Everyone loves a touch of tropical in the summer.  Just like I want to build a fire pit in the living room of my south Florida highrise in the winter time, there’s something about the heat and sunshine that makes people want to break out the Hawaiian prints and drink pina coladas.  But how do you incorporate tropical elements into your home without looking like a bad episode of Hawaii 5-0?  These stylists showcase 3 ways to go tropical without being over the top.

  1.  Keep it dark.  The contrast of black-painted brick tones down the bright colors and foliage.  If this was white wood, you would feel like you were in a Balinese bedroom (though this might be your goal), but if not, dark painted wood or concrete offsets the brights for a more sophisticated feel.
  2. Use just one piece.  I’m loving this lime painting, and it’s surprisingly affordable too (link in caption).  You can update art seasonally for a tropical pop, in the wintertime you could replace this with a collage or understated abstract.  If you stick to canvas art, like this one, it’s lightweight and easy to replace and store, so you don’t have to worry about heavy framing or glass breakage.
  3. Accent it.  This is a more permanent idea, but if you adore that tropical feel, try an accent wall papered with palms or bamboo.  The key here is to only stick to one wall, and keep the other accents neutral.  The antique silver and chalkboard artwork offsets the wallpaper so it’s just a touch of the tropics.

Other ways to incorporate the tropics into your interior include of course plants – no matter where you live, most nurseries offer palms and cacti seasonally.  Throw pillows are another great way to add a pop of pattern, use pillow covers rather than actual pillows for easy storage.  A bright rag or sisal rug can pull together a room and totally redefine the color scheme without any permanence as well.  Or, if you’re not willing to switch up your decor, a quick trip to Florida or the islands (it’s dirt cheap to travel to the Caribbean in summer just be sure to get travel insurance and watch the weather closely for hurricanes, a cruise ship can steer around weather but at a resort, you’re stuck) and paper your refrigerator with postcards from your trip for that year-round tropical feel.