Think “tropical” and chances are you’ll be instantly transported to a vision of bright beaches and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Here are some key elements that’ll help you bring the airy, natural feel of tropical-style design to your kitchen.
Nothing says “tropical style” better than wood. Wooden cabinetry, floors, and ceiling and wall treatments bring the warmth of the tropics straight to your kitchen. For true tropical style, don’t just settle for common species like pine, oak, or birch. Rosewood, mahogany, teak, and other species of wood indigenous to the tropics are top choices. Hardwood materials serve to ground and add weight to a mostly light tropical-flavored space.
You don’t have to have everything from your cabinets to your floor done using only one kind of wood, though. Mix and match them to add a layered tropical texture to your kitchen. Paneled treatments for walls and cabinetry, whether tongue and groove or panel and frame, amp up the tropical vibe even further, so skip the sleek contemporary look and add more texture to your kitchen space instead.
Wicker and rattan are also key elements of tropical design. You can use them for everything from furniture to fittings and accessories. Instead of a glass bowl, you can keep fresh, brightly colored fruits in a woven bowl. Wicker and rattan stools surrounding a paneled island also suit the tropical style perfectly. You can also add bamboo accents such as a bamboo ceiling fan or placemats made from bamboo strips.
Naturally light and airy
The architecture of your house plays an important role in turning your tropical style kitchen dreams into reality. An abundance of air and light is a key element of tropical style, so high-pitched ceilings are ideal. Let the outside in by eschewing heavy curtains for light rattan blinds and Bermuda shutters. Louvered windows that let light and air in during rainy days are also recommended.
If you have the space and the budget, you can take things a step further by extending your kitchen outdoors. Outdoor kitchens, which are fast becoming popular, amp up the tropical vacation atmosphere to a whole new level. Plus, they’re great for family gatherings and barbecues.
The color palette of tropical styles are patterned closely after nature. Remember to keep it vibrant without being garish; consider using light hues as a main color and keep the richer and darker colors as accents.
Neutral colors and soft hues also help create the feeling of an open, airy space. Painting your kitchen’s ceiling and walls white is a quick and easy way to increase its light and airy ambience. White also goes well with tropical style designs.
Plenty of plants
Adding splashy flora and foliage is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to evoke a tropical setting in your kitchen. Plants are perfect for adding colorful accents to a largely neutral space. You don’t have to cover your entire kitchen in plants, though. Even a single tropical plant or flower set on top of the island, countertop, or kitchen table can suffice, especially if your kitchen is white from floor to ceiling.
It’s not just actual plants and flowers in pots and vases, either. Adding a few dashes of bold leaf and colorful flower prints to the fabrics in your kitchen also works wonders.
Eclectic and personal
Since it grew from numerous countries and cultures located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, there are really no hard and fast rules when it comes to the tropical style. All of the elements listed above should only serve as a general guide. Just remember that tropical style is firmly rooted in making you feel relaxed and comfortable -– just like when you’re on vacation at a tropical beach – and start from there.