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Great Tropical Decorating Ideas

Sep 5, 2007
There's more to tropical decor than a potted palm in a corner. Of course it is an integral part of the theme and can't be done without. There is however a wide variety to choose from, the most popular being the Kentia Palm, Bamboo Palm, and the Lady Palm, each contributing to a different look by itself and an amazing ambiance in a group.

A tropical decor would call for lush greens and earthy browns, with as many natural products as possible thrown in. There is a kind of sparseness in spite of all the lushness which is what has to be borne in mind throughout. To achieve this remove all rugs, carpets, and throws. The curtains could be replaced with rattan, sisal or bamboo blinds that tame the strong sunshine and lets it enter in muted shades.

Wicker is the furniture of choice, but teak and mahogany or anything that looks similar would do as well. Embellish side tables, sofa tables and occasional tables with baskets, bowls or other objects made of bamboo, sisal, mat, or grass. Artifacts made of copper, brass, and iron lend a touch of panache to an otherwise earthy ambiance. Wrought iron in the form of candle sticks, wall art, or small pieces of furniture works well with the palms gracing a corner.

A large stuffed animal may work for some folks while others may prefer their German shepherd lounging around, for a touch of the majestic. Various ethnic elephant statues in festival finery, cute monkeys, and other animal art is a great way to extend the tropical beyond the ordinary. Wall art could include straw hats, hand held fans of rattan or straw, framed batik prints of tropical flowers such as the hibiscus, or fabulous figures that complement the decor.

A bowl of fruit is a normal occurrence for any kitchen or dining table, but for a tropical look, fill it with a pineapple, pawpaw, and some bananas. If you can lay your hands on an old table fan, set it up on a corner table.

Try combining the tropical beach look with some nautical decor. Substitute the animal theme with the marine. Display a large conch shell or a collection of small shells. White wicker and large blue cushions spell nautical with a capital N. A sailor's cap or a life belt on the wall leaves no one in doubt as to your intentions. Another interesting display could be of empty liquor bottles of interesting shapes, sizes and colors. So just because you don't live in the tropics doesn't mean you have to do without it.
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