Getting tropical feel in our homesBy Tessa Prieto-Valdes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Tropical interior decor infuses a space with a casual, comfy, chic feel that is best described as “island life.” This tropical style is executed best in the beautiful and sprawling luxury resorts in Hawaii.
One marvelous example is the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, done in the classic interior design created in the style of Hawaii’s golden era. Aside from the ocean and garden views, there are stunning mountain and golf views to complement the spacious bedroom interiors.
This tropical feel can be done in our homes with a touch of design magic. Start with furniture made of natural materials such as rattan, jute, wicker or bamboo. Most of the latest all-weather furnishings are made of a special PVC material that is woven to look natural.
Dedon Furniture is one of the most outstanding outdoor furniture manufacturers in the world. Their contemporary designs say tropical chic through and through. Like many international furniture firms, their main factory is in that export hub, Cebu City.
TV5’s popular gameshow host, Willie Revillame, uses Dedon at his outdoor terrace lounge at Wil Events Place, located near Wil Tower Mall and ABS-CBN on Sgt. Esguerra Avenue in South Triangle, Quezon City. The newly opened events venue also has fully-equipped function rooms and restaurants, W Bar and Wil Steak Town.
Tropical sense of comfort W Bar opens up to a terrace lounge with giant, potted palm trees that truly give that tropical sense of comfort and ease. A fully-lit bar from Furnitalia adds to the charm of Willie’s new hangout.
Big-leaf plants, such as banana or palm trees, bring tropical flair to landscaping, terraces and interiors. If living, tropical plants are not practical for your home, bring in tropical charm through fabrics and accessories printed with island motifs and tropical scenery.
Add coastal touches to island living with nautical themes or surfer chic with hammocks and sandy floors. Wallpaper prints featuring palm leaves, lattice prints and cane motifs are wonderful accents to heighten the look.
Any foyer accented with potted palms or a pair of shell lamps quickly introduces a vacation vibe to the entrance. The beach atmosphere is best with colors like crisp blue and white with a touch of yellow.
For a touch of Palm Beach glamor in the living room, go with painted bamboo furniture and a lattice-motif mirror as an accent piece. Seashells and baskets are perfect decors to sprinkle around a coffee table.
Coffee-table books with landscaping themes, like the “Tropical Interiors” book of Elizabeth Reyes and Chester Ong, can be displayed for additional ambience. “Tropical Interiors” has eye-catching photographs of Philippine homes with the decor-style of the tropics.
A tropical dining space needs to be fresh and breezy. Crisp accents like painted bamboo chairs or a seahorse table may brighten an interior, along with exotic floral curtains and bamboo blinds. To really bring the tropics home, go with palm leaf wallpaper in any room. A green-and-white motif is the perfect backdrop for vivid accents in colors like yellow and peacock blue.
For a modern take on a tropical dining room, go with bold, geometric wallpaper and soften it with a large, tropical floral painting. If your style veers more toward minimalist modern, small accent pieces will suffice—say, a bowl of citrus fruit or a single large tropical leaf in a tall cylindrical vase on the dining table.
Lastly, think about whether to stay tropical all year long or just for the summer. Your home can remain flexible through simple touches, like different throw pillows or new greenery during different times. All in all, tropical motifs are a comforting way to keep a holiday vibe in the midst of our city living.
Follow @tessavaldes on Twitter or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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