With Earth Day behind us and Spring cleaning just about done, it’s time to lighten things up at home. Adding a little tropical flair to easy, natural decor is the best way to get ready for summer. Light wood, natural fibers, and big bold plants give a spa-like feeling to any room. You might find yourself booking a home-bound retreat instead of galavanting off to island paradise.
Natural Decor, Naturally
The easiest way to start implementing natural fibers to your decor is with baskets. I usually head on down to my local World Market and pick up a few seagrass baskets throughout the year. Seagrass baskets are perfect storage solutions around the house and make lovely gift containers as well. Introduce natural decor in unusual spots, like on a mid-century modern bar cart or bookshelf.
Wood on Wood
Now is the time to maybe refrain from painting over every piece of wood furniture you own. I have a friend who works with wood and he cringes when he sees beautiful wood covered with the latest paint trend. His sorrows must have affected me! Most of my living room furniture is black, but I have one vintage end table that I just couldn’t bring myself to paint. It’s in great condition and the wood grain is a beauty unto itself. If you find a great piece of furniture that needs a little TLC, try stripping and staining it instead. This Old House has an easy guide to step you through the refinishing process. You can also use other natural decor items besides plants to create a warm and pretty vignette. Items in bamboo or coconut are a perfect way to add island flair subtly.
Big Leaves, Bright Lights
The key to updating the traditional light wood scenario is to add plants with big leaves. Check out HGTV’s guide for easy potted tropical plants. Heart leaf philodendrons, Rubber Trees, and ZZ Plants are my favorites. They are very easy to care for and their rounder leaves make them good Feng Shui, too! Keep the island fever with your natural decor by incorporating ethnic prints and patterns. Terra cotta pots, travel souvenirs, and Moroccan rugs give just the right touch.
Neutral Color Palette
Big, tropical plants are a must when dealing with a neutral color palette. Large splashes of green leaves keep natural decor from fading into the background. One big plant does a lot to fill and brighten a corner. A minimalist at heart, I prefer to keep my furnishings and decor sparse and fill in the gaps with plants. The trick is to buy your plants from a nursery like Armstrong Gardens. Shopping for them is like heaven! They take amazing care of the plants so they are in the best possible state to function in your home. I’ve bought too many plants from grocery stores that die within the first couple of weeks. I’m sick of taking all the blame!
When it comes to tropical flavors, bigger is always better! Oversized art with tropical birds, fruits, or plants liven up natural decor in a big way! Create an environment that is fun and relaxing with a collection of bold items in neutral tones. Toucans, pineapples, palm trees – you name it! Find that amazing print and let it take up some space.
Tropical Wallpaper Madness
If you’ve got a black thumb and don’t have the heart to keep killing plants, opt for a tropical wallpaper instead. If the majority of a room is filled with natural decor, you can get away with a pretty bold wallpaper. Big green leaves sprayed across a room look amazing paired with furnishings in camel or tan. We are smitten by Rocky Mountain Decals Banana Leaves wallpaper decals. Self adhesive removable wallpaper is bomb – simply peel off backing paper and stick the wallpaper against the wall. Easy, and commitment-free. Banana leaf prints especially give a tropical glam treatment to any room.
Focus on Shapes
When you’re working with a neutral palette, it’s pretty easy to pull a room together. You don’t necessarily have to stick to light woods or dark woods – feel free to mix-and-match! Take a look at the shapes of your natural decor pieces and how they work together. Fill in gaps with plants or baskets and use tropical items to liven up the place. Your home should be the most nurturing environment on the face of the earth, so make sure you love the way everything feels!