Have you ever had a vacation getaway to the Caribbean islands and never wanted to go back? Have you always dreamt of going to the Bahamas, Barbados or Jamaica once in a while just to feel the warm breeze, admire the crystal clear waters, and dig your toes deep into the powdery sand while sipping your cocktail drink from a tiki bar? While you know that this isn’t always possible (you know, mom responsibilities), you can always bring in the light, airy and laid-back vibe into your home through redecoration. Use a Caribbean influence in your own home interior so you can feel just a bit closer to paradise. Here are the ways to achieve this:
1. Use a neutral palette and accent it with vibrant colors (or vice versa)
Unlike most beach or coastal-inspired designs, the Caribbean style is a bit bolder and more vibrant. It makes use of eye-catching colors like yellow, coral, peach, turquoise, light blue, lime and other lively greens. The color palette is inspired by the beautiful colors of the tropical flora and fauna. However, the use of neutral tones is still prevalent to keep the rooms bright, airy and not overpowering. Whites and creams are typically painted on walls or ceilings, or used in furnishings in a room full of vibrant colors. Brown is also abundant because of wooden elements like ceiling beams and flooring. The right play with colors can bring you either a simply soothing vibe or a lively tropical flair – it’s up to the mood you want to achieve.
2. Be creative with your walls
Styling for walls is very important for a Caribbean décor. Don’t just use a single plain color for your walls and ceilings; instead, add patterns or have them painted in two colors. For instance, you can paint your walls light blue and your ceiling with buttery yellow, or you can have your wall two-toned while the ceilings are painted in white. Then, hang images or paintings of the beach or anything depicting the breezy and laid-back life at the Caribbean. If you’re bolder and more artistic that that, paint natural elements on the walls like palm trees, flowers or birds. You may also buy a pre-made Caribbean wallpaper. For kitchens and bathrooms, use bright mosaic tiles for a pop of color, Caribbean style.
3. Get natural-looking furniture
Since you want to bring out the life of the island in your own home, avoid furniture that look artificial, like plastic tables and minimalist lacquer cabinetry. Use pieces made of natural materials like wood, wicker, bamboo and rattan. For your wooden or wicker chairs with upholstery, choose vivid and vibrant colors for the fabric, or choose those that are patterned with styles or images inspired from the islands.
4. Bring in wooden accents
Wooden accents create a sense of contrast and depth to your interiors. Use bright browns like mahogany or go for light ones like pine for flooring, trims, beams or furnishings. It also looks great when your wood is bleached or weathered, since it seems to tell a story behind it. Wooden frames for your wall decorations are perfect accents, too.
5. Use crisp textiles
For your textile choices, think crisp. White is your main choice, especially if your furnishings nad backdrop are already vibrant. Sheer, white curtains evoke a breezy feel. For your beddings, pick white sheets, and also add a sheer canopy fabric to your bed to create that resort-style vibe.
6. Add tropical greenery
To create the Caribbean look, you can never go wrong with displaying tropical greenery. It adds a fresh look to your indoor spaces, and connects you with the beauty of tropical environments. If you’re no green thumb (or if your location doesn’t allow the right amount of light and heat required to grow tropical plants), you can just buy some cut tropical plants and leaves all year-round. And the great thing is, they’re very affordable. These plant can last weeks in water.
7. Bring in plenty of natural light and whimsical lighting fixtures
Embracing the Caribbean décor means letting as much sunlight inside as you can. So, heavy draperies are a no-no; instead, use white, lightweight draperies – better if you use sheer curtains. Bamboo or rattan blinds and sand-hued shutters made of fake wood are also suitable to the décor. For your light fixtures, choose unique and whimsical pieces like a plush-mounted lighting made of shells or shaped like a pineapple; pendant lights made of rattan; ceiling fans (with lights) that have blades shaped like a woven hand fan or palm leaves; or floor and desk lamps designed with tropical sceneries.
8. Display Caribbean accessories
If you think of Caribbean accessories, perhaps a collection or a pretty display of shells and corals are what comes to your mind. While these items are gorgeous, take your decorations further by picking authentic Caribbean artwork like paintings and murals. You may display pottery (and use some of them to hold your tropical plants) and tiki statues. Or you can frame up real time scenes from the tropics, like a portrait of children playing at the beach, a portion of ethnic cuisine or a simple bowl of tropical fruits.