork or even live plants.

Adding the image of recognizable palm fronds and that rich palm green will tie everything together and cause the tropical theme to truly jump off the walls. Some people lean hard into the palm imagery, but palms can also be added in small, subtle ways as well. Adding just a single palm image to a room can hammer your design home, or you can plaster your space wall to wall in frond decor.

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There are plenty of ways to bring a tropical feeling to your interior design. Some ideas are as simple as adding some palm tree images to your guest bathroom, while other ideas might spur you to replace a large portion of your furniture. With a little paint, a little imagination, and a little money, you can turn any space into your own tropical paradise.

Featured Photo Credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST, Unsplash


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