Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk gives us tips on tropical decorating
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As island getaways continue to be put on hold for the most part due to COVID, the best we can do is replace the suitcase full of yesteryear with the homage to the house of today. Translation: Tropical decor is as hot on the design scene as the Caribbean sun.
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Before you flock to design stores for all things flamingos, there are a few things to consider. This bold look can push the boundaries. With all the colorful hustle and bustle that these lush islands convey to the senses, too much can certainly be too much when it’s contained in your home.
Beyond palm tree wallpaper or a touch of Sherwin Williams Coral Reef (both do the trick, too), Berk’s expert advice elevates the tropical look and ensures that your Mai-Tai’s paper umbrella at home isn’t the only thing that makes a splash.
1. Focus on the things that bring you joy
If you want to dip your toes in the trendy waters first, start small by limiting your island vibe to a powder room, veranda, or extra bedroom. Berk own guest room in her California home is the adventurous vacation escape we all wish we could take right now, complete with lush plants, natural textiles, and bare wood elements.
Just as the simple scent of coconut can make you think of a sandy beach and SPF-coated skin, there are details that evoke island life. Floating palm trees, crystal clear waters, pink and pretty birds – these are the elements of a tropical paradise. With a keen eye and insightful taste, decide which items bring you the most joy and work from there.
2. Play with natural fibers
An oasis of sun and sand is all about nature, so natural textures are a must.
Berk says, “Any natural woven material like bamboo, rattan, or palm is the perfect way to add island vibes.”
These, along with raw wood, candy cane, sea grass, and jute, are calming in their neutral tones and work well to balance out any bright colors you plan on adding. They can also be easily incorporated anywhere, from window treatments at carpet, dining chairs at beds. Don’t overdo it.
Berk warns, “Stick to one or two large pieces, like a rattan coffee table, bamboo blinds or a woven palm mirror to avoid a space that looks a bit too much like a tiki bar. “
Against natural hues, this is the perfect place to play with color, perhaps combining woven textures like rattan chairs or tables with fun fabrics in bright colors and patterns for a tropical pop.
3. Mix the plants
One of the main attractions of paradise is its lush flora. Recreate a touch of that greenery by bringing a few key foliage elements into your home with palm trees and leaves. You can replant them in raffia baskets double the details. If you are not in a climate that supports these plants, go false.
“Addition of a vase with fake palm leaves or a faux palm tree is an easy way to add a tropical touch that won’t need to be watered, ”says Berk, recommending the bathroom as a great place. In truth, this simple accent really works almost everywhere. He also suggests sticking to three to five stems for a balanced arrangement within your tropical oasis.
Or, forget about the plants for a little pillow talk. He explains: “Pillows that include fun foliage will make you feel like you are on an island.
Stick to larger scale models and prints that feature one or two colors to keep things from getting too busy.
“You can also include solid-colored pillows in sunset-inspired colors to help balance the patterns,” says Berk.
4. Give a tropical tone with lights
The tropical sun may be miles away, but you can still brighten up your decor with the right lighting fixtures.
For the interior, look for lamps or pendants made from natural elements, such as raffia or rattan, rope (note: this can easily lean nautical), oyster shells or capiz shells, or do it all with lamps that imitate some of the beautiful shapes of nature.
“When you add lights or tiki torches outside your home, they immediately set a sure tone to encourage fun and light conversation, “says Berk.” We love this accent outside or near a patio for a summery vibe that we all have. desire. “
5. Fill up on fruit
Use your decor as an opportunity to not only inspire tropical vibes, but also encourage healthy eating habits.
Berk says: “Large bowls [filled] with fruit can embody a tropical feel and love for the island. “
So let your creativity run wild and fill the space with fruit beyond the obvious banana: papayas, mangoes, kiwis, even dragon fruit create a feast for the eyes.
“All of the bright, bold colors in a beautiful bowl in the center of your dining table can create an easy tropical feel that works as a decor,” says Berk.
6. Reimagine your own tropical memories
Sometimes all it takes is a fun print to send you straight to the tropics.
Try to add some works of art which represent tropical scenes or a seaside landscape. And don’t forget your own beach photos.
“Including places you’ve traveled to or which inspired you will also make it more personal,” Berk adds. “It’s a great way to get around without leaving home.”
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