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Home Escapes – How to create a Tropical Home Interior

Posted on: 13.08.2021

How To Make Staying At Home Feel Like A Holiday

Over the coming weeks we’ll share how to incorporate your favourite holiday destinations into your home. So, whether your idea of heaven is sat under tropical palms by the sea, the cosiness of a quintessential English cottage, the calm of a cabin by the lakes, being lost in the wilderness or mountainous adventures – we’ll show you how to bring these feels back from your holidays and make being at home feel like a holiday.

We’re starting our Home Escape series with a few ideas on how to make staying at home feel like a tropical holiday every day.

It’s the 'tropical state of mind' for me.

We place so much emphasis and time in to escaping and getting away for a few days or weeks to relax and unwind in our favourite destinations. And why not?  We deserve that time to de-stress and chill out away from it all!

We’re prepared to take on the stress of holiday prep, hours spent looking for the perfect accommodation – praying that flights won’t be delayed and the resort is as pretty as the pictures and not an artist’s impression once building work is completed in 2035! We wash, we pack, we obsessively check the weather and scour the back of drawers for passports, anxiously checking they don’t need renewing!

We do it for the ‘me’ time, the escape and to let our hair down and it’s always worth it.  However, we can sometimes land back at our front door with a bit of a bump, and home can feel a little more beige than when we left. But it doesn’t have to!

While we can’t be on our holidays indefinitely (at least until that lottery ticket finally comes up trumps!) here are a few ways you can incorporate your favourite getaway into your interior and delay those post (or non) holiday blues and get that “zen” mindset you thought only possible sat under the palms by the sea.

How to Create a Tropical Home Interior

Is your favourite destination somewhere warm and tropical? Do you find your happy surrounded by blue waters, sandy beaches, bright colours and flat leafy palms?

Tropical décor is bright, bold and colourful and lends itself to a maximalist aesthetic – an interior design trend of 2021.

For those who love colourful decoration, the maximalist look channels the free-spirited and creative flair. Mixing bold, contrasting patterns and different scales of print while using one or two common tones to ground and pull all the patterns together.

(If you find the idea of introducing colour daunting, check out our blog on ways to Introduce Colour to your Home).

However, if you want to create a tropical paradise that ties in with a neutral scheme in adjoining rooms.  This is entirely possible with accent pieces and furniture that incorporate textures associated with island living in a laid-back style.

Even within a neutral or minimalist scheme, there are lots of ways in which you can layer textures and combine them with different materials and patterns to create the desired look, that is both a visual and sensory delight!

(Check out this article for tips on How to add Layer and Texture)


Tropical Furniture and Homeware

Let’s start with furniture. Rattan, cane and bamboo have a laid-back appeal, making them popular materials for tropical styling. One of the joys of tropical decor is the opportunity to play with texture.

If you don’t have a large budget, then go with warm wood furniture for your tropical space or style up your existing space with homeware pieces.

What would the tropics be without a little bamboo décor?  Not only does it visually connect you to tropical places but it’s eco-friendly and sustainable too. There’s a lot of bamboo homeware on the market right now. Naturally strong and antibacterial, bamboo is a wonderful material to introduce into your home.

Jute and sisal are common materials found in tropical homes. From storage baskets to rugs to placemats, this natural material is strong and durable and great for adding warming textures to your space.


Barkcloth in its original, primitive form was made from the inner bark of trees found in the South Pacific and surrounding areas. The bark was soaked, then beaten into a paper-like fabric which was then dyed, printed or painted. It first became popular in the 1930s and remained a mainstay in tropical regions of the world.

The barkcloth we’re familiar with today is a cotton fabric made from densely woven fibres. It’s the texture of the cloth, rather than the fibre of the fabric itself which gives it its distinctive appearance – a rough, textured appearance reminiscent of tree bark.

Common designs are floral, botanical and tropical prints and is an ideal upholstery fabric for furniture and curtains within a tropical scheme.  An accent chair or curtains made from a colourful barkcloth will add instant colour, texture and a focal point to your space.  We love this upholstered barkcloth armchair and scatter cushions!

Natural Plants

If you can fit a palm tree in your home, then go for it! Otherwise, don’t be shy with lots of greenery and indoor plants to keep your home looking as tropical as possible!

Not only will it create a luscious feel and visual connection to your tropical paradise, plants make us feel calmer and more relaxed.  Just what we need when creating our tropical “zen”.  They also purify the air around us, making homes better for our health.

Interior Design that connects us to nature is proven to make us happier, reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, boost our productivity and even contribute to a stronger sense of wellbeing. (More can be read about this on our blog ‘Biophilia: Bringing Nature into your Home’)

We can highly recommend Hilton Carter’s books on creative ways to curate and care for plants in your home!


Tropical Leaf Motifs

Is it even tropical without a palm tree? From banana leaves to fan palm leaves to Areca palm leaves, there are so many tropical leaf motifs to choose from.  Adorn your walls with tropical leaf prints or find them on scatter cushions to adorn your sofa or bed.

Bright Tropical Florals and Fruits

From bright green palm trees to hot pink hibiscus, make your home look like a Hawaiian tropical paradise inside. If you can’t take care of the real flowers, then why not go for some on your curtains, cushions, bedding or upholstery?

The tropical Pineapple fruit is a great way to bring the tropical vibe to your home. Pineapples can be found everywhere from bookends, to table lamps, to artwork and many more decorative objects.

Parrots, Flamingos and Monkeys

Designs of animals, such as parrots, flamingos and monkeys, add excitement and whimsy.

There are lots of decorative objects which depict the colourful parrot and pink flamingo commonly depicted in tropical décor.  A great way to bring a pop of colour to your tropical interior!


Cabyn Homeware

Feel inspired to add some tropical touches to tour home?  Check out our Homeware pieces and get creating your very own Home Escape


Why not share your exotically styled spaces with us @cabyncrew!

Where do you want us to take you next on our Home Escapes?

If you like this, why not check out our other Home Escape blogs?

Home Escapes – How to Create a Cottagecore Home Interior

Home Escapes – How to Create a Coastal Home Interior

Home Escapes – How to Create a Scandinavian Home Interior

Emma & Emily


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