The islands of the Caribbean, Hawaii, as well as the coastal villages of Mexico, Costa Rica, and Ecuador are like paradise. The cuisine is rich with fresh ingredients and some of the best fresh seafood available, the sunrises and sunsets blend rich color like nowhere else on earth, and the salt air invigorates the senses. The tropics are a blissful place to be.

Bringing home that island feeling is not only possible, but also not as difficult as one might imagine… To turn up the tropical feeling in a room far from the sea, consider these six tricks:

  1. Keep the majority of the space neutral. Soft ivory, bright white, the palest green, or the sheerest shade of peach make for an understated canvas on which to play with color, pattern, texture, and whimsy!
  2. Speaking of color, punch it up! Bring in sunny yellow, juicy mango, bold orange, crimson red, leaf green. The more vibrant, the better. The tropics are naturally full of these bright bold shades, and in their natural environment the colors play well together.
  3. Take a risk with bold pattern. Giant florals work well here, or try a green and white or green and ivory botanical print. Patterns can be added via upholstery, drapery, pillows, or even an area rug.
  4. Nature at its finest. In true tropical form, organic materials add incredible texture. Bamboo, rattan, sea grass, jute, and linen are perfect for evoking a tropical vibe.
  5. Part of the appeal of the tropics is the sense of entering another time – many years ago, where it seems that life was simpler. To capture that feeling, include vintage pieces with iconic styling.
  6. Take the personality up a notch. Bring in plants, particularly those with frond style leaves. Add a little whimsy with accents. Bonus points here for using treasures from your travels – adds personality and taps into the memories!

The tropics may be miles away, but with a little bit of know-how, they can be right inside your front (or back) door.